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John Reality

John Reality

Cambodia

John is a Cambodia-based writer and photographer who, since a long age, has spent most of his time traveling and living abroad. Through a mix of his work in journalism, photography, and blogging, he hopes to encourage readers to explore the splendors of the worlds cultures, while maintaining the integrity of its vast beauties and shortfalls.

Mar202013

Travel Recommendation

Things to Do in Casablanca

Morocco

My Recommendation Tip

As Morocco becomes more and more popular with tourists wishing to have a taste of Northern Africa, curiosity about the capitol city of Casablanca has only increased. It’s a beautiful city that acts as a natural starting point for travels around the country, but visitors to Morocco should be sure to dedicate some time to enjoying the city before taking off to other areas.

Mar202013

Travel Recommendation

How to Get Around in Bali

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

Depending on where it is you want to go there are several ways to get around beautiful Bali. For those looking to go the short-distance, from one place to another in Legian, walking is the most exhilarating and enjoyable way around, but understandably, not everybody wants to have to walk back and forth from Seminyak to Kuta Beach.

Mar202013

Travel Recommendation

Blue Streets of Chefchaouen

Morocco

My Recommendation Tip

The blue streets of Chefchaouen, Morocco, have made the city one of the most striking and photogenic destinations in North Africa. Indeed, reliable travel tips can be difficult to find for Chefchaouen, as the vast majority of information online is dedicated almost entirely to pictures of the beautiful cerulean accented architecture and surroundings.

Mar192013

Travel Recommendation

Romantic Things to Do in Bali

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

As a beautiful coastal town full of artisans and culture, Bali provides ample opportunity to share a romantic moment with a loved one.

Mar192013

Travel Recommendation

Should You Go to Lebanon?

Lebanon

My Recommendation Tip

Lebanon is one of the most beautiful countries in the Middle East. Unfortunately, it is also ripe with violent conflict and time to time it is really not safe for casual travel. This is one such time.

Mar192013

Travel Recommendation

Natural Wonders in Jordan

Jordan

My Recommendation Tip

Jordan is an interesting place. The main bastions of civilization are by western standards not that impressive, but what this country lacks in infrastructure it surely makes up for in truly amazing natural landscapes.

Mar192013

Travel Recommendation

Historical Sights in Sidon

Lebanon

My Recommendation Tip

The third-largest city in Lebanon, Sidon is rich with historically significant travel destinations. The old city and the majority of its attractions are accessible by bus in as little as an hour from the capital, Beirut, and transportation is extremely affordable. Another option is to travel by cab (the already moderate cost of which can be mitigated by offering to split the fare with fellow travelers or pick up additional passengers along the way).

Mar192013

Travel Recommendation

Best Pubs and Bars in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Singapore has quickly become one of the party capitals of Asia and whether beer, wine or a cocktail is your poison there is a pub or bar to suit your whims. The best pubs and bars in Singapore are not necessarily all in the same area so you may need to plot your evening via cabs or the underground before heading out on the town.

Mar192013

Travel Recommendation

The Clan Jetties of Penang

Penang

My Recommendation Tip

As traditional Chinese establishments in Malaysia’s quaint town of Penang, clan jetties are an integral part of the country’s heritage and history. With just six jetty clan communities left, they are fewer in numbers, but the waterfront shack communities are a still very much a part of the circuit for travelers through the area.

Mar182013

Travel Recommendation

First Time Visitor Tips for Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Thailand is a bigger country than most people think. Anybody wanting to go there and see all the nooks and crannies in one go will quickly find that you can use up your entire vacation in Southeast Asia exploring just this one country. That is why your time would be better served by prioritizing the more well-known sites. For a first timer, your first stop is Bangkok.

Mar152013

Travel Recommendation

The Valley of the Kings

Egypt

My Recommendation Tip

The Valley of the Kings in Egypt is one of the most important and dated historical landmarks in the world. Containing several tombs belonging to ancient Egyptian pharaohs, nobles and their families from the New Kingdom dynasties from the 16th to 11th century B.C., the valley includes the tombs of Ramesses I, Ramesses III and Merenptah.

Mar142013

Travel Recommendation

Tips for Staying Safe in Israel

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Unfortunately, there is always some level of political and civil unrest in Israel. The best thing you can do for the safety of yourself and for the benefit of having a nice trip is to check with any government travel advisory service as well as the Israeli embassy located nearest to you.

Mar122013

Travel Recommendation

Isaan

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

When one thinks of Thailand they see the sprawling lengths of Bangkok or the fantastic exotic beach scene of Phuket, but never the historically rich regions of the Issan in the northeast. Although the area does not quite have the beaches or the big city, it has in stunning temples, waterfalls and architecture—not to mention few visitors, making it ideal for those looking to go off the beaten track.

Mar062013

Travel Recommendation

Street Food in Hanoi

Hanoi

My Recommendation Tip

Street food in Vietnam is notoriously varied, inexpensive, and accessible throughout the country, particular via street venders and market stalls. The baseline is a combination of a long history of evolving Southeast Asian culinary techniques and traditions and the happier impacts of a long history of French colonization.

Mar052013

Travel Recommendation

Mall of the Emirates

Dubai

My Recommendation Tip

Visitors to Dubai, that great gem of a modern travel destination in the United Arab Emirates on the Arabian Peninsula of the Persian Gulf, will want to plan a visit to the massive Mall of the Emirates (one of the world’s largest).

Mar052013

Travel Recommendation

Penang’s Little India

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Penang offers a world of diverse culture from its own local peoples to the countries of those inhabitants that have made the famous town home.

Mar052013

Travel Recommendation

Famous Foods to Try in Jordan

Jordan

My Recommendation Tip

There are two things to prepare yourself for with Jordanian food: the fantastic quality and the fantastic quantity!

Mar052013

Travel Recommendation

Design Museum Holon

Tel Aviv

My Recommendation Tip

The Design Museum Holon in Tel Aviv is truly on the cities hidden treasures. Opened in March 2010, this futuristic looking complex is actually one of the foremost museums highlighting design and contemporary culture.

Feb262013

Travel Recommendation

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

If you happen to be traveling in southern Thailand, one of the must-do attractions that you ought to visit is the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden.

Feb252013

Travel Recommendation

Free Things to Do in Bangkok

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Bangkok is a sprawling city with tons of opportunity to get your cultural fill. Around every corner is someplace to explore, so the question simply becomes, how much do you want to spend doing it? If the answer is nothing, then that is perfectly reasonable.

Feb252013

Travel Recommendation

Traditional Foods to Try in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Singapore has one of the most unique and interesting cuisines in all of Asia. Sporting some of the most colorful dishes you will ever see, the small country utilizes a surprisingly large array of ingredients to spice up the flavor of traditional dishes.

Feb252013

Travel Recommendation

Pattaya: Pros and Cons in a Beautiful Beach Town

Pattaya

My Recommendation Tip

Located on the coast of southern Thailand, Pattaya is just two hours by car from Bangkok, and is a popular beach destination. It’s accessible by buses that run from Bangkok nearly all hours of day (though if there are a number of people going together, the best course would be to jointly hire a taxi).

Feb212013

Travel Recommendation

Israel in the Winter

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

The weather does not usually get as cold during the Israeli winter as it does in the West, but that doesn’t mean that there is not a winter.

Feb212013

Travel Recommendation

Bali Spirit Festival

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

Perhaps Southeast Asia’s most famous music festival, the five day four night yoga and dance fair known as the Bali Spirit Festival gives people of all walks of life an opportunity to bond over not just a flourishing local arts cultural, but on an international level as well, providing various workshops and community building events.

Feb212013

Travel Recommendation

Things to Do in Beirut

Beirut

My Recommendation Tip

The only major cosmopolitan city in Lebanon, Beirut has often been referred to as the Paris of the East, and for good reason.

Feb202013

Travel Recommendation

Romantic Things to Do in Marrakesh

Marrakech

My Recommendation Tip

For a truly romantic twist on your holiday, Marrakesh offers loads of great options from its historic infrastructure, to tranquil restaurants, exotic palm groves and bazaars that are sure to make for an exciting time in one of Arabia’s most sought after destinations.

Feb192013

Travel Recommendation

Shopping at the Kuala Lumpur Central Market

Kuala Lumpur

My Recommendation Tip

Traveling through Malaysia’s sprawling city Kuala Lumpur really means doing one thing, shopping. Sporting some of the best malls and shopping venues in all of Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur affords plenty of opportunity to buy any and all consumer goods you can think of and in due time you will get what you need, but your first stop should really be Central Market.

Feb142013

Travel Recommendation

Samui Butterfly Garden

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

If you happen to be in or around the beautiful southern Thailand coast of Koh Samui, there is a great eco-destination there called the Samui Butterfly Garden.

Feb122013

Travel Recommendation

Batu Maung Fishing Village

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Steeped in mysticism and wind of a bygone era, the Batu Maung Fishing Village nestled in the south-eastern tip of Malaysia’s Penang island is the perfect place to spend a day exploring.

Feb072013

Travel Recommendation

Bang Krajao Park

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Bangkok as a sprawling and busy metropolis is jam-packed with culture and sights to see, but it is not so well-known to people that there is a spacious place to spend some time relaxing in a natural environment—Bang Krajao Park is that place.

Feb072013

Travel Recommendation

Train Travel in Morocco

Morocco

My Recommendation Tip

Raking the train in Morocco is one of the best and most comfortable ways to get around even though it is not the most extensive rail network in the world.

Feb052013

Travel Recommendation

Singapore’s Little India

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Almost as synonymous with Singapore as Sentosa Island, Singapore’s Little India is really a sight in and of itself.

Feb052013

Travel Recommendation

Bus Travel in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

For a country in Southeast Asia, Thailand has some of the best infrastructure around when it comes to public transportation.

Feb052013

Travel Recommendation

Understanding the Bedouin culture of Egypt

Egypt

My Recommendation Tip

Understanding the Bedouin of Egypt is an integral part of understanding this historic culture.

Feb012013

Travel Recommendation

Singapore’s Best Parks

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Any property expert will tell you that one of the key elements that make for a truly great city is the size and utilization of public park area.

Jan312013

Travel Recommendation

Museum of the History of Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

My Recommendation Tip

A stunning look into Tel Aviv‘s history following the six-day war, the Museum of the History of Tel Aviv-Jaffa takes a deep look into the one of the most interesting cities in Israel.

Housed in what was once the old Tel Aviv City Hall building at Bialik Square, the museum opened in 2009, the new museum is home to dozens of the photos and multi-media chronicling decades of culture and history.

Jan292013

Travel Recommendation

Sandboarding in Dubai

Dubai

My Recommendation Tip

Sandboarding (or Sand Surfing) is an increasingly popular adventure activity practiced wherever sand dunes and adrenaline junkies intersect. One of the true meccas of this burgeoning sport is the profusion of slopes and hills around Dubai City and elsewhere in the UAE. Dubai is home to Big Red, one of the largest and steepest known sand dunes in the world, and along with other increasingly famous runs in the area, it is rapidly gaining a reputation for excellence among those in the know.

Jan292013

Travel Recommendation

The Ancient City of Jerash

Jordan

My Recommendation Tip

When one thinks about Jordan, it is easy to picture the stunning ancient stone city of Petra or even its capital, Amman, but one should not overlook the value of Jordan’s historic city of Jerash.

Located 30 miles, or 48 kilometers, north of Amman, Jerash is home to some of the most stunning and important ruins of the Greco-Roman era. Conquered by the famed general Pompey in 63 BC, the remains are a great insight to what Rome looks like outside of Rome.

Jan282013

Travel Recommendation

Diving in the Andaman Sea

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

For some of the best diving in the region, head on over to Phuket to explore the pristine waters of the Andaman Sea. Located in the Indian Ocean, the mighty Andaman extends all the way from Myanmar down to Thailand, but it is in Phuket where the routes and diving options are already well established.

Jan212013

Travel Recommendation

Market Shopping in Denpasar

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

One of Indonesia’s best-kept secrets for market shopping is the city of Denpasar.

Jan172013

Travel Recommendation

Train Travel in Israel

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Traffic on the roads of Israel can be tough to handle sometimes, but the recent construction of train lines has made life easier for the weary traveler. As they are, the trains have great routes, including several that are intercity and go through major tour hubs and the nice thing is that the trains both inexpensive and pretty comfortable.

Jan072013

Travel Recommendation

How to Get Around Dubai

Dubai

My Recommendation Tip

When venturing to a new destination, it’s always a good idea to come prepared with a dependable and accurate map.

Jan072013

Travel Recommendation

Day Trips from Kota Kinabalu on Sabah

Kota Kinabalu

My Recommendation Tip

The island of Sabah in Malaysia is the perfect destination for the adventure seeker wanting to break-out from the humdrum of big city destinations while traveling.

Jan072013

Travel Recommendation

Biking in Bangkok

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Bangkok may be a sprawling metropolis filled with bumper to bumper traffic and overwhelming above-ground subways, but that does not mean there is not an opportunity to get yourself a bicycle and enjoy the back roads of beautiful Thailand.

Jan042013

Travel Recommendation

Cable Car Museum

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

A trip to Singapore demands a visit to the magnificent Sentosa Island – a destination deserving of its worldwide fame. Here you will likely jump on board the world-class Jewel Cable Car ride through the island and Singapore harbor – but before disembarking make sure you stop into the Singapore Cable Car Museum.

Jan032013

Travel Recommendation

Market shopping in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

My Recommendation Tip

Israel‘s Tel Aviv boasts an array of market shopping options. While prices may not be the bargain bin steals of other middle-eastern shopping outlets, the wares are top quality, genuine and from markets around the world.

Dec282012

Travel Recommendation

Shopping in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

When packing your bag for Singapore, don’t forget to pack some comfortable shoes, a credit card and a hefty amount of determination to tackle the shopper’s paradise that is this small city-country. Singapore is exploding with the latest and greatest Asian and worldwide fashion and accessories, so some artful planning is necessary before diving headfirst into the bright lights and boutiques.

Dec272012

Travel Recommendation

Best views in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

My Recommendation Tip

As one of the most vertically impressive cities in Southeast Asia, with a seemingly-ever growing economy, Kuala Lumpur’s skyline has become in itself a major attraction for visitors and with lots of great places to relax and peer out over the city, it is important to be picky.

Dec272012

Travel Recommendation

Exploring Eilat

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

The coastal community of Eilat is located at the southern tip of Israel, and consists mainly of a four-mile strip of beach along the Red Sea. To say that the town is a resort community would be an understatement. Partying, water sports, desert activities, and other recreational activities attract large numbers of tourists annually, meaning that the local population is vastly outnumbered by tourists most times of the year. It’s a great place to cut loose and soak up some sun, but it isn’t a great choice for culturally inclined travelers (the exception to this being the recently opened biblical theme park, Kings City).

Dec262012

Travel Recommendation

Cooling Off at Singapore’s Best Pools

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

As one might note about Singapore, it is one of Asia’s most renowned business hubs that has modernized beyond its own expectations.

Dec262012

Travel Recommendation

Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City

My Recommendation Tip

In a country like Vietnam, where outdoor celebrations are rampant with almost any occasion, New Year’s Eve is especially amazing.

Dec182012

Travel Recommendation

Hong Islands

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

To see some of the most beautiful landmarks of Southeast Asia, a trip south to the Hong Islands is an imperative part of any traveler’s agenda for those wanting to really see the best nature Thailand has to offer.

Dec182012

Travel Recommendation

New Year’s Eve Events on Bali

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

For those looking for high-octane celebrations on New Year’s, the Kuta, Legian and Seminyak beach strip of Bali is the place to be. Each area offers events on a sliding scale of extravagance. The Kuta bar strip, running perpendicular to the beach, will boast the regular clubs and bars all vying to outdo each other with drink specials and low cover charges.

Dec142012

Travel Recommendation

New Year’s Eve Events in Cairo

Cairo

My Recommendation Tip

As Egypt is a Muslim country, it does not celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31. However, as Cairo is a tourist Mecca, western bars and restaurants–especially hotels and restaurants–will.

Dec102012

Travel Recommendation

Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Already known as a crazy place to party, the added value of celebrating New Year’s Eve in Thailand can kick things up to a whole other level.

Dec092012

Travel Recommendation

New Year’s Eve Events in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

As a major hub for travelers around the world, there is perhaps no country in Asia more qualified to take on the extravagance and worldly appeal of New Year’s Eve than Singapore. Indeed, all around town from high-end hotels to public spaces, there is a place for everyone to join in the world’s most famous countdown.

Dec092012

Travel Recommendation

New Year’s Eve Events in Dubai

Dubai

My Recommendation Tip

If you are in Dubai for New Year’s Eve be prepared for the entire city to come alive! As part of your planning think of your budget and your style of celebration – many restaurants in Dubai are not licensed. If you want to indulge in an all out hotel party with food and beverages included, advanced bookings are an absolute must as most hotel parties sell out in September or October.

Dec092012

Travel Recommendation

New Year’s Eve Events in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

My Recommendation Tip

Israel as a country doesn’t typically abide to the western Christian/secular calendar, so it’s understandable that New Year’s Eve isn’t a national celebration here. As such there are no fireworks displays or municipality organized events. Nevertheless, there is a faction of those who celebrate “Sylvester,” the Hebrew slang for New Year, and where these people go you are bound to find a party.

Dec052012

Travel Recommendation

New Year’s Eve in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

My Recommendation Tip

New Year’s Eve celebrations in Kuala Lumpur seem to always surround the hubbub going on at Petronas Tower, with an amazing public display that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Held by, the Ministry of Tourism at the KLCC, the explosive outdoor bash is full of exciting laser dancing, a Wild West style dance-off, a countdown, confetti bursts, live music and tons of fireworks.

Dec042012

Travel Recommendation

Cruising Ha Long Bay on a Junk Boat

Hanoi

My Recommendation Tip

Often included in informal lists of the world’s greatest natural wonders, Ha Long Bay’s karst formations make it a fantastic place to visit for travelers looking to devote a considerable amount of time on the water.

Nov292012

Travel Recommendation

New Year’s Eve in Bangkok

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

While New Year’s Eve is not a traditional event on the Thai Buddhist calendar, the people of Bangkok know how to throw a party and do so anyway!

Nov202012

Travel Recommendation

Train Travel in Vietnam

Vietnam

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re looking for a way to see the beautiful country of Vietnam and want to be more comfortable than you might be on a bus, the train is the way to go. Luckily for visitors, the train system is quite simple, as there is only one major line between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The train stops at multiple destinations along the way, and as a result, is a fantastic way to see the country and the terrain.

Nov202012

Travel Recommendation

The Arab Quarter

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re seeking a respite from the extreme cleanliness and modernity of Singapore during a visit to the city-state, the so-called Arab Quarter (originally home to Singapore’s Malay royalty in the 1800s) can be just what the doctor ordered.

Nov162012

Travel Recommendation

Tel Aviv’s White City

Tel Aviv

My Recommendation Tip

Founded well before the establishment of the State of Israel (nearly 40 years prior, in fact), Tel Aviv is easily one of the most populous and influential cities in the country. It is also a terrific place to visit as it is home to dazzling viewpoints, a vibrant beach scene, jumping nightlife, flea markets and shopping centers, and a collection of noteworthy museums and cultural destinations.

Nov162012

Travel Recommendation

The Arab Music Festival at the Cairo Opera House

Egypt

My Recommendation Tip

Part of Egypt’s Natural Cultural Center in the country’s capital, the Cairo Opera House is the home stage for most of Egypt’s finest musical groups.

Nov132012

Travel Recommendation

Thailand’s Secret Islands

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

The search for unknown island treasures in Thailand is a pursuit that has the potential of diminishing returns for travelers at some point in the not too distant future. Luckily, the returns experienced by tourists today aren’t likely to be diminished anytime soon, provided they’re willing to be discerning. The following suggestions are the hottest tips on offer at the very moment.

Nov132012

Travel Recommendation

Best Views in Singapore: Observation Decks and Viewpoints

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

There are many sights and attractions to see in Singapore, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll stick to the former. The following are a few of the best areas from which to take in incredible sweeping vistas of the city-state.

Nov132012

Travel Recommendation

Wineries in Israel

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Wine lovers everywhere delight in sampling the regional offerings available wherever they go, and visitors to Israel are no exception. The terrain is challenging and the resources devoted to wine growing are relatively slim, but there is a whole lot to see and even more to taste.

Nov132012

Travel Recommendation

Palm Islands and the World

Dubai

My Recommendation Tip

Jebel Ali, in the astonishing (and continuously under construction) Palm Islands project, is a fabulous destination if you don’t mind paying a premium for virtually anything you might need, from lodging to activities to food and drink and everything in between. If you’ve got money to spend, the pristine beauty of Jebel Ali’s system of beaches and lagoons is a fantastic place to pursue some fun in the sun. Al-Mamzar Beach Park is a good place for travelers with children in tow, and the Jumeirah Beach area has the best white sand beaches in the region.

Nov062012

Travel Recommendation

Bukit Bintang

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Kuala Lumpur is many things, particularly an excellent shopping mecca. The shopping and entertainment district known as Bukit Bintang (or Starhill) has long been the city’s most important commercial center for trafficking in consumer goods. Malaysia‘s main fashion event (Malaysia International Fashion Week) is held in this area each year, as are the STYLO Fashion Week, the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix pit stop and the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It is, in effect, the country’s equivalent of the Big Apple, just in miniature. New Year’s countdowns are held here, and it functions as the home base of Merdeka (Malaysian Independence Day) celebrations.

Oct312012

Travel Recommendation

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Famed for its extraordinary modernity and economic expansion, Singapore is also steadily gaining a well-earned reputation as a metropolis that is intelligently planned and laid out; even the relatively slight number of undeveloped green spaces are maximized to an incredible extent.

Oct292012

Travel Recommendation

The Ancient Ruins of Sukhothai

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Situated in Northern Thailand, the ruins of the capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Sukhothai (1238-1438) are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and are a world famous tourist attraction. It is arguably the most famous cultural attraction in the country. Sukhothai is where Thai civilization as we know it first evolved and where Hinduism and Buddhism collided and began to permeate each other (or at least co-mingle) in the particular way that is unique to the region.

Oct262012

Travel Recommendation

Hiking in Switzerland

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

Is there a better way to experience the essence of Switzerland than hiking? I can’t think of one. The following are just a few of the countless options for stretching your legs in the out of doors in this beautiful country.

Oct262012

Travel Recommendation

Egypt’s Best Dive Spots

Egypt

My Recommendation Tip

Some say that Sharm El Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt’s Red Sea is the best undersea destination, and it is indeed fantastic.

Oct262012

Travel Recommendation

Best Beaches in Malaysia

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Most travelers to Malaysia are seeking at least a little bit of fun in the sun. The following are a few suggestions for some of the best beaches in Malaysia:

Oct252012

Travel Recommendation

Entertainment in Clarke Quay

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

The sheer scope of demand for new places to party in Singapore is driving entrepreneurs into numerous parts of the city, but the entertainments on offer at Clarke Quay is well established and hard to beat.

Oct252012

Travel Recommendation

Christmas in Jerusalem

Jerusalem

My Recommendation Tip

Whether or not you are religiously inclined, visiting Jerusalem at Christmas time is a wonderful experience. Though the typical trappings of the holiday are not omnipresent, the city has a lot to offer for any traveler.

Oct242012

Travel Recommendation

Cologne Museum Night

Cologne

My Recommendation Tip

Originating in Berlin in 1997, the Long Night of Museums has become a cultural event that has taken Europe by storm, spreading to cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Basel, Lucerne, Budapest and Prague.

Oct232012

Travel Recommendation

What to Eat in Bali

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

While visitors to Bali have access to many traditional Indonesian dishes, Bali has its own singular fare that is not heavily featured elsewhere in the country. This is primarily due to its heavy use of pork, which is not allowed in the diets of the largely-Muslim population elsewhere. That said, dishes such as babi guling, or roasted suckling pig, are widely available in Bali, many of which are truly delectable. Other local specialties include bebek betutu, duck roasted in banana leaves with herbs; satay lilt, a delicious minced seafood satay; and urutan, a wonderful, spicy pork sausage.

Oct192012

Travel Recommendation

Berlin for Art Lovers

Berlin

My Recommendation Tip

Berlin is an art lover’s dream. You could devote a lifetime to exploring the offerings on hand in the city. The following should help get you started.

Oct182012

Travel Recommendation

Romantic Things to Do on Mykonos

Greece

My Recommendation Tip

The mélange of Cycladic beauty and an exciting nightlife might be what makes the island of Mykonos one of Greece‘s most visited islands, as well as one of its most romantic spots. Inhabited by less than 10,000 people, Mykonos is the premier destination for couples looking to get away from it all.

Oct172012

Travel Recommendation

English Garden (Englischer Garten) in Munich

Munich

My Recommendation Tip

Designed as far back as the 1780s, Munich’s Englischer Garten, or English Garden, occupies approximately 1.5 square-miles of the city’s ground. Stretching from the city center to its northeastern limits, the Garden is one of the world’s largest public parks, and should duly be on every visitors list of go-to destinations in Munich.

Oct152012

Travel Recommendation

Thailand’s Hill Tribes Culture

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

The term “Hill Tribe” is a blanket descriptor used to indicate any number of indigenous groups native to Thailand, Laos and Burma, as well as displaced groups who have migrated from Yunnan, Tibet and elsewhere in China. They are typically subsistence farmers and hunter gatherers, but the vibrancy of their respective cultural practices and the relative isolation they’ve enjoyed from modern society make them a phenomenal curiosity for many eco-tourists and other travelers.

Photo courtesy of Steve Evans via Wiki Commons.

Oct152012

Travel Recommendation

Free Things To Do in Salzburg

Salzburg

My Recommendation Tip

As with almost any “free” activity one might recommend, it’s possible to find yourself tempted or inclined to break your fiscal fast and drop a little change.

Oct112012

Travel Recommendation

Singapore Harbour Cruises

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Singapore Harbour Cruises

Oct112012

Travel Recommendation

Hiking in Israel

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Hiking in Israel is a many splendored thing. There’s no need to waste time singing its praises. Better to share as many options as possible among the seemingly endless list of worthy destinations to hit the trails.

Oct102012

Travel Recommendation

Frankfurt Book Fair

Frankfurt

My Recommendation Tip

Held annually in mid-October at the Frankfurt Trade Fair grounds in Frankfurt am Main, the Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest trade fair for books, and features an astonishing number of publishing companies, books and visitors.

Oct102012

Travel Recommendation

Attending a Ball in Vienna

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

The tradition of a social ball has long since faded into tradition for most cultures, but it is still alive and well in Vienna.

Oct092012

Travel Recommendation

Day Trips From Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Zurich is so charming and stimulating that it would be possible to live a fulfilling life without ever leaving it. However, variety is the spice of life and broadened horizons are always desirable.

Oct092012

Travel Recommendation

Khao San Road: Bangkok’s Backpacker Street

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Though known as a “backpackers’ ghetto,” Bangkok‘s famous Khao San Road is now brimming with upscale amenities including spas, boutiques, salons, fine dining, and even a Starbucks. The budget-minded need not fear, however, as the “bed in a box” hotels, street food, and illicit activities are still accessible and make the area one of the best places in city to try and stretch a buck (or a baht, as it were).

Oct092012

Travel Recommendation

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Dubai

Dubai

My Recommendation Tip

Though it is strangely off the radar for many Western tourists, the Emirate of Dubai has grown into a fantastic travel destination, particularly for vacations with the family.

Photo courtesy of kun0me via Flickr.

Oct092012

Travel Recommendation

Temples in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Kuala Lumpur is home to countless temples and religious sites that culturally inclined tourists will want to peruse. The following are just a few examples of what the city has to offer.

Oct042012

Travel Recommendation

Wildlife and Nature in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

It would be a travesty to travel all the way to Southeast Asia without interacting with some of the local wildlife. Luckily, such interactions aren’t difficult to arrange.

For starters, Bangkok has a great deal to offer. Despite being incredibly modern and heavily congested, you and your family really can get access (often hands on) to a wide variety of wildlife in or very near the city.

Oct032012

Travel Recommendation

How to Find Cheap Accommodation for Oktoberfest

Munich

My Recommendation Tip

Possibly the world’s largest fair and easily one of the best festivals in Germany, the annual Oktoberfest in Munch is visited by over six million visitors from all over the world. Visitors come to drink beer, eat sausage and join together in spontaneous outbursts of traditional songs.

Oct022012

Travel Recommendation

Cafes in Salzburg

Salzburg

My Recommendation Tip

Vienna is not the only city in Austria that has a flourishing café culture. In many ways, the cafes in Salzburg are more diverse. Peruse the following if you’re interested in beginning your education in the world of coffee, beer, wine and conversation that Salzburg has to offer visitors to the city.

Sep282012

Travel Recommendation

Island Hopping from Langkawi

Langkawi

My Recommendation Tip

Known as the the Jewel of Kedah, the 99 islands that make up the Langkawi archipelago are an ideal base for island hopping in Malaysia. With a population of 64,792 Pulau Langkawi is the largest island in the chain, and the only other inhabited island in the area is nearby Pulau Tuba. The former was little more than a backwater until it was granted tax-free status in the mid-1980s. Since that time, tourism has blossomed. There’s plenty to see on the island and in the immediate vicinity, but many savvy travelers opt for a little traveling from Langkawi to Sipadan, Mabul, and other idyllic destinations that beckon.

Photo courtesy of Marufish via Flickr.

Sep282012

Travel Recommendation

Chocolate in Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Chocolate-lovers will delight in the multitude of factories, chocolatiers, and specialty shops that call the heart of Switzerland home. While the possibilities are seemingly endless, here are a few suggestions about where to start your search for Zurich’s best chocolate.

Sep272012

Travel Recommendation

Beaches in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

My Recommendation Tip

There is no shortage of things to do in Tel Aviv, but one of the most unforgettable activities is to take some down time on the beach, which runs along the entire western side of the city along the gorgeous Mediterranean. Grab a bottle of wine and your best girl and have a sit on one of the southern beaches during a radiant sunset over the water; with the old port city of Jaffa to your left and the towering skyscrapers of new hotels and city life to your right.

Sep272012

Travel Recommendation

Best Family Friendly Attractions in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Singapore is an unrivaled travel destination for tourists with children in tow. The following are just a few of the great attractions available.

Photo courtesy of armaggesin via Flickr.

Sep262012

Travel Recommendation

German Unity Day

Germany

My Recommendation Tip

Celebrating the official reunification of Germany that took place in 1990 after the Berlin Wall came down a year earlier in November of 1989, German Unity Day is a national holiday that kicks off with gusto every October.

Sep252012

Travel Recommendation

Best Honeymoon Spots in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

No one that is seriously considering a southeast Asian honeymoon needs a travel writer to tell them why it’s a good idea. Warm water, climbing, diving, fantastic food and drink, white sand beaches, and countless other opportunities for adventure and repose are all available to newlyweds seeking a memorable trip to start off their new lives. That said, the following tips might help the contemplative narrow their respective lists.

Sep192012

Travel Recommendation

Day Trips from Ubud

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

High quality guided tours of all shapes and sizes are easily obtainable from Ubud, and local experts can help to make the region completely accessible with a wide range of pricing options.

Sep192012

Travel Recommendation

Bavarian Culture in Munich

Munich

My Recommendation Tip

The modern incarnation of Bavarian culture dates back at least 1,000 years.

Sep142012

Travel Recommendation

Jodhpur and Osian: Cities of India

India

My Recommendation Tip

Named in honor of its 15th century founder (a chieftain named Rao Jodha), Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination in the state of Rajasthan. Featuring yearlong sunny weather and numerous temples, forts and palaces, the city is worth traveling even a considerable distance out of your way to see while visiting India.

Sep142012

Travel Recommendation

Sentosa Island

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Though Sentosa Island may not be the best place to mix with locals (a stiff entry fee is levied against permanent residents and Singaporean citizens), this Universal Studios-themed resort that contains the region’s second-largest casino, Resorts World Sentosa, is a quality destination for travelers seeking games of chance and other Vegas-esque diversions.

Sep142012

Travel Recommendation

Swiss Fountains

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

It may seem a little silly to fetishize fountains in Switzerland (which is not to say that one should take them seriously, as many are actively absurd and intentionally amusing), but when it’s hot out (especially if you have kids), they are a delightful way to cool off in a hurry.

First on my list of memorable fountains is the Kindlifresserbrunnen in Bern. Constructed in 1545, these statues feature 11 figures from history and folklore, proceeding along Marktgasse as it becomes Kramgasse and Gerechtigkeitsgass. The most memorable figure by far is that of a stone ogre devouring children (kids love it).

Sep132012

Travel Recommendation

The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem

Jerusalem

My Recommendation Tip

Israel is filled with several priceless monuments and locations equally as important to the worlds big three religions. One such location is the site where Jesus is said to have ascended to heaven: the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Given its name for the olive groves that once inhabited the area, the Mount of Olives is now an important historical destination that now includes the most important cemetery in the Jewish faith, holding approximately 150,000 tombstones now home to deceased rabbis, writers and politicians.

Photo courtesy of israeltourism via Flickr.

Sep112012

Travel Recommendation

Mooncake Festival

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Known elsewhere around the world as the Mid-Autumn Festival, Lantern Festival, or Zhongqiu Festival, the Mooncake Festival in Malaysia is a celebration of unity and familial harmony. With origins that are believed to be rooted in the tradition of making sacrifices to the Moon Goddess for a bountiful year’s end harvest, the modern incarnation offers a chance for revelers to savor extremely sweet mooncakes and share them with relatives, bosses, customers, friends, and newfound acquaintances in a display of generosity and inclusion.

Photo courtesy of Eyebags via Flickr.

Sep112012

Travel Recommendation

Jumeirah Beach Walk

Dubai

My Recommendation Tip

Jumeirah Beach: located roughly 25 minutes by car from the center of Dubai City, is a destination that features some of the best white sand beaches in the region, as well as panoramic views, waves, pools, parks, picnic spots and shower facilities. It is also a good place to take children, as the main swimming areas are carefully monitored by lifeguards.

Photo courtesy of ccharmon via Flickr.

Sep102012

Travel Recommendation

Slowing Down on Shamian Island

China

My Recommendation Tip

Tourists and expats looking to escape the oppressive congestion of Guangzhou (China’s third largest city) should turn their attention to Shamian Island. Once part of a Chinese concession to the French and English during the Opium Wars, the island is now a state-protected, well-preserved example of colonial architecture and urban planning.

Sep062012

Travel Recommendation

Bangkok Moon Festival

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Known elsewhere around the world as the Mid-Autumn Festival, Mooncake Festival, Lantern Festival or Zhongqiu Festival, the Bangkok Moon Festival is a celebration enjoyed by all; offering an opportunity to waltz into a gourmet market or bakery and sample the wide array of seasonally themed pastries. Regardless of your personal taste, there is a mooncake flavor to suit your desire, whether it’s coffee, prune, roasted chestnut, green tea or the more bizarre varieties like ham, ginseng, peanut butter and even ice cream. Luckily, these delicacies are so popular that they are available year round, so you’ll be able to sample them even if you miss out on the main event.

Photo courtesy of cumi and ciki via Flickr.

Sep052012

Travel Recommendation

Singapore F1 Grand Prix

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Among the FIA Formula One motor race locations, the Singapore Grand Prix rivals the most famous and well-established races, even the world famous event held at Monaco each year. The races are more popular in Europe and elsewhere than they are in the US, but American travelers who find themselves in Singapore during the month of September should make a point of taking in at least a passing glimpse of this extraordinary spectacle.

Photo courtesy of williamcho via Flickr.

Sep052012

Travel Recommendation

Climbing to the Top of the Peterskirche

Munich

My Recommendation Tip

Not for the faint of heart, the climb up the 302 steps that lead to the top of the main steeple at Peterskirche (one of the oldest and most notable churches in Munich’s center, also known as St. Peter’s Church) is worth every gasp and every strain.

Sep042012

Travel Recommendation

Brewery Tours in Salzburg

Salzburg

My Recommendation Tip

Salzburgs’s storied beer-brewing history is encapsulated in Europe’s largest privately owned brewery, the Stiegl Brauwelt, which has been honing the art of brewing since the year Columbus first made contact with the new world.

Aug312012

Travel Recommendation

Museums in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

My Recommendation Tip

Traveling in the bewildering capital of Malaysia can be confusing, and the abundance of museums and so-called “memorials” can be off-putting to visitors with a limited amount of time. The following four institutions are safe bets for the culturally inclined.

Aug312012

Travel Recommendation

Relaxing in Ticino, Swizterland

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

The region of Ticino in the south of Switzerland combines the punctuality, orderliness and attention to detail that are common among the Swiss with the physical beauty and relaxed pace of the Mediterranean.

Aug312012

Travel Recommendation

Shisha Cafes in Cairo

Cairo

My Recommendation Tip

For the uninitiated, shisha cafes are establishments geared toward the use of water pipes employed in smoking artisanal tobacco products.

Aug292012

Travel Recommendation

Communist History in Prague

Prague

My Recommendation Tip

Anybody from the Czech Republic will tell you that their communist past was amongst the most repressive of times for the country, and as a result, there are several monuments in the city of Prague serving as reminders to the ways of life and losses during that regime.

Aug282012

Travel Recommendation

Tips for Visiting Thailand's Golden Triangle

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

While the common perception of the Golden Triangle (which traditionally defined as covering northern Thailand, eastern Burma and the west-most portion of Laos) among travelers is that of a sense of danger on the off-beaten path, these days, those areas are filled with quaint and quite lovely sights.

Aug282012

Travel Recommendation

Zurich’s Best Parks and Gardens

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

As parks, gardens and green-spaces go, Zurich’s iconic lake is easily one of the city’s most pleasant and easily accessible incarnations.

Aug232012

Travel Recommendation

Athens International Film Festival

Athens

My Recommendation Tip

With all the recent economic difficulties around the world (understatement), you’d think cultural festivals and celebrations of artistic expression would be the first to go. Fortunately, this is not so. In fact, artistic endeavors like the Athens International Film Festival (AIFF) have dug in and flourished, creating jobs in local economies, opportunities for the reinforcement of international fraternity, and some much needed diversion for festival-goers and the residents of host cities.

Aug222012

Travel Recommendation

Sledding on Blomberg Mountain in Munich

Munich

My Recommendation Tip

Seventeen steep curves and 40 chicanes greet the lucky adventure-seeker at the summer bob run at Blomberg Mountain.

Aug212012

Travel Recommendation

Chinese Street Food at the Dong Hua Men Night Market

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

Adventurous foodies who find themselves in Beijing would be remiss to skip out on the Donghuamen Night Market, located at the northern end of the Wangfujing business district. Since 1984, stalls at the market have been opening up at nightfall to shock visitors with bizarre treats from both northern and southern China.

Aug212012

Travel Recommendation

Cairns’ Best Beaches

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

Cairns – often considered the jumping off point for the Great Barrier Reef – is a sensational destination in and of itself. The area is most famous for its beaches, locally known as the Cairns Northern Beaches.

Aug212012

Travel Recommendation

Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Located in the located in the Rattanakosin district of Bangkok, Wat Pho (or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is home to a gigantic, golden-and-glass-mosaic-ensconced figure of the Buddha in repose. It seems appropriate that this should be the reputed birthplace of the restorative art of Thai Massage.

Aug202012

Travel Recommendation

Singapore’s Geylang Neighborhood

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Running through Singapore’s central business district, the Geylang neighborhood is notorious as a red light district. That said, it is a good place to find cheap lodging and durian: a local fruit with distinctive odor and a sharp thorny husk that is unlike anything else you’re likely to have tried elsewhere.

Aug202012

Travel Recommendation

Cemetery of St. Marx in Austria

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) is one of the most famous in Europe (containing as it does a full two million more dead than Paris’s Père Lachaise), and the Jewish cemetery in Währing may be one of the most macabre (following the Holocaust, the grounds have fallen into such a disgraceful state of disrepair that you have to sign a liability waver just to enter the premises).

Aug172012

Travel Recommendation

Luxurious Udaipur in India

India

My Recommendation Tip

If India is a country marked in large part by the triad of poverty, democracy and extraordinary stratification, Udaipur represents the rarefied splendors enjoyed by the beneficiaries of the latter. Known as the “Venice of the East” and the “Kashmir of Rajasthan,” Udaipur beats all when it comes to fairytale palaces and opportunities for lakeside repose. Not for the lean of means, this city is deservedly considered one of the most beautiful and easily the most romantic cities in the subcontinent. That said, if you’re after budget travel and cheap accommodations, you may want to consider looking elsewhere.

Aug172012

Travel Recommendation

Things To Do in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

This tiny, historic village, nestled between the towering walls of a sheer-sided valley not far from Interlaken is famous first and foremost for the extraordinary waterfalls that surround it.

Aug162012

Travel Recommendation

What Not to Do in Israel

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Faux pas and lapses in etiquette are inevitable when visiting a foreign country, and even the most moderate expectations can leave us disappointed when we’re confronted with the reality that is not laid out in guidebooks. The list of things to avoid doing when visiting Israel is just as long as any possible list of recommendations, but the following are a few warnings and suggestions for visitors to the country.

Aug142012

Travel Recommendation

Best Cafés in Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

As with many European cities (but much better than most, as a rule), the café scene in Zurich is a tourist destination in and of itself.

Aug142012

Travel Recommendation

One Day in Dubai

Dubai

My Recommendation Tip

Dubai has become one of the world’s great business hubs and capitals. It is also a mind-boggling cornucopia of architectural marvels, aesthetic excess, superfluous wealth and luxury. This is definitely not an ideal destination for the budget-minded traveler, but whatever your net worth, there are more than enough affordable attractions to justify a day trip to Dubai City; particularly if you’re stopping over while en route to more affordable destinations on what is increasingly becoming a go-to itinerary in the region for the backpacking set.

Aug142012

Travel Recommendation

Climbing the Via Ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

The summit of Mount Kinabalu is one of the highest points in the Malay Archipelago, and it is famously easy to ascend. The typical route takes just a few days, and there are clearly marked paths, fixed ropes and stairs that make the journey feasible for anyone other than the very young, aged or infirm. There is also perfectly adequate, dormitory-style lodging roughly two-thirds of the way up the mountain. If you’re really looking for a challenge, however, and you’re not a seasoned climber, try tackling the summit “via ferrata” (Italian for “iron road”), a mountain route equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders and bridges that would otherwise only be accessible to experienced climbers.

Aug132012

Travel Recommendation

Dragon Boat Festivals in China

China

My Recommendation Tip

A typical spectacle throughout Asia, dragon boat racing is as enthralling as it sounds, as dozens of racers board these long boats and vie to see who is number one. Perhaps no dragon boating experience is more important than that of the traditional Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, which occurs on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month of the year.

Aug102012

Travel Recommendation

Bangkok: Bikes, Boats and Tuk Tuks

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Transportation in the bustling capital of Thailand is serious business. As a tourist, particularly if you’re on a budget, your options can be limited. Luckily, some of the cheapest and most affordable means of making your way around Bangkok are also the most popular and widely available. The following three methods come highly recommended.

Aug072012

Travel Recommendation

New Singapore Gardens by the Bay

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Situated in Singapore’s new downtown Marina Bay next to the Marina Reservoir, the Gardens by the Bay development consists of three separate waterfront gardens (Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central, respectively). The size and scope of the project is frankly astonishing. Altogether, Gardens spans more than 200 acres and represents the government’s effort to reimagine the city and create an iconic green space.

Aug072012

Travel Recommendation

Exploring the Mysterious Gorge of Tyrol in Austria

Austria

My Recommendation Tip

Among the many noteworthy activities and destinations in the picturesque state of Tyrol in Western Austria, the rushing gorge known as Zammer Lochputz in Zams is a great choice for nature lovers and travelers with children to entertain.

Aug062012

Travel Recommendation

How to Rent an Apartment in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Many travelers, aspiring transplants, expats, couples and even groups looking for something more authentic (and less expensive) than a hotel stay settle on the option of renting an apartment when visiting Thailand. It’s definitely doable, but it can be a little tricky for foreigners. The following are a facts that should help clarify your decision making process.

Aug032012

Travel Recommendation

Free Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

My Recommendation Tip

Kuala Lumpur is known as a city of modern tastes, including its vibrant shopping scene, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other great activities to occupy yourself with, especially if you are already a little shopped out or cash-strapped.

Aug022012

Travel Recommendation

Adventure Activities in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

The city-state of Singapore isn’t known as an adventure destination, but there’s plenty to do if you’re in search of a dose of adrenalin. The following suggestions should help to get you started.

Jul312012

Travel Recommendation

Swiss National Day

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

Some of the most exciting public gatherings in Switzerland are held in honor of Swiss National Day on August 1st.

Jul312012

Travel Recommendation

The Phi Phi Islands

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

The beaches on these small islands located a few hours from Phuket are as idyllic as it gets. It’s a busy place, to be sure, but if you aren’t bothered by crowds, the island has more than enough picturesque sights and pristine beaches to make up for the lack of solitude.

Jul312012

Travel Recommendation

The Art of Watchmaking

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

As any seasoned Zurich expert will tell you, the majority of the watches sold in the Switzerland’s largest city today are sadly manufactured abroad, primarily in China. Though most Migros watches, one of the better-known brands, are only Swiss in name, it is still possible to find strands of the Swiss watchmaking tradition in Zurich.

Jul262012

Travel Recommendation

Greece's Most Romantic Islands

Greece

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re looking for some uninterrupted time with your sweetheart, soaking up the beauty of the Greek Isles without the hassle of crowds, salespeople, and traffic, an uninhabited or partially uninhabited island is great way to go. Of the more than 6,000 Greek islands in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, only a few hundred are actually inhabited. The island of Farmakonisi is among the most famous of the uninhabited (Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates there during his youth, and he later had the entire population of the island crucified). Ferries do not stop there, but it isn’t difficult to hitch a ride on one of the countless pleasure cruisers that ply the surrounding waters. Take care to go well supplied.

Jul242012

Travel Recommendation

Romantic Things to Do in Cairns

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

Cairns is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef,” and it most certainly is. Most travel enthusiasts know something about the beautiful beaches, terrific diving opportunities and resorts. It’s also a great base for day trips and extended excursions into the surrounding rivers, streams and gorges that abound in the region.

Jul232012

Travel Recommendation

Overnight Train Travel in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Even if you have the means to arrange for other methods of transportation, riding the rails in Thailand is a truly memorable experience. If you want to get out of the cities and see a bit of country without too much in the way of hassle or expense, a multi-day train trip is just the thing.

Jul232012

Travel Recommendation

The Salzburg Festival in Austria

Salzburg

My Recommendation Tip

Owing to its status as the birthplace of the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg has been playing host to influential classical music and drama festivals for more than a century.

Jul202012

Travel Recommendation

Things to Do in Gimmelwald

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

The beautiful car-free mountain village and resort town of Gimmelwald is accessible only by cable-car or foot, and as you might imagine, this fact adds much to the already astonishing ambiance.

Jul202012

Travel Recommendation

Parks and Gardens in Vienna

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

As with many refined European cities, Vienna is rich with excellent parks and gardens.

Jul202012

Travel Recommendation

Life and Death on the Ganges in Varanasi

India

My Recommendation Tip

Though it may seem almost impossible to see all of India, and perhaps even more difficult to pick destinations when planning a trip, the city of Varanasi is worth adding to the short list. Considered one of India’s holiest cities by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains, this city in the state of Uttar Pradesh is beautifully situated on the River Ganges.

Jul202012

Travel Recommendation

Singapore’s National Day Parade

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Southeast Asia’s most distinctly modern city-state of Singapore commemorates the anniversary of its independence from Malaysia during the second week of August (National Day is August 9). The festivities include a massive parade, a rally featuring an address to the nation from the Prime Minister, and a profusion of firework extravaganzas.

Jul192012

Travel Recommendation

Budapest by Bike

Budapest

My Recommendation Tip

The many beautiful bridges that span the Danube (a total of 10) are best toured by bike, as is much of the rest of the city. Luckily, there are a number of reputable operations geared up to make just such a proposition possible.

Jul192012

Travel Recommendation

Hong Kong’s Best Markets

Hong Kong

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re visiting Hong Kong and have an appetite for shopping, the following suggestions should be helpful. The opportunities for consumption in the Pearl of the Orient are practically endless, but it pays to be discerning.

Jul182012

Travel Recommendation

Day Trips from Shanghai

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re seeking amusement in the greater Shanghai area, the following suggestions will help point you in the right direction.

Happy Valley Shanghai: Located roughly 25 miles from the downtown core, Happy Valley Shanghai is an amusement park of astonishing proportions.

Jul172012

Travel Recommendation

Zurich For Chocolate-Lovers

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

In addition to the traditional breads, cheeses and wines that are to be found in the city of Zurich, chocolate-lovers will delight in the multitude of factories, chocolatiers and specialty shops that call the heart of Switzerland home.

Jul172012

Travel Recommendation

Malaysia: Sabah’s Best Beaches

Sabah

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re traveling to the Malaysian state of Sabah, chances are it’s sun, surf and sand that you’re after. If you’re looking for something that’s a little less crowded than the more popular stretches of sand, Kelambu Beach is a good place to start. Less crowded than other destinations, Kelambu nonetheless offers ready access to speed boating, water skiing, swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear waters, and a white sand beach that is a perfect spot for family picnics.

Jul162012

Travel Recommendation

China: The Karsts of Yangshuo

China

My Recommendation Tip

Yangshuo County, near Guilin City in Guangxi Province, is one of the most famous scenic spots in southern China. More than 65,000 karst limestone towers are scattered along the Li River, attracting adventurous tourists, spelunkers, climbers, trekkers, abseiling enthusiasts and cyclists in increasing numbers with each passing year.

Jul122012

Travel Recommendation

Thai Massage in Bangkok

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Drawing inspiration and influence from the ancient Ayurvedic medical practices of India, Thai massage focuses on muscle flexibility and circulation by engaging in deep stretches and concentrating on pressure points. Visitors to the city of Bangkok may find themselves worn out by the city’s hustle and bustle. Luckily, if you’re looking to indulge a little and treat yourself to a Thai massage, Bangkok is replete with massage spas that vary in pricing. Here are a few suggestions for the uninitiated.

Jul122012

Travel Recommendation

Jewish History in Prague

Prague

My Recommendation Tip

The history of Jews in Prague is a vibrant and intermittently tragic one.

Jul112012

Travel Recommendation

Vienna’s Café Culture

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

Visitors to Vienna cannot experience true Viennese culture without participating in what has been officially named by UNESCO as “Intangible Cultural Heritage,” namely, Viennese café culture.

Jul102012

Travel Recommendation

Nightlife in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Unlike the second-largest casino in Singapore (where a stiff entry fee is levied against permanent residents and Singaporean citizens), the club scene is an excellent way to mingle with tourists and locals alike. The two most popular areas are Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, but the demand for new places to party is driving entrepreneurs into other parts of the city.

Jul102012

Travel Recommendation

Wine Tasting in Austria

Austria

My Recommendation Tip

Wine lovers traveling through Austria would be remiss to skip out on the beautiful, historic, Wachau Valley and all the grapes it has to offer.

Jul092012

Travel Recommendation

Thailand’s James Bond Island

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

If you pick your travel destinations either wholly or in part because of their status as iconic sites from cinema history (and why not?), then look no further than Phang Nga Bay. You may recognize the famous landmark in its harbor that made such a lasting impression on audiences in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun. Part of Ao Phang Nga National Park, the so-called “James Bond Island” (known locally as Ko Tapu or Nail Island) remains one of the most popular attractions on the country’s Andaman Sea coastline.

Jul062012

Travel Recommendation

The Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Attracting audiences in excess of 30,000 people annually, The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) in Sarawak is one of the largest music festivals in Malaysia. With a program that includes music workshops, cultural displays, craft displays, food stalls and main-stage evening concerts; RWMF is definitely not to be missed if you’re travelling in the region during the summer months.

Jul062012

Travel Recommendation

Exploring Gruyères, Home of the Famous Swiss Cheese

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

Situated amid the green, pre-Alpine foothills around Fribourg, the medieval town and castle known as Gruyères is justly an enormously popular tourist attraction and cultural site.

Jul052012

Travel Recommendation

Singapore Garden Festival

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

The Singapore Garden Festival is the first international garden show of its kind to bring such a wide array of flora under one roof in Southeast Asia. A trip to this event, like most ambitious public projects undertaken in the hypermodern city-state these days, is an affair to remember. If you’ve got a green thumb, or hope to develop one, be sure to make a visit to this festival in Singapore.

Jul052012

Travel Recommendation

Best Day Trips from Jerusalem

Jerusalem

My Recommendation Tip

While visiting Jerusalem, you’ll discover many tantalizing excursions both in and out of the city. The following come highly recommended.

Jericho: A short bus and/or “sherut” trip from Jerusalem will deliver you to the famous city of Jericho (“Joshua fought the battle of Jericho […] and the walls came tumbling down!”). The mosaic floor of the Shalom al Yisrael Synagogue (now the basement of a private residence) dates to the 6th century, and the Wadi Qelt Synagogue in the Jericho Royal Winter Palace complex is thought to be the oldest synagogue in the world. Not far off, the archaeological park and visitors center at the Qumaran cave complex marks the spot where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered during the middle of the last century.

Jul032012

Travel Recommendation

Thailand’s Most Beautiful Beaches

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Trying to pick the best beaches in Thailand is like nominating candidates for the most beautiful tulip in the Netherlands. Some destinations, however, stand out as obvious contenders. The following are three of the best.

Jul022012

Travel Recommendation

Beijing and Shanghai by Bike or by Foot

China

My Recommendation Tip

China’s great cities are so massive and imposing that it can be somewhat daunting to tackle them on your own as a newcomer. Private tours offer a great opportunity to get to know these destinations on a more intimate level. The following are a few examples of some of the better itineraries that are currently available.

Jun262012

Travel Recommendation

The Olympic Green in Beijing

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

Constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Olympic Green in Beijing is a massive park containing ten distinctive facilities for sports as various as handball, hockey, soccer, and archery.

Jun252012

Travel Recommendation

Discover Chiang Rai: Things To Do

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Surely one of the gems of northern Thailand, Chiang Rai is a stunning destination for travelers looking for a relaxing time in a relatively small town of just over 60,000 people, full of wonderful Buddhist temples and delightful greenery.

Jun252012

Travel Recommendation

The Bregenz Festival in Austria

Austria

My Recommendation Tip

Easily the biggest annual event in the capital of the westernmost state in Austria, the Bregenzer Festspiele, or Bregenz Festival, features performances of famous operas on the largest floating stage in the world.

Jun222012

Travel Recommendation

India: Cruising the Backwaters of Kerala

India

My Recommendation Tip

Situated on the southwestern tip of India, Kerala is home to a population of more than 30 million people (predominantly Malayali). Widely considered the cleanest and least corrupt state in the country, the region is a very popular tourist destination for locals and international travelers alike.

Jun222012

Travel Recommendation

Singapore: Animal Encounters

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

There’s more to Singapore than just the shopping! The international hub also boasts a wealth of natural attractions including one-of-a-kind animal encounters on Sentosa.

Jun222012

Travel Recommendation

Things to Do in Interlaken

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

Situated between Lake Brienzsee and Lake Thun, the small and aptly-named city of Interlaken features a surprisingly large number of sights and activities worth exploring. The following come highly recommended.

Jun212012

Travel Recommendation

Wine Tasting in and Around Budapest

Budapest

My Recommendation Tip

There aren’t any noteworthy vineyards in Budapest, but there are plenty of opportunities to sample domestic and foreign wines at a number fantastic locations. The following are a few of the best.

La Boutique des Vins. To sample some of the very finest varietals produced in the Villány wine region, look no further than this excellent show room owned by the famous Malatinszky Kúria group

Jun212012

Travel Recommendation

Hong Kong’s Happy Valley Jockey Club

Hong Kong

My Recommendation Tip

Surrounded by Wong Nai Chung Road and Morrison Hill Road, Happy Valley Racecourse is one of just two significant racing facilities in Hong Kong. Built in 1845, the facility houses areas dedicated to soccer, hockey and rugby, and also includes a world-class racetrack.

Jun202012

Travel Recommendation

Shanghai Animation and Comics Museum

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

Certainly one of the more interesting (if not strangest) museums in Shanghai, the Animation and Comics Museum is a load of fun for both children and adults. The three-story museum in Pudong is a fully interactive experience, complete with a 3D movie theater and a center for you and the little ones to create your own animated mini-film.

Jun192012

Travel Recommendation

Rehabilitating Orangutans in Sabah

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Established in 1964, the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre is dedicated to the protection of orphaned baby orangutans from logging sites, plantations, illegal hunting operations and private trade. Trained and rehabilitated in the hope of reintroduction into the wild, these wonderful animals are not meant to just be tourist attractions, but they do tend to draw a crowd.

Jun192012

Travel Recommendation

Free Museums in Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Passing the day in the air of a good museum is a joy known to travelers everywhere.

Jun182012

Travel Recommendation

Top 5 Most Beautiful Lakes in China

China

My Recommendation Tip

If you find yourself on a large-scale tour of China, one of the most intriguing things you can do is explore its endless natural beauty. Its world-renowned lakes are a good place to start, so we’ve listed our picks for China’s top 5 most beautiful lakes.

Jun142012

Travel Recommendation

Rooftop Bars in Bangkok

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

For a little taste of class in one of Asia’s largest and most recognized cityscapes, Bangkok has a number of swanky and impressive rooftop venues where you can enjoy a fine drink in a great setting. Take in views of the sprawling megalopolis from an eagle-eye perspective from one of our top choices for rooftop bars in Bangkok (in no particular order).

Jun122012

Travel Recommendation

Shopping on Singapore’s Haji Lane

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Those in the know may try to keep this secret to themselves, but word is out about the number one shopping destination in Singapore – and it isn’t Orchard Road!

Jun122012

Travel Recommendation

Exploring Austria’s Lake District

Austria

My Recommendation Tip

Austria’s Lake district, known officially as Salzkammergut is one of the best places in the country to go for a relaxing weekend in the presence of an unforgettable landscape and beautiful traditional Austrian infrastructure.

Jun112012

Travel Recommendation

The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Chiang Mai may not have the same reputation for shopping as other major cities in Thailand, such as Bangkok, but the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is nothing to scoff at. Sharpen up on your bargaining skills because there are lots of terrific deals to be had on anything from shirts to handicrafts to toys – a little something for everybody.

Jun082012

Travel Recommendation

Jungfraujoch in Switzerland

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

At well over 11,000 feet, the train station known as the Jungfraujoch is the highest station of its kind in Europe.

Jun082012

Travel Recommendation

Taking In Malaysia’s KL Tower

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Along with the nearby Petronas Towers, the Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower) dominates the city’s skyline and attracts droves of tourists annually. Completed in 1995, the tower is the seventh-tallest telecommunication tower in the world.

Jun072012

Travel Recommendation

Free Things to Do in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

As a major shopping hub of Asia, Singapore certainly has its fair share of expensive activities; but did you know that it is also rich in cultural activities that do not cost a single Singaporean dollar?

Jun062012

Travel Recommendation

Walking from Pohořelec to Malá Strana

Prague

My Recommendation Tip

One of the simplest and most rewarding ways to tour some of the many stunningly beautiful sights in Prague is to take a stroll from the top of Hradčany (the Castle District) down to Malá Strana (Lesser Town) and across Charles Bridge.

Jun062012

Travel Recommendation

July in Japan: Traditional Annual Events

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

Attendance at one or more of the many cultural and religious events and festivals that take place in Japan throughout the year can make your visit to the country particularly memorable. The following is a sampling of what’s available during the month of July.

Jun052012

Travel Recommendation

Shopping on the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Running from Zurich’s main train station (Hauptbahnhof) right down to the lake, the Bahnhofstrasse is arguably the best place to shop anywhere in Switzerland.

Jun052012

Travel Recommendation

Riding an Elephant in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Though many foreigners traveling in Thailand have misgivings about the ethics of riding elephants or attending elephant shows, it’s important to note that Thais have been living and working in close quarters with them for thousands of years. Mahouts (traditional elephant trainers) have evolved a reverent and conscientious approach to establishing a mutually-beneficial relationship with the massive creatures. Owing to the fact that elephant and human life spans are so similar, many mahouts and their wards establish lifelong bonds.

Jun042012

Travel Recommendation

Giant Panda Encounters in China

China

My Recommendation Tip

If China is synonymous with anything it has got to be the giant panda. Cute as a button yet also a large and sometimes intimidating creature, the panda, a native to the country, has to be one of the more intriguing creatures roaming the Earth, and here in China there are plenty of places to catch a glimpse.

Jun012012

Travel Recommendation

One Day in Athens

Athens

My Recommendation Tip

Simultaneously one of the most intimidating and rewarding destinations in all of the Mediterranean, Athens is one place where it really pays for tourists to do a little advance research (particularly if your visit is going to be a brief one). Wander into the City of the Violet Crown (or City of Angry Greeks, as it is known by others) without plotting your course ahead of time, and you’re likely to end up overheated, worn out, ticked off, and light in the wallet. Happily, the number of opportunities for rewarding sightseeing and exposure to history, culture, and entertainment is staggeringly numerous.

May302012

Travel Recommendation

Cairns Day-Trip to the Great Barrier Reef

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

This may be a bit obvious when out in stunning Cairns, but you must, must, must take at least one day-trip to the Great Barrier Reef! Here you can engage in snorkeling or just lay out on the white sandy beaches and catch a tan in the balmy tropical climate. Luckily, there are more than a handful of tour groups to show you around and even take you scuba diving in the Reef without even as little as a license. Once you’ve taken an introductory diving course and want seconds, there are intermediate and certified diving options (both day and night) that will give you the chance to fully explore this great reef.

May292012

Travel Recommendation

Getting to know traditional Thai Cuisine

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Most of us are already fans of Thai food, but traveling to Thailand and sampling the real deal is likely to make you a lifelong devotee. One excellent way to expose yourself to the basics of Thai cuisine is to avail yourself of one of the many Thai cooking school classes designed for travelers looking to learn the ins and outs of Thai cooking in a condensed amount of time.

May292012

Travel Recommendation

Hiking Ideas in Austria

Austria

My Recommendation Tip

The possibilities for hiking in Austria are as numerous and they are diverse. Whether its spontaneous trekking in the Alps amid the network of well-marked trails, or a day trip out of Vienna, Salzburg, and other destinations, the country is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. The following are just a few of the countless ways to make the most of what’s available.

May252012

Travel Recommendation

Exploring Jaisalmer Fort in India

India

My Recommendation Tip

Home to the last “living fort” in India, Jaisalmer is an excellent jumping off point for desert safaris heading out into the Thar Desert and other camel-based excursions.

May242012

Travel Recommendation

Free Things to Do in Budapest

Budapest

My Recommendation Tip

Budapest has long been a proud cultural staple of Europe, and these days, you would be pressed not to find at least some arts and music events to attend around the city.

May242012

Travel Recommendation

Travel the Via Dolorosa

Jerusalem

My Recommendation Tip

In attempting a journey along the Via Dolorosa (or the Stations of the Cross, as Catholics describe it), it is important to get your priorities in order. Depending on the nature of your visit, a stroll along the route that Jesus is believed to have trudged laden with his cross to the place of his crucifixion is best undertaken in a variety of ways, and at different times.

If you’re chiefly interested in observing the architecture, culture, and general hustle and bustle of the Old City of Jerusalem, virtually any time during business hours will do. Just be aware that the streets are clogged with sightseers, pilgrims, monks, nuns, and local residents hoping to capitalize on the monetary benefits of the tourist trade.

May232012

Travel Recommendation

Shanghai’s Happy Valley Amusement Park

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

Located roughly 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) from downtown Shanghai, Happy Valley Shanghai is an amusement park of epic proportions. Designed to service the most populace city in China, the grounds sprawl over more than 200 acres. Over 100 attractions are housed in seven themed zones (Sunshine Beach, Happy Times, Typhoon Bay, Gold Mine Town, Ant Kingdom, Shanghai Beach and Shangri-la Woods).

May232012

Travel Recommendation

Mozart Sights in Vienna, Austria

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart came to prominence early on in Vienna and lived and composed there for much of his life.

May222012

Travel Recommendation

Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Although the city of Kota Kinabalu and the surrounding region has been growing in popularity with native and foreign tourists for many years, it remains far enough off the beaten track to escape the notice of many travelers planning a trip to Malaysia. Don’t allow yourself to be counted among their number.

May222012

Travel Recommendation

June in Japan: Traditional Annual Events

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

Travel in Japan is considerably enriched by attending one or more of the many cultural and religious events and festivals that take place throughout the year. The following is a sampling of what’s available during the month of June.

May222012

Travel Recommendation

Heidiland: Heidi Attractions Near Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

The tours and tourist destinations in the Bündner Herrschaft area are known collectively as Heidiland, travelers with children and/or the young at heart won’t want to miss the pleasures of one of the many guided day trips that are based out of Zurich.

May212012

Travel Recommendation

Zhouzhuang: the Venice of China

China

My Recommendation Tip

A day trip to Zhouzhuang (located less than 20 miles [32.2 kilometers] from Suzhou) is an advisable activity for anyone who travels to the region in search of canals and other related Chinese architectural marvels. The profusion of beautiful bridges, canals, temples and pavilions that are perched above the water are definitely a sight to be seen.

May172012

Travel Recommendation

Bangkok's Most Beautiful Temples

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Of the very many beautiful temples in Thailand’s capital city, two stand out as far and away the most enigmatic and worth visiting. If you have a limited amount of time in the city and need to prioritize, look no further than Wat Arun and Wat Phra Kaeo.

May152012

Travel Recommendation

How to Get Around Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

As one of the most prosperous and modern countries in the world, finding your way around Singapore is not much of a problem. It is also affordable and therefore there is little need for extravagance in hiring your own car, unless you want to of course.

May152012

Travel Recommendation

The Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

If Vienna was not beautiful enough on its own merits, take it to a new level with the classy and wondrous Spanische Hofreitschule, better known as the Spanish Riding School.

May142012

Travel Recommendation

Experience Koh Samet: Thailand’s Magic Crystal Island

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

The underappreciated island of Koh Samet is located off the east coast of Thailand, approximately 150 miles (241.4 kilometers) southeast of Bangkok. While popular with vacationing Thais, Koh Samet (known colloquially as Magic Crystal Island) has escaped the excessive construction that has plagued islands like Koh Samui or even Koh Chang. There are plenty of accommodations and places to eat on the island, but the aesthetic remains dominated by white-sand beaches rather than by the byproducts of tourism.

May112012

Travel Recommendation

Hiking the Simplon Pass in Switzerland

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

Wending its way through the Alps between the villages of Brig and Valais, the Simplon Pass is home to stunning mountain views and historical structures offering both public and private residences.

May112012

Travel Recommendation

How to Get Around Penang

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Penang is a lovely place filled to the brim with diverse cultural landmarks from its many inhabitants. Chinese, Indian, Malaysian or British, Penang’s history stands strong on each corner and is easily accessible via a very visitor-friendly public transportation system composed of comfortable and sizable buses.

May102012

Travel Recommendation

Evergreen Mountain

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Often referred to as the “evergreen mountain”, Mount Carmel is actually more of a mountain range than a single peak. Though it is decidedly lacking in altitude (its summit is a mere 1,724 feet above sea level), this verdant geological feature is 24 miles in length, 5 miles across at its widest point, and home to a variety of oak and pine stands and olive groves, as well as more than 600 other species of flora and fauna that flourish in the region thanks to the near constant sunshine paired with high levels of precipitation. This all makes it one of the prettiest places to hike in Israel.

May102012

Travel Recommendation

Annual Festivals in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Any trip to Singapore should take the many festivals and festivities that take place in the city into consideration. The following is a list of the most popular and widely attended events.

May082012

Travel Recommendation

Three Free Things to Do in Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Zurich is rich in culture and natural beauty, but if there is one thing Zurich generally is not, is a low-cost affair.

May082012

Travel Recommendation

Border Crossing Tips: From Thailand to its Neighboring Countries

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

There are dozens of physical border crossings from Thailand into Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Laos; each with their own distinct charms, characteristics and potential complications.

May082012

Travel Recommendation

Running a Marathon on the Great Wall of China

China

My Recommendation Tip

It is one thing to aspire to taking a hike to the Great Wall of China, it is quite another to run a full on marathon across it. For those looking to do a little traveling, but also put that physique to the test, this is definitely the opportunity to do it. Starting on May 15, you can choose to run in many types of races including the full- and half-marathon, as part of a larger tour of the wall and Beijing.

May032012

Travel Recommendation

Meteora Rock-Tower Monasteries

Greece

My Recommendation Tip

One of the absolutely spectacular adventures in pursuing Greece’s vast and historical landmarks, the monasteries atop the rock-towers of Meteora is sure to impress. Located in Thessaly in central Greece, a hike to the top of the rock-towers gets you to some of the most important Orthodox structures in the country, the 24 monasteries of the Meteora.

Of the largest of the six monasteries, the Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron, built in the 14th century, is the largest and now serves as a terrific museum surrounded by decorations now more than 500 years old.

May022012

Travel Recommendation

Bali's Blanjong Pillar

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

Bali’s oldest known artifact is a small stone pillar housed in Blanjong Temple at Jl Danau Poso in the town of Sanur. Sound underwhelming? It isn’t. At least, not in terms of its historical significance. An inscription on the pillar tells the tale of a Javanese king who visited Bali in the 10th century and installed what was probably Bali's first formal government. The amazing things is that, unlike the gospels or other ancient recollections of historical events, this account seems to have been inscribed by primary participants at the time the events took place. The temple itself is the most important temple in the area, and there are a number of other ancient artifacts for you to peruse and wonder at as well.

If the pillar alone isn’t reason enough to attract your attention, the pleasures of greater Sanur should augment your enthusiasm. Sanur has an assortment of spas, resorts, and other tourist attractions. The Museum Le Mayeur is worth visiting if you find yourself in the area. It houses more than 90 paintings by the Belgian artist Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpes, as well as a guidebook in English and a collection of historical photographs. If you’re looking to stretch your legs after communing with history and art, take a stroll along one of two boardwalks that wind through the 1,500-acre mangrove forest on the edge of Sanur that is known as Suwung Kauh. It is also worth pointing out that the swimming at the main beach is great for children, as a protective coral reef just offshore reduces the size and force of the waves.

May012012

Travel Recommendation

3 Popular Sports in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

As is well known, rock climbing, cliff jumping, swimming, snorkeling, spelunking, trekking, kayaking, scuba diving and countless other sporting activities are all popular in different parts of Thailand. The following is a short course on some of the most prestigious pursuits that newcomers to the country might be either unfamiliar with or unaware of the opportunities that exist for them in Thailand.

May012012

Travel Recommendation

Riding the Kuranda Scenic Railway

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

One of the great rides of Cairns, the Kuranda Scenic Railway is a relaxing and most impressive way to experience the history and beauty of the area.

Apr302012

Travel Recommendation

Sound of Music Sights in Austria

Salzburg

My Recommendation Tip

The Sound of Music is the seminal Julie Andrews musical that set the hills alive with music on this amazing adventure in Salzburg.

Apr272012

Travel Recommendation

Singapore’s Best Islands

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

The pleasures of island hopping amid Singapore’s southern islands are just the thing for travelers seeking beautiful sunsets, nature reserves, temples, bungalows and beaches. The following are a few of the finer points of call among the more than 50 islands that make up the country.

Apr272012

Travel Recommendation

How to Get Around Mumbai

Mumbai

My Recommendation Tip

As with India’s other major metropolises, Mumbai is often swarming with traffic and moving around can be a lengthy if not a tedious process. The good news is that there are several modes of transportation that will get you where you need to go. Locals in Mumbai heavily depend on public transportation since convenient parking spaces are far and few, so getting around might be a little less scenic and a little more crowded than desired.

Apr272012

Travel Recommendation

First 3 Things to See in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

My Recommendation Tip

Just getting into Tel Aviv, Israel’s second most populace city, is an experience in and of itself — the airport is one of the most secure in the world, with all the searches, delays, and inspections that goes along with that — but it’s definitely worth the effort. Among the most interesting sights in the city are the numerous opportunities for indulging in shopping, architectural ingenuity, and restorative port-side refreshments and views. The following suggestions should help get you started.

Apr262012

Travel Recommendation

Strolling from Roosevelt to Liberty

Budapest

My Recommendation Tip

Situated at the foot of the beautiful Chain Bridge, Roosevelt Square (named in honor of the former American president in 1947, and recently renamed in honor of Széchenyi István) offers some of the best views of Castle Hill in Pest.

Apr252012

Travel Recommendation

Shanghai’s Yuyuan Gardens

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

Have you ever shopped until you’ve dropped and could quite possibly implode at the site of another market place full of millions of items you want but can’t pack with you? Then it’s time for you to hit up Shanghai’s Yuyuan Gardens for a bit of rest and relaxation.

Apr252012

Travel Recommendation

Grabbing in Graben

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

Graben (German for “ditch”) is a famous street in central Vienna that is one of the most popular and alluring shopping areas in Europe.

Apr242012

Travel Recommendation

Adventure and Solitude on Malaysia’s Mount Trus Madi

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

While the popular Mount Kinabalu is the highest point in the Malay Archipelago, Mount Trus Madi poses a considerably more serious challenge to trekkers looking for a memorable climbing experience. Though located roughly 25 miles southeast of its taller and more high-profile sister peak, Trus Madi is a great place to take in dawn views of Kinabalu and the surrounding region.

Apr232012

Travel Recommendation

China’s Suzhou Canals

China

My Recommendation Tip

The city of Suzhou in Eastern China is one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting the world’s most-populous country. Among the most magnetic draws is the ancient system of canals in the area.

Apr192012

Travel Recommendation

Festival Calendar in Bangkok

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Thailand’s capital city is teeming with cultural activities and interesting events. Even if you show up in Bangkok and strike out on your own in pretty much any direction, you’re likely to happen upon something that will entertain you. However, the experienced traveler knows that preparation is your watchword. The following annual events should help you select the ideal time to plan your visit.

Apr172012

Travel Recommendation

How to Dine at Singapore’s Hawker Centers

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Singapore’s hawker centers (collections of independently owned and operated food stalls) are justifiably famous. It is practically a cliché for visitors to tout these cheap, abundant, vibrant, and eclectic assemblages of eateries as some of the very best phenomena that the region has to offer. Whether it’s a cliché or not, it’s certainly true. While Singapore is one of the most expensive travel destinations in Southeast Asia, the high cost of goods and services can be offset considerably by treating yourself to a steady diet of Chinese-influenced and other pan-Asian dishes featuring: grilled, roasted, barbecued, and steamed meats, chilies, fermented shrimp paste and other exotic condiments, and mountains of noodles. The majority of these dishes are available around the city for as little five dollars.

Apr162012

Travel Recommendation

St. Philip's Night in Austria

Salzburg

My Recommendation Tip

For those of you who are not familiar with the occasion, St. Philip’s Night, or “Philippinacht” is one of the more interesting traditions in Europe.

Apr162012

Travel Recommendation

Top Travel Tips for Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Beautiful, exotic, affordable, and accessible: Thailand is the preferred travel destination for millions of people from all over the world. Travelers new to the country may find certain aspects of daily life in the Southeast Asian country surprising (both pleasantly and unpleasantly). Here are a few tips to help you acclimate and make the most of your visit.

Apr132012

Travel Recommendation

Jonker Night Market in Malaysia

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Although it’s the capital of the third-smallest state in Malaysia, Malacca has been a regional destination of choice for foreign visitors since its founding in the 15th century. Intermittently bustling and sleepy, the city has a distinctive vibe that is all its own. Among the most popular tourist activities in the area are sightseeing strolls around the Porta de Santiago and up the steep steps to St. Paul’s Church, as well as evenings spent drinking and listening to live music at the aptly-named Honky Tonk Haven.

Apr132012

Travel Recommendation

Traveling by Train in Switzerland

Geneva

My Recommendation Tip

The public transport system in Switzerland is one of the great added perks of visiting the country.

Apr122012

Travel Recommendation

Visit the White City

Tel Aviv

My Recommendation Tip

The largest single gathering of Bauhaus and/or International-style architecture in the world, the so-called “White City” neighborhood in Tel Aviv earned UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 2003. It’s easy to see why. Located in the heart of the modern city, the neighborhood consists of more than a thousand square white buildings with rounded terraces and pillars, and austere, geometrical roof-lines and facades intended to complement each other in a sort of muted, asymmetrical interplay.

Apr122012

Travel Recommendation

Singapore Flyer – the World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Perhaps Singapore’s best known attraction: the Singapore Flyer. Standing at 165 meters (540 feet) it is the world’s largest observation wheel and a wonderful way to become acquainted with Singapore’s amazing landscape. Enjoy a full 360-degree, panoramic view of one of Asia’s most triumphant cities for one of the best opportunities to take a great photo of the town.

Apr112012

Travel Recommendation

Literary Prague

Prague

My Recommendation Tip

The Czech Republic’s magical capital city has a small but vibrant English-language literary scene.

Apr102012

Travel Recommendation

Celebrating the Thai New Year with Songkran

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

The Songkran Festival that coincides annually with the Thai New Year is, among other things, a no holds barred water fight that has left many an unsuspecting tourist scrambling to find a towel. Traditionally, young Thais have long celebrated the lunar new year by seeking the blessing of their elders by pouring scented water over their hands (and bathing images of the Buddha), after which all bets are off and a good-natured aquatic battle ensues.

Apr052012

Travel Recommendation

Stress-free Guide to Visiting Athens

Athens

My Recommendation Tip

Sure, Athens is home to the Acropolis and many other exciting and significant sites and attractions, but let’s be honest: It’s hot (particularly during the high season), it’s dirty, and it’s expensive. I typically advise first time visitors to Greece to hit the Acropolis (at least once), and then hurry to other more enjoyable destinations on the mainland, or, even better, for Piraeus, and the many magnificent islands and island chains beyond. However, there is much to see and do in the ancient metropolis. If you decide to make a go of it, the following tips and suggestions should help you make the most of your time in the ancient metropolis.

Apr052012

Travel Recommendation

Golfing in Bali

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

The list of quality golf courses in Bali is a notoriously short one, but it’s a prestigious one nonetheless. It’s true that the majority of courses are either exclusive country clubs or affiliated with luxury resorts or both. In other words, it’s not a pursuit for enthusiasts on a budget, but if you can afford it, hitting the links in the sun is well worth the expense. The following are the best that the Indonesian island destination has to offer.

1). Club Nusa Dua. For golfers just off the plane, the Nusa Dua golf course at the Bali Golf and Country Club in an obvious choice. Thanks to its close proximity to the island’s main airport, you’ll be basking in the glow of the sun reflecting off the Indian Ocean and gazing at Mount Agung in no time.

2). Handara Kosaido. Located at little further afield than Nusa Dua (approximately two hours by car from the airport, and roughly an hour from Ubud), Bali Handara combines the pleasures of relaxing in the mountains of Bedulga with a world class course designed by Peter Thompson and Michael Wolferidge.

3). Nirawana. Owned and maintained by the world's largest sports marketing and management company, Nirawana is another opportunity to stretch your legs and test your skills within view of the ocean (one hole even requires competitors to pitch across an ocean inlet). A full 18 holes will set you back nearly $200, or you can opt for a cheaper (and shorter) sunset session starting at 4 p.m. daily.

Apr032012

Travel Recommendation

White Water Rafting in Cairns

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

Though it’s known as the “Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef,” the Australian city of Cairns is also a great base for day trips and extended excursions into the surrounding rainforest, parks, rivers, streams and gorges. One of the most exciting ways to explore the interior is via a Cairns white water rafting tour.

Apr032012

Travel Recommendation

When and Where to Sail in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

One of the best ways to enjoy the hot / dry season that reigns in Thailand from March to May is amid the water, beaches, and trade winds on the deck of a sailboat off the coastlines of the various islands and island groups in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Though they were once activities reserved exclusively for the rich, yachting and chartered cruises are now within the reach of the average traveler (not the backpacker crowd, say, but ‘budget motel’ and above).

Apr022012

Travel Recommendation

Top Annual Spring Events in Vienna

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

Austria’s capital city is nearly always bustling with cultural activity. Whether it’s because of the famous Vienna International Film Festival (October 20-November 2), which attracts more than 90,000 cineastes to the city every year, or any of the other theatre, music, food, film, and holiday festivals that take place annually, it’s well worth checking the calendar before visiting Vienna. For travelers with impending travel plans, the following events should prove of particular interest.

Mar292012

Travel Recommendation

Balinese Butterfly Park - Taman Kupu Kupu

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

For travelers accompanied by children (or those simply possessed of a
childlike sense of wonder), the Taman Kupu Kupu (Balinese Butterfly
Park) is an enchanting option for a day trip from Tabanan in the West
of the island. Upon entering the net-covered gardens at Wanasari on
the road to Penebel, visitors are immediately confronted with
thousands of vibrantly colored and brilliantly patterned butterflies
of various species, fluttering around you in a mesmerizing flurry.

Mar292012

Travel Recommendation

Lake Activities in Switzerland

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

Switzerland is known for breathtaking views, and Lake Hallwil and its surrounds have a lot to offer tourists looking to soak up some stunning scenery, Swiss culture, and recreation at prices that can be relatively affordable. Zoning restrictions have prevented construction along the banks of the lake, leaving it, and the lovely countryside around it, unmarred by entrepreneurs more interested in turning a profit than preserving the views. Many couples in search of a romantic setting come to Meisterschwanden on the lake's eastern shore for no other reason than to take in the sunset. That said, there is a great deal more to do and see in and around the lake. The following are a few that come highly recommended.

Mar292012

Travel Recommendation

Masada Ruins

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Easily the most iconic historic site in Israel, the ruined stronghold known simply as Masada is located atop an isolated pinnacle of rock overlooking the Dead Sea at the western end of the Judean Desert. It’s easy to grasp the Israeli attachment to the legend and historicity of this incredible destination. There can be no better metaphor for, or signifier of the hopes and intentions of generations of Jews to exist and persist with a degree of security and sovereignty in the holy land than the very place where their ancestors made a last stand against Roman oppression so long ago.

Mar292012

Travel Recommendation

Soviet Statue Park

Budapest

My Recommendation Tip

Like many denizens of former Soviet satellites, the citizens of Hungary were anxious to bring down the figurative symbols of communist rule as well as their military and political apparatus after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Unlike other recently liberated populaces, however, Hungarians stole their former overlords’ symbolic thunder by removing, relocating, and re-appropriating the many statues, sculptures and public art installations depicting Soviet leaders, mythology, and propagandistic slogans that once littered the fair city of Budapest.

Mar282012

Travel Recommendation

English-language Live Theatre in Vienna

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

The state of English-language live theatre in Vienna is and has historically been very strong indeed. As with most big cities, there is a profusion of impromptu, independent, and experimental theatrical productions playing at various times throughout the year in the Austrian capital, but the two main players are Vienna’s English Theatre (VET) and the International Theatre Vienna (IT). The former is the oldest and most established English-language theatre in continental Europe and the latter, while smaller and decidedly less prestigious, is well respected in theatrical circles and has been mounting full-scale productions since 1974.

Mar282012

Travel Recommendation

Beijing Day Trips to the Great Wall of China

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

No visit to China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall of China. Luckily, just such an achievement is an easy hop, step and a jump from beautiful Beijing in China’s north. The best way to see this world-famous site is to jump on a Great Wall guided tour.

Mar282012

Travel Recommendation

Cairns Outback: Explore the Depths of the Chillagoe Caves

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

Danger, adventure, and raw beauty abound in the great Down Under and naturally, no visit is complete without experiencing first hand one of the greatest wonders of the world – the Great Barrier Reef. However, all the surf and sand can send you a little salty, so why not step away from the beach and step into the nearby outback in Cairns, Northern Queensland.

Mar272012

Travel Recommendation

Top 4 Attractions in Chiang Rai

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

The northernmost province in Thailand, Chiang Rai, has much to offer. The following is a list of Chiang Rai’s top 4 attractions to help you start exploring this intriguing area.

Mar272012

Travel Recommendation

Lounging in the Letten Neighborhood of Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Situated along the banks of the northern stretch of the River Limmat in Zurich, the area known as Letten is currently flourishing after years of rampant crime, drug use, homelessness, and destitution. Once a virtual open market for drugs sales and use (as well as a semi-permanent dwelling) for addicts and criminals from all over Switzerland and indeed the rest of Europe, Letten has been the beneficiary of public works projects and spirited efforts at drug intervention and treatment. The results have been so successful that you likely wouldn’t guess at its troubled past.

Mar262012

Travel Recommendation

2012 Peach Blossom Festival in Shanghai

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

As with previous years, the 2012 Peach Blossom Festival will be held daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from late March to early April (March 25-April 20) at the Nanhui Peach Blossom Village in Shanghai. The peach blossom has long been considered a symbol of life, prosperity, and luck in love by the Chinese; and this festival is as much a local celebration of the aforementioned bloom as it is an opportunity to introduce newcomers and tourists to its beauty and significance.

Mar232012

Travel Recommendation

Wildlife at India’s Chilka Lake

India

My Recommendation Tip

As the second-largest coastal lagoon in the world, Chilka Lake is very wide and very shallow. With a depth of just 14 feet at its deepest point, Chilka is, among other things, an ideal stopping-off point for many species of migratory birds. Fans of flamingos and the more than 150 other species of aquatic and semi-aquatic birds will revel in this unrivaled opportunity to observe mind-bogglingly large flocks throughout the area.

Mar232012

Travel Recommendation

Swim, Ski and Soak in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

While not as established (or as cheap) as other spa destinations in Southeast Asia (Thailand and Indonesia, for example), the Singaporean spa scene is definitely up-and-coming. There are virtually no traditional, Asian-styled spas in the city-state. The order of the day is hip, inventive, and new age, with everything from Ayurveda to green tea hydrotherapy. If you can afford to treat yourself at one of Singapore’s better hotels, you won’t be disappointed.

Mar222012

Travel Recommendation

Things to do in Gythio

Greece

My Recommendation Tip

Situated in the southern Peloponnese, the port city of Gythio is the largest and most important city in the region (with a population of just under 8,000). It is also one of the most pleasant. Gythio’s long history has been, shall we say, seismic. Originally the main seaport of Sparta (which is located roughly 25 miles to the north), the majority of the port was completely destroyed in a massive earthquake in the 4th century. Sizable portions of the ruins of ancient Gythio are submerged in the Laconian Gulf. Since that time is has gone through intermittent periods of growth and almost total abandonment.

Mar212012

Travel Recommendation

Shanghai’s Top 2 Beaches

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

Strictly speaking, residents and tourists trapped in Shanghai during the hotter months are more or less limited to nearby Jinshan City Beach if they are looking to beat the heat by gaining access to nearby sand and surf.

Mar202012

Travel Recommendation

Top 3 National Parks in Austria

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

The powers that be generally designate national recreation areas or areas of significance for good reasons, and this certainly holds true in Austria. The country’s parks are great places to enjoy the outdoors and revel in the splendors of the natural world. The following should help the uninitiated begin to familiarize themselves with some of the better scenic areas in the country.

1) Hohe Tauern

Hohe Tauern National Park covers an area of nearly 700 square miles, making it far and away the largest of its kind in central Europe. The region features pristine evergreen forests, alpine meadows, striking rock faces, cliffs, peaks, and glacial ice fields and floes. On the northern edge of the park is the spa town of Bad Gastein, which dates back to the 15th century, and recently played host to the snowboarding and boarder-cross world cup.

Mar162012

Travel Recommendation

Augusta Raurica

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

For six centuries, Switzerland was part of the Roman Empire and several ruins from Roman settlements still remain today. Along with an accompanying Roman castle, the restored ruins and open-air theatre/museum of Augusta Raurica are listed on the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance.

Situated on the south bank of the Rhine near the villages of Augst and Kaiseraugst, Augusta is the oldest known Roman settlement in the region. Visitors interested in taking in the former colony should set aside a full day at a minimum, as the site consists of a full scale Roman theatre (home to an annual summer festival that is attended by tens of thousands), a museum with a collection including more than a million artifacts, an animal park wherein ancient Roman practices of animal husbandry are still practiced, and a fully restored example of a working Roman home complete with period-specific décor.

Mar152012

Travel Recommendation

Ginosar and Beyond

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Accessible by bus from the much larger (and far less interesting) town of Tiberias, Israel, is the tiny kibbutz on the banks of the Sea of Galilee known as Ginosar. Founded in 1937 by socialist settlers, Ginosar is primarily famous for two things: It was the home of Israeli politician and general Yigal Allon, and, of considerably greater interest to foreign visitors, the so-called “Jesus Boat”. The latter is a wooden boat less than 30 feet long that dates to the 1st century (ostensibly the time of Christ). It was discovered by amateur archeologists in 1986 after three years of drought left it partially exposed in the mud. Today, it is displayed in the Yigal Allon Museum

Mar132012

Travel Recommendation

Clubbing Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Zurich is Switzerland‘s largest city and is home to the largest number of dance clubs per capita in Europe. Many visitors migrate to the city expressly to dance and imbibe. Whether you’re dedicated to nightlife, or are traveling to the area for other reasons, it’s worth picking up a copy of 20 Minuten (this local publication contains the most authoritative and up-to-date arts and culture listings available) and investigating what’s happening on any given evening.

Some of the best clubs include Kaufleuten (easily Zurich’s most famous dance club), Club Indochine, Labor Bar (home to the city’s best gay nights), and Rohstofflager (which also presents live music events). Most of these and many other of the most popular establishments are located in Old Town along the banks of the Limmat River and in the city’s trendy western quarter.

Mar132012

Travel Recommendation

3 Attractions to Tour of Old Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Despite the astonishing modernity of Singapore’s skyline and astonishing urban planning efforts, remnants of years past still exist, and it can be very pleasant indeed to make a day out of touring some its finest examples. Make it a point to visit the following.

Mar092012

Travel Recommendation

The Stage is Set for English-Language Theatre in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

English-language accessible theatre in Singapore is currently a solo act—namely, the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT). This state of affairs may change, as there is coursework being taught on the subject at the National University of Singapore and there are several books by Singaporean authors; but for now, the only game in town is SRT.

Mar082012

Travel Recommendation

Harpa For the Long, Dark, Winter Nights

Reykjavik

My Recommendation Tip

Harpa, Iceland’s new concert hall on the waterfront in Reykjavik, has been open less than a year and is already garnering praise for its stunning architecture, its views, and its program of events. If you are visiting Iceland in winter, it’s the perfect place to spend at least one of the long, cold dark, evenings, in the warmth of good music and fine performances.

Mar082012

Travel Recommendation

Top 5 Beaches Near Athens

Athens

My Recommendation Tip

The smart money typically seeks the sandy shores of the storied Greek isles, but there are also numerous lovely beaches in and around Athens. The following are few of my favorite destinations along the Apollo Coast.

1. Astir. For travelers willing to drop a little coin, the beach at Astir has everything a sun-worshiper could hope for...

Mar062012

Travel Recommendation

Craziness on Koh Phangan – The Full Moon Party

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Famous with the backpacker set since the mid-1980s, the monthly Full Moon Party held on the island of Koh Phangan in Thailand is the stuff of legend. Begun by an impromptu group of less than 50 revelers, this gathering has grown to include more than 20,000 people on the evening of every full moon like clockwork twelve months out of the year. Is it a tourist trap of epic proportions? Yes. Is it amazing and worth checking out nonetheless? You bet.

Mar052012

Travel Recommendation

Best Things to do in Vorarlberg

Austria

My Recommendation Tip

The westernmost state in Austria, Vorarlberg has been described as home to some of the most progressive new architecture found anywhere in the world. It also boasts a striking natural landscape that is the rival of any alpine destination in the region.

Vorarlberg is not for the budget traveler (it is easily the wealthiest region in the country outside of Vienna). But, whether you’re interested in architectural tourism, or looking for charming villages, arresting mountainous landscapes, and world famous cultural festivals, Vorarlberg is well worth a visit. Virtually the entire state is interesting enough to attract travelers, but the following attractions and destinations are not to be missed.

Mar022012

Travel Recommendation

Riding the Centovalli Railway

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

Situated on the Swiss-Italian border, the so-called “hundred valleys” train line known as the Centovalli Railway is an excellent bet for a day trip or weekend excursion. The trip to Locarno on Lake Maggiore from Domodossola in Italy is among the most memorable and picturesque means of entering Switzerland. During the trip (a minimum of two hours each way), you’ll see beautiful chestnut forests, jagged cliffs and gorges, rushing waterfalls, vineyards, monasteries and quaint villages. What you won’t see are the spectacular bridges that make passage along the vertiginous route possible, but then, you can’t have everything.

Mar012012

Travel Recommendation

Spas and Spelunking in Budapest

Budapest

My Recommendation Tip

Hungary’s capital city is world renowned as a destination blessed with a profusion of restorative spas. Whether it’s the famous Gellért or Széchenyi baths that draw you to Budapest, or public baths at Margaret Island (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or any of the dozens of other aquatic options, you won’t be disappointed.

What far fewer prospective visitors to this beautiful city are fully aware of are the nearly 170 caves and cave systems that are available for tours and exploration. The same thermal activities that explain the larger number of natural baths, springs, and wading pools are responsible for the extraordinary network of caves in the region.

Feb282012

Travel Recommendation

3 Ways to Enjoy Wildlife In Any Weather

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

No visit to Cairns is complete without some exposure to regional flora and fauna. The following opportunities are some of the best that the city and the region have to offer. No matter the weather, you’ll be eager and able to explore these wild features of Cairns.

Feb282012

Travel Recommendation

VIDEO: Old Hutongs Tour by Rickshaw

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

Hop on for a majestic 3-hour tour of one of Asia’s most popular travel destinations: Beijing. With the Old Hutongs Tour, you are whisked to the gardens of Prince Gong’s Mansion, the largest and best preserved royal mansion of the Qing Dynasty, by traditional rickshaw. In one of the most underrated cultural experiences you can have, you will also be welcomed into the home of a local family, where you will meet and greet your oriental counterpart.

Feb272012

Travel Recommendation

Seeing Samut Songkhram

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Situated southwest of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand, the small province of Samut Songkhram is a popular destination for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital. Guided tours or private guides are well worth the expense if you’re looking to get off the beaten path – without getting lost or turned around.

Feb242012

Travel Recommendation

VIDEO: Bay of Islands Scenic Helicopter Tour

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

Take to the exotic and natural beauty of New Zealand, via Paihia, for an adventure of a lifetime. With the Bay of Islands and Hole in the Rock Scenic Helicopter Tour, you will soar over Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock by helicopter for the most scenic tour of your life.

Feb232012

Travel Recommendation

Day Trip to Bintan Island

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Though not technically among the holdings of the Singaporean city-state, the Indonesian island of Bintan is less than an hour away by boat, and makes an excellent destination for adventurous day-trippers. The following suggestions for a trip to Bintan cover some of the most popular activities and sites available to tourists.

Feb222012

Travel Recommendation

Suzhou Creek – By Bike and Boat

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

There are many ways to explore the Suzhou Creek (although it may be more fitting to call it a river) and its surroundings as it cuts through central Shanghai on its way from Lake Tai to the Huangpu River. You can easily stroll along its banks, particularly if you’re interested in exploring the trendy artist colony that is home to more than a 100 working artists in the formerly vacant warehouses along the banks of the Suzhou.

Feb222012

Travel Recommendation

Journey into Sarawak

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

The Malaysian melting pot of Kuala Lumpur is the very definition of fusion. The cross-pollination of countless cultures and ethnicities combined with a massive economic boom has rendered modern Malaysia an almost psychedelic assemblage of humanity. If you want to explore the real roots of regional culture, however, it pays to leave the bright lights of the big city behind and head out into the jungle. There are few better places to undertake such a journey than the state of Sarawak in the Malaysian section of the Island of Borneo.

Feb222012

Travel Recommendation

Sifnos

Greece

My Recommendation Tip

Although it’s common for travelers to the Greek islands to tour entire island groups via ferry or private yacht, I’m an advocate for choosing carefully in advance and confining your stay to one location in order to really get to know it and see what it has to offer. The island of Sifnos is up near the top of my own list of recommendations in Greece. With its charming, Cycladic villages, beautiful beaches, churches, and a pleasant combination of peaceful recreation and vibrant nightlife, Sifnos really does have it all.

Feb212012

Travel Recommendation

Breaking Into Bregenz

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

This capital of the westernmost state in Austria has roots that date back to Roman times. The city’s year-round population is a modest 28,000, but the charming lakeside community is a considerable tourist draw.

Situated on the shores of Lake Constance (one of the largest lakes in Europe), Bregenz is a lovely place to settle in for a relaxing weekend of strolling along the popular promenade, peering across the lake at sunset, or taking a day trip by bicycle to neighboring Germany and/or Switzerland. Also noteworthy are the variety of scenic lake cruises offered from April to October.

Feb162012

Travel Recommendation

Zichron Ya’akov

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Settled in 1882, Zichron Ya’akov is a great place to spend a weekend of shopping, eating, and sipping wines from the famous Carmel Winery. Named in honor of Baron Edmond de Rothschild’s father, the town is not far from the equally laudable Haifa (just 20 miles south, to be precise). Many visitors make a day trip out of a visit to Zichon from the aforementioned largest city in northern Israel.

Feb162012

Travel Recommendation

Lounging in Lumpini Park

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

For a city with such a staggering population (more than 8 million people as of 2010), Bangkok, Thailand has surprisingly few public parks. Situated in the center of the city, Lumphini Park is one of the best and the biggest.

Named for the birthplace of the Buddha in Nepal, Lumphini was constructed on royal property in the early 20th century at the behest of King Rama VI.

Within the grounds, a man-made lake provides recreational enthusiasts with opportunities for row boating and communing with the considerable population of turtles that flock like waterfowl to the lakeshore in pursuit of breadcrumbs and other snacks.

Feb142012

Travel Recommendation

Zurich's Best Walk

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Unlike a walk along the busier arteries that run through central Zurich (such as the Bahnhofstrasse or the Limmatquai), a stroll along the Schanzengraben Canal is both relaxing and rewarding, with an emphasis on relaxing. Whether you’re a resident of Zurich or a first time visitor fresh off the train, the pleasant waterway running from the lake to the Limmat is a great away to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without actually leaving it.

Feb142012

Travel Recommendation

Best Places to Camp in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Though a relatively recent development, it is now possible to camp at any number of parks and beaches in Singapore. This phenomenon is a considerably cheaper option than even the most affordable budget hotels (though you may want to invest in affordable gear before traveling), and it can also be much more pleasant.

Note: although cooking pits and barbecues abound, it is necessary to pay a fee to use them legally.

Feb102012

Travel Recommendation

Exploring the Cameron Highlands

Kuala Lumpur

My Recommendation Tip

Trekkers and nature lovers would be remiss to pass up the many opportunities for hiking and encountering lush flora and fauna found in one of Malaysia’s most extensive and expansive hill stations.

Feb102012

Travel Recommendation

Top Japanese Winter Events

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

With Lantern Festivals, Naked Festivals, and Snow Festivals, there is truly something for everyone in Japan this month. Here is a guide to finding good luck and happiness among Japan's most colorful people.

Feb092012

Travel Recommendation

Art Galleries in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

For a city renowned for its modernity and opulence, it should come as no surprise that Singapore is home to some excellent art galleries and art institutions. In a country where spraying graffiti can get you a serious prison sentence and even corporal punishment, even the street artists bring their work indoors. The following are just a few of the galleries that the city has to offer.

Feb082012

Travel Recommendation

Cairns Day Trip to Kuranda

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

While Cairns is most famous – and rightly so! – for its location to beautiful Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, there are myriad other tourist options for the adventurous and curious traveler. Just outside of Cairns is the beautiful small town of Kuranda, which borders the Barron Gorge National Park.

Editor’s Note: This recommendation was taken from our Cairns Things to Do blog. Visit the original post to continue reading the full post and to learn more about things to do in Cairns.

Feb072012

Travel Recommendation

Top 3 Scuba Diving Spots in Thailand

Phuket

My Recommendation Tip

Scuba enthusiasts will be well aware of the delights of diving in Thailand. Whether you’re an experienced practitioner or an aspiring underwater tourist, this Southeast Asian paradise is an excellent destination. The following spots are just a few of the best places to suit up and get wet.

My Photos

  • Phuket, Thailand

Feb032012

Travel Recommendation

Winterthur: A Good Day Trip from Zurich

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

The sixth-largest city in Switzerland, Winterthur is also one of the country’s most culturally sophisticated. Art tourists in particular will find themselves in bliss, wending their way amid the many lovely parks and gardens in the city as they visit some of Europe’s most important collections of art, as well as attending shows and plays at the handful of theaters and cabarets (the Sulzerareal auditorium is the largest indoor venue in Europe).

Feb022012

Travel Recommendation

Acre (Akko) Attractions

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

One of the oldest continuously occupied areas in Israel, Akko (or Acre) contains the structural remnants of a tumultuous past. The annals of history may include nearly continuous conflicts, occupations, resettlements, and destabilization, but the upshot is an astonishing collection of Jewish, Greek, Roman, Arab, Ottoman, Crusader, and British colonial artifacts and architecture. Akko is also considered the holiest city in the world by practitioners of the Bahá'í faith (owing to the existence of the Shrine of Baha'u'llah, which houses the tomb of the faith's prophet and founder).

Feb022012

Travel Recommendation

Best Bridges in Budapest

Budapest

My Recommendation Tip

Including rail bridges, a title="Budapest Tours" href="http://www.viator.com/Budapest/d499-ttd"Budapest/a boasts a total of 10 structures spanning the historic stretch of the a title="Danube River Tours" href="http://www.viator.com/Budapest-attractions/Danube-River-tours-tickets/d499-a662"River Danube/a. Whether you take an organized tour, rent a bicycle (easy to do), rent a car, or simply stroll, the city’s famous bridges are well worth exploring. The following are a few of the most iconic.

Feb012012

Travel Recommendation

3 Museums in Vienna

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

It would be impossible to pay proper attention to all the odd and wonderful museums contained within the confines of Vienna in a single burst of words. The following are some of the most peculiar, and, possibly, for the right kind of tourist, the most interesting.

Feb012012

Travel Recommendation

Family Friendly Bali

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

Bali is well known as an adult wonderland for tourists seeking fun in the sun. Happily, this Indonesian island is also a great destination for travelers with children as well. While it is obviously advisable to research the calendar of activities scheduled in the specific areas you’d like to visit (as well as the seasonal weather patterns), there are plenty of destinations that the whole family will enjoy. The following are among the most popular and dependable family-oriented destinations in Bali.

1). Waterbom Bali. Located in beautiful Kuta, this extraordinary water park has something for all ages. Amid the carefully landscaped gardens is a network of leisure pools (including a man-made river that visitors can drift down on tube rafts, shaded by tropical foliage), swim-up bars, and nine other massive water slides and rides (many of which, though quite safe, are not for the faint of heart).

2). Sacred Monkey Park. Known as the Ubud Monkey House and/or the Enchanted Monkey House, this is one nature reserve and temple complex at which children will positively marvel. The park presents a singular opportunity for visitors interested in an interactive experience with the community of 300 hundred crab-eating macaque monkeys who reside within its walls. If you don’t want to be swarmed by greedy primates (granted, these are primates renowned for their charm), take care to conceal any bananas you might purchase to tempt them with, as the monkeys are famous for climbing visitors’ legs and prying into bags and packages. Keep an eye on your little ones.

Jan312012

Travel Recommendation

Day Trip to Rapperswil from Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Located on the opposite end of the lake from Zurich (and accessible via S-Bahn rail link), Rapperswil, the famed City of Roses, makes an excellent spring or summer day trip from Switzerland’s largest city. The town owes its nickname to its famous rose gardens, but also on hand are the Rapperswil Castle, the deer park on the Lindenhof and the picturesque Old Town perched atop a rocky hill at the bay of Kempraten.

Jan302012

Travel Recommendation

Theater in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

A long history of theater exists in Thailand, and its modern-day manifestations can be more varied than one might presume. In addition to traditional dramatic forms, Thailand is also home to puppet theaters, cabarets, and other, western-inspired entertainment.

Jan272012

Travel Recommendation

Spelunking in the Greek Islands

Cyclades Islands

My Recommendation Tip

There is a wide array of explored and unexplored caves and cave systems throughout the Greek Islands and Greece’s mainland. Whether you’re a first-time spelunker or a seasoned explorer, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the fair Mediterranean. The following are a few of the most popular and rewarding sites.

Jan272012

Travel Recommendation

3 Great Restaurants in Delhi

New Delhi

My Recommendation Tip

Eating out in India is an experience best enjoyed following a bit of research. This is never truer than in the country’s second-largest metropolis. Below, I’ve listed a few tried and true recommendations for eating out in Delhi.

Jan252012

Travel Recommendation

Shopping in Shanghai

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

While staying in China’s most cosmopolitan city, it is an absolute must to indulge in some shopping! And there is no other place to do it than Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s main shopping street that was named one of the world’s Seven Great Roads in the 1930′s, and maintains a robust reputation today.

Jan232012

Travel Recommendation

Tour Vienna One Cemetery at a Time

Austria

My Recommendation Tip

ome might consider a walking tour of Vienna cemeteries eerie way to spend a vacation, but there are few more restive and intriguing ways to pass an afternoon than strolling amid the stately headstones of a European graveyard.

Though possessed of a somewhat artless moniker, Vienna’s Central Cemetery (or Zentralfriedhof) is one of the most fascinating in Europe.

Jan232012

Travel Recommendation

Tips for Travelling in Malaysia: What Not to Do

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Malaysia is a beautiful and rewarding place to visit, but it’s a very different culture than what most westerners are accustomed to. The following are a few general tips to keep in mind when planning your visit.

Jan202012

Travel Recommendation

A perfect place for hiking in Switzerland

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

Hikers, cyclists, rafters, and other nature-lovers have long appreciated the Ruinaulta Ravine in the Vorderrhein River Valley of Switzerland. Formed ten millennia ago when 350,000 cubic feet of rock and debris poured into the valley after a colossal rock slide (the largest known incident of its kind in the Alps

Jan192012

Travel Recommendation

Bangkok by Boat

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Cruising the Chao Phraya River is one of the most entertaining and diverting touristic activities on order amid the hustle and bustle of modern day Bangkok. Many of the original canals in this Byzantine system were filled as part of various efforts to combat the scourge of cholera during the last century, but life afloat on the city’s “khlongs” and along its banks is a welcome relief from Bangkok’s notoriously congested roadways.

Jan192012

Travel Recommendation

What to See in Bethlehem

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Revered as the hometown of King David, the site of the Muslim prophet Al Khider's teachings, and the supposed birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem has long been a tourist attraction for Jews, Muslims, Christians, and the culturally curious from all over the world.

Jan192012

Travel Recommendation

Zurich's Music Scene at the Red Factory

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Housed in an abandoned silk factory just on the bank of Lake Zurich sits the Rote Fabrik, or Red Factory. Opened in the 1980s, the Rote Fabrik has come to represent the heart of experimental theater, film, and music in Zurich. The factory, distinctive for its titular red bricks, was reclaimed by young members of the social democratic party in 1977. The Rote Fabrik was a site of a veritable culture war...

Jan182012

Travel Recommendation

River Hongbao 2012

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Beginning January 21st and running through the 29th, the Chinese New Year festivities known locally as River Hongbao 2012 will grace Marina Bay in Singapore. Usher in the Year of the Dragon with a vibrant, traditional Chinese festival carried out with typical Singaporean pomp and circumstance

Jan132012

Travel Recommendation

Malaysian Cuisine

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

While Chinese and Indian influences are strong in Malaysian kitchens, a distinctly Malaysian cuisine persists and is plentiful. If you’re looking for a truly Malaysian experience, there are plenty of places to turn. Many regions and villages have their own specialties, so pay attention to what locals are eating and suggesting.

Jan122012

Travel Recommendation

Raising the Titanic in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, a special exhibit is currently running at ArtScience Museum at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Jan102012

Travel Recommendation

R and R, Thai style

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Much attention is paid to the excitement of trekking and island hopping in Thailand, and the merits of Thai massage are famous the world over, but there’s nothing quite like devoting an entire vacation to rest and relaxation in the Southeast Asian paradise. It’s easy to mythologize certain aspects of foreign cultures, but spa culture in Thailand really doesn’t disappoint.

Jan092012

Travel Recommendation

Seeing the Terracotta Warriors in China

China

My Recommendation Tip

Magnificent and magical China is the world’s third most visited country, and with the vast variety of attractions on offer, it is no wonder the East’s mega house of culture is only increasing in popularity.

Jan062012

Travel Recommendation

The Best Villages of Switzerland

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

If you’ve got the time and inclination to do a little touring, some of the most richly rewarding destinations in Switzerland are its many beautiful and historic villages. The following are some of the most authentic and picturesque.

Jan052012

Travel Recommendation

Best Views in Budapest

Budapest

My Recommendation Tip

Beautiful views of the Buda Hills, Pest and the Danube River are easily accessible from various locations in and around the city of Budapest. The following are a few of the best places to peruse the sights of Hungary’s capital city.

Jan052012

Travel Recommendation

Monkeys and Le Mayeur

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

For an excursion that is equal parts chaos and culture, a day trip from up-and-coming Ubud to the established resort area at Sanur comes highly recommended.

Jan042012

Travel Recommendation

Street Food in Vienna

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

Visitors to Vienna should all take care to sample the delightful street fare that is ubiquitous throughout the city. Travelers on a budget should make it their religion. Street food throughout Europe tends to be pretty good, but in Vienna they break the mold.

Jan032012

Travel Recommendation

Day Trip to the Reef from Cairns

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

This is a bit of a no-brainer when out in stunning Cairns, but you must, must, must, take at least a day-trip to the reef where you can engage in snorkeling, or just lay out on the white sandy beaches and catch a tan in the balmy tropical climate.

Jan032012

Travel Recommendation

Beijing’s Forbidden City

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

China’s capital, and one of the most populous cities in the world, Beijing is simply brimming with cultural experiences and sights. The ancient city is China’s political and cultural center, and one of the Four Great Ancient Cities of China.

Jan032012

Travel Recommendation

Visiting the Big and Small in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Visitors to Pattaya (roughly 100 miles southeast of Bangkok) can experience a real juxtaposition in scale with two quirky destinations in and around the city.

Dec282011

Travel Recommendation

Racing Malaysia

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Formula One racing at the Sepang International Circuit outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is fast, furious, and incredibly popular.

Dec282011

Travel Recommendation

Pearls of Yunnan Province

China

My Recommendation Tip

Home to the headwaters of the Yangtze, Mekong, and Salween rivers, Yunnan Province is among the southernmost regions of China, and contains some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the country.

Dec212011

Travel Recommendation

Eating and Drinking in Bali

Bali

My Recommendation Tip

Bali is an affordable and rewarding destination, especially for travelers already in the hemisphere. The beaches and recreational activities are world famous, but its cuisine is far less well known. However, the food and drink of this island destination are as memorable as any scuba diving excursion. The following should help get you started.

Dec212011

Travel Recommendation

Movie Night in Prague

Prague

My Recommendation Tip

Prague is an excellent city for spending an affordable evening taking in the proverbial (and literal) dinner and a movie. The city has a profusion of reasonably priced eateries located near (or on the way to) technologically advanced and/or exceedingly atmospheric cinemas. The following combos come highly recommended.

Dec202011

Travel Recommendation

Markets in Beijing

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

Shopping in Beijing is a vibrant affair, but notoriously tricky from a practical point of view. Westerners can find themselves bewildered and befuddled without some careful consideration.

Dec202011

Travel Recommendation

Cairns Adventures to the Daintree Rainforests

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

Australia’s Tropical North is home to one of the natural wonders of the world – the Great Barrier Reef – but a trip to Cairns offers a multitude of adventure that doesn’t all involve donning goggles and flippers!

Dec192011

Travel Recommendation

Thailand Train Tips

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Every country has its own distinctive flavor of train service. The Thai variety is decidedly affordable, comfortable, and memorable. Even if you have the means to arrange for private transportation when you visit the Thailand, joining the hoi polloi and riding the rails comes highly recommended.

Dec162011

Travel Recommendation

Hurray for Bollywood

India

My Recommendation Tip

To say that Bombay (I won’t say Mumbai) is a world class film town would be a considerable understatement. In fact, the largely Hindi-centric film industry in this spirited, vibrant, bustling metropolis of India is a good deal larger and more productive than its Tinseltown counterpart.

Dec162011

Travel Recommendation

Christmas and New Year in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Christmas in Singapore is unsurprisingly glitzy and commercial, and it’s a spectacle that is well worth witnessing. In fact, the entire holiday season (from early November to mid-January) is a nonstop explosion of lights, consumerism, and hedonistic celebration.

Dec142011

Travel Recommendation

Take a Bund Huangpu River Cruise

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

Shanghai stands unparalleled as the largest city in the world. Following its rapid development over the last two decades it has become a leading global city, with significant influence in commerce, culture, finance, media, fashion, technology and transport and is the busiest container port in the world.

Dec132011

Travel Recommendation

Fireflies, Fawns, and Felines

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Nature-lovers in Malaysia have many options to choose from, whether it’s forest adventures at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, spelunking in the Batu Cave Complex, or diving off the coast of one of the country’s beautiful beaches. For travelers with little ones or physically limited individuals, the following three destinations offer low-impact, intimate interactions with local flora and fauna.

Dec082011

Travel Recommendation

Budapest Holocaust Memorial Center

Budapest

My Recommendation Tip

The Budapest Holocaust Memorial Center was erected to shine a light on this disgraceful and horrifying historical period, honor the victims, examine the changes that the Jewish community underwent in Hungary as a result of the genocide, and help prevent similar atrocities from ever happening again in the future.

Dec082011

Travel Recommendation

The Mighty Makhtesh Ramon

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

Possibly the grandest and most awe-inspiring natural site in the whole of Israel, the Makhtesh Ramon is a giant geological feature at the peak of Mount Negev roughly 50 miles south of Beersheba near the tiny settlement of Mitzpe Ramon.

Dec082011

Travel Recommendation

Queen Saovabha Snake Farm in Bangkok

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

Originating in 1912 as a facility for the manufacture and distribution of the rabies vaccine after Princess Banlusirisarn died from the disease, the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (QSMI) is now a famous center in Bangkok for snake husbandry and the extraction and study of snake venom.

Dec062011

Travel Recommendation

Loping up Lindenhof

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

This hill in the heart of Zurich’s old town is the city’s crowning jewel. The view from the top (once the site of Roman fortifications) is impossible to beat. A geological formation carved out during the last glacial period, the now largely flat summit of the hill is home to a beautiful public square situated roughly 100 feet above the Limmat River.

Dec052011

Travel Recommendation

Sporting Events in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Serious sportsman the world over probably don’t need to be told about the following international events taking place in Thailand, but travelers to the area would be remiss if they vacationed in the region without spectating any or all of the following (if their visits happen to coincide with their respective schedules).

Dec022011

Travel Recommendation

Eating and Drinking in Greece

Greece

My Recommendation Tip

Eating and drinking in Greece is wonderful, to be sure, but it is not without its pitfalls. The following warnings and recommendations should help you survive the Mediterranean in high style and comfort.
1). Ouch, Ouzo (and Retsina). Greek drink, whether it is local wines or Metaxa (a cunning blend of brandy and locally produced, sun-dried grapes), is world famous for its dicey nature.

Dec022011

Travel Recommendation

Backpacking in Bako, Sarawak

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

The oldest national park in the province of Sarawak, Bako National Park contains cliff-side views of the South China Sea, pristine coves and headlands, inland waterfalls that empty into freshwater pools that are perfect for swimming, and a network of trails through dense jungle terrain that make the park an ideal place for hiking and camping.

Dec012011

Travel Recommendation

International Cuisine in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

It stands to reason that any place as multicultural and populous as Singapore would have a lot to offer in the way of international cuisine, and this city doesn’t disappoint. Sample regional fare from the four corners of the earth with the following suggestions.

Nov292011

Travel Recommendation

Waterfalls in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Not surprisingly, the best time to head out in pursuit of Thailand’s profusion of beautiful waterfalls is during the wet season (June-October). The following are some of the country’s finest.

Nov282011

Travel Recommendation

Seeing Schloss Hof

Austria

My Recommendation Tip

Long overlooked for a combination of reasons, the recently refurbished summer palace Schloss Hof is not only one of Austria‘s largest, it is also one of the grandest. Owned by the state and sustained by the proceeds of a now bustling tourist trade, the palace is currently in fine fettle. The main building is one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture anywhere in the world, and the extraordinary period furnishings and art contained within (many of which were only recently returned to the palace) are a convincing reminder of the power and wealth enjoyed by the Hapsburg royals. Suffice it to say that the surrounding gardens, orangerie, manor farm, fountains and sculptures are a collective treasure as well.

Nov282011

Travel Recommendation

5 Ways to Enjoy a Relaxing Day in Chengdu, Sichuan, China

China

My Recommendation Tip

Located in southwest China, Sichuan is known for being a sleepy place to do some quiet tourism. Similarly, in its largest city, Chengdu, having a laid-back day is at the forefront of most visitors’ agendas. Here are a few ways to do that most effectively:

Nov232011

Travel Recommendation

David Cerny's Prague

Prague

My Recommendation Tip

Controversial Czech artist David Černý gained international fame when he was arrested for painting a Soviet tank pink, an act of civil disobedience that carried particular significance, as the tank was located in the heart of central Prague and was a national cultural monument dedicated to Soviet tank crews. Today, Černý is a cultural icon, and his work can be found in prominent public spaces throughout Prague.

Nov232011

Travel Recommendation

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia

My Recommendation Tip

The gateway to Angkor Wat, or Siem Reap as we know it, is a pocket-sized well-groomed town, filled with tons of restaurants, bars, shops and modern hotels. Though it is jam-packed with backpackers and tourists, it is considered a relaxed place with tons of activity to keep you busy.

Nov222011

Travel Recommendation

Cairns Tropical Zoo

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

Sprawling across approximately 15 acres, the Cairns Tropical Zoo is the largest such facility in North Queensland. Home to a wide array of exotic wildlife, the zoo also features a tight schedule of animal shows and presentations, including kangaroo and pelican feeding, koala and snake handling presentations, bird shows, guided walks, and lessons in wildlife photography.

Nov222011

Travel Recommendation

Golden Resources Mall in Beijing

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

The second largest mall in all of Asia, at the Golden Resources Mall you can buy almost anything from cars to tables to diapers. As a consumer mall, it has less of the cultural allure of some of Asia’s more primitive bargaining malls, but none-the-less, covering more than 6 million square feet (557,000 sq m), more than a 1,000 stores and with more than 200 escalators taking customers up and down and all around, this place exemplifies China’s fast-paced and hugely populated culture.

Nov212011

Travel Recommendation

Seeing Si Satchanalai -Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Not far from the better known ancient architectural wonder that is Sukhothai (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the city of Si Satchanalai in Thailand has much to recommend it, not least of which is the arresting complex of ancient ruins bearing the same name of the municipality.

Nov182011

Travel Recommendation

Dining in India

India

My Recommendation Tip

The gastrointestinal dangers of dining in India are well known, but with some care and preparation, eating out is one of the highlights of a trip to the world’s most populous democracy.

Nov182011

Travel Recommendation

Exploring Singapore’s Little India

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

Singapore is home to a sizable Indian community, and Little India is where they congregate, worship and sell their wares.

Nov162011

Travel Recommendation

Dining in Shanghai

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

Shanghai is famous for many reasons, but the bounty and affordability of its cuisine is the stuff of legend. It’s possible to stumble blindly into the streets of the city and find delicious food, but the following suggestions should help guide the budget-conscious strike pay dirt without a hitch.

Nov152011

Travel Recommendation

Spectacular Spelunking in Malaysia

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Malaysia has a lot to offer adventurous travelers, but none so exhilarating as the incredible cave systems maintained by both public and private organizations, many of which have received special designations as culturally significant sites. The following are a few of the best.

Nov142011

Travel Recommendation

Stops Along China's Silk Road

China

My Recommendation Tip

Of inestimable cultural and historic value, the famous Silk Road once connected ancient China to the outside world, and in some instances it still functions as a commercial trade route today. Along its path, you'll discover numerous sites of particular interest. The following are just a few:

Nov142011

Travel Recommendation

Klosterneuburg

Austria

My Recommendation Tip

Rather like Buda and Pest, the towns of Klosterneuburg and Korneuburg have been separated by the Danube since the river changed course in the Middle Ages. The former is a very attractive town with a number of sites that are worth making the short trip north from Vienna.

Nov112011

Travel Recommendation

Bern

Switzerland

My Recommendation Tip

Long recognized as one of the world’s most desirable places to live, the regional capital of Bern in Switzerland is also a delightful place to visit. The historic old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The following three spots are not to be missed.

Nov102011

Travel Recommendation

Classical Music in Budapest

Budapest

My Recommendation Tip

Classical music is widely and expertly presented throughout Europe, but there are few better places than Budapest for indulging in some diverting and inspiring concerts. Travelers new to the city can be easily misled by the profusion of seemingly similar venues and performance spaces, but the following are the best that Budapest has to offer:

Nov102011

Travel Recommendation

The Best Beaches in Israel

Israel

My Recommendation Tip

There are few places where it is more imperative to beat the heat than the Middle East. Luckily there are a number of beautiful beaches along the Red Sea coastline and elsewhere in Israel. The following are a few of the better places to take to the water.

Nov092011

Travel Recommendation

Wiener Festwochen (Vienna Festival)

Vienna

My Recommendation Tip

Easily one of the world’s most well-known and reputable cultural festivals, the Wiener Festwochen has been under the direction of Luc Bondy since 2002. Visited by nearly 200,000 revelers every year, the festival included dozens of film and video productions, hundreds of live performances, and more than 50 concerts.

Nov082011

Travel Recommendation

Opernhaus Zurich

Zurich

My Recommendation Tip

Home to the Zurich Opera for pushing on 50 years now, Opernhaus Zurich is known and respected the world over as an elite institution that serves as a springboard for first rate opera, ballet, recitals, and concerts. It is also the central performance venue for the annual Zurich Festival, which, since 1996, has been a dependable celebration of the best ballet, classical music, and opera that Switzerland has to offer.

Nov082011

Travel Recommendation

How to Travel in Cairns on the Cheap

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

As most experienced travelers will tell you, running around Australia is expensive. With the ever-growing value of the Australian dollar and an expanding economy, moderate fiscal spending here during your well-deserved vacation isn’t what it used to be, but just because you have to cut corners doesn’t mean you still can’t have a blast. Here are a few things to do in Cairns on the cheap.

Nov082011

Travel Recommendation

Day trip from Singapore to Johore Bahru

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

The capital of Johor in southern Malaysia, Johor Bahru, is located just an hour by bus from Singapore. A bustling metropolis in its own right, Johor Bahru may seem a strange place to seek respite from the skyscrapers and congestion of Singapore, but it’s primed and ready to become a cosmopolitan giant and shouldn’t be written off.

Nov072011

Travel Recommendation

4 Best Campgrounds in Thailand

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Natural beauty and affordability combine to make tent camping in Thailand a popular recreation with native schoolchildren, families, and international backpackers alike. With more than 70 national parks, the country is very accessible for those inclined to rough it REI style. The following four campgrounds are absolute gems.

Nov042011

Travel Recommendation

The Mount Pelion Peninsula

Greece

My Recommendation Tip

It is true that the beauty of many coastal and interior destinations are unfairly overlooked by tourists hustling off to the islands. This can work to your advantage, however, if you forgo the ferries for, say, a rental car or tour package. One of the most striking areas of Greece for travelers in search of beautiful scenery, trekking, and unspoiled beaches is the Mount Pelion Peninsula in Magnesia.

Nov042011

Travel Recommendation

Ko Tarutao Marine National Park

Thailand

My Recommendation Tip

Thailand is famous for its splendid beaches. There are plenty to choose from, to be sure, but the islands comprising the Tarutao Archipelago in the far south of the country are arguably the best of the best.

Nov032011

Travel Recommendation

Seeing the Singapore River

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

The lanes and quays of the Singapore River have been crowded with European and Chinese merchants since the mid-19th century. Today, the waterway that first attracted colonial settlement serves as the city-state’s central natural tourist attraction. Though no longer much use in the way of international trade (ocean-going ships have taken to docking to the west of the island), it generates considerable tourist traffic (and for good reason).

Nov022011

Travel Recommendation

Top 4 Sights in Malacca

Malaysia

My Recommendation Tip

Malacca (Melaka), the third-smallest state in Malaysia, has been a sought-after destination for foreign visitors since its founding in the 15th century. Modern Malacca has been rising with the general economic tide that has benefited much of Malaysia since the 1990s, with the accompanying development and land reclamation projects commingling with ancient structures and cultural heritage sites. The following destinations come highly recommended.