Simply Sydney: A Mini Tourism Guide to Sydney, Australia

There is no place in the world like Sydney, from glamorous beaches and great nights, to the sublime Blue Mountains. Pack in the best the city has to offer by following a five-day itinerary. You will fall in love with this crown jewel of the Pacific.

Day 1

There is no better way to kick-start your sojourn in Sydney than by visiting the iconic Sydney Opera House sitting majestically atop a raised platform in Circular Quay, with the azure waters of the harbor lapping below. It has four main auditoriums for dance, concerts, opera, and a studio for emerging artists.

You can experience the magic of the Opera House by either joining one of the daily tours, or by booking a seat at one of the evening shows. Afterwards, get some exercise with a walk around the well-maintained Royal Botanic Gardens next door, where you can see beautiful vegetation and stunning harbour views.

Day 2

Make sure you slap on generous amounts of sunscreen as you hop onto the Bondi Explorer bus that will take you to some of Sydney’s most coveted beach spots. From Circular Quay you will be spirited away towards scenic Double Bay, which has stunning villas owned by the likes of Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe.

For lunch, enjoy fish and chips at a beachside kiosk. In the afternoon, do one of the world’s great water-view walks – a rambling two-hour scenic stroll from Bondi to Coogee Beach, (six km away from Bondi Beach) and watch the setting sun.

Day 3

Indulge your adventurous side with a trip to the Blue Mountains, 90 minutes away by car. Experience the splendor of mountain towns like Leura and Katoomba; take a hike on one of the many trails; ride a horse; try a mountain bike; or simply stroll in the rugged and picturesque terrain of this National Park. When you get back to Sydney, go dancing at Tantra on Oxford Street, which often hosts some of the world’s best DJs playing some great music.

Day 4

This day is devoted entirely to shopping, so kick-start your retail therapy at The Queen Victoria Building, completed in 1898 as a monument to the long-reigning monarch. The elaborate Romanesque architecture was specially planned so that the Government could employ many out-of-work craftsmen – stonemasons, plasterers, and stained window artists – in a worthwhile project. This renovated and beautiful piece of Sydney history now houses a collection of over 160 designer-label and specialty stores.

For a more basic shopping experience, go to Paddy’s Market (a few minutes from the famous Sydney Entertainment Centre if you hire a car in Sydney). Paddy’s has everything from bric-a-brac and discounted designer wear to trendy accessories. If you have not had your fill of shopping yet, visit The Rocks Market to buy locally-made crafts, home-ware, arts, and collectibles. The markets is also close to some of Sydney’s best pubs – like the Harbour View pub – where you can savor a meat pie and wash it down with a tall glass of beer.

Day 5

Your trip to Australia would not be complete without a climb to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Reaching the upper arch, you get a 360-degree view of the city down below. Don the jumpsuit, helmet, and life rope to gear up for the bridge climb, the thrill of a lifetime. There are different climbs you can choose from, so you can suit yourself.

For your last night, saunter through King’s Cross and stop for a nightcap at the Good Bar, one of the many watering holes that lure you in with the promise of a good time.

Source: http://www.triple1.com/Travel/Content/Simply_Sydney_A_Mini_Tourism_Guide_to_Sydney_Australia-642.html

Singapore Destination Guide

Singapore Holidays »

Singapore, lah! This modern city-state is small in stature but packs a punch on the holiday front, with a magnetic urban environment and old-world Asian charm. The four official languages of Singapore reflect its diversity: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. It’s a little cultural microcosm of Asia.

There are more than five million in this city state – which includes 63 islands – at the tip of the Malay Peninsula. Yet, the streets are clean, the buildings gleam and traffic jams are non-existent. More than 50 per cent of its area is parks and this ‘garden city’ is known for its top shopping and fine food. When the bright lights of Marina Bay come calling, there’s little sense in resisting the lure of one of Asia’s most glamorous cities.

Dance the night away at…

  • Zouk: Singapore’s world-famous nightclub
  • Home CLub – attracts UK dance DJs
  • Butter Factory – best for hip-hop

Top Attractions »

Boasting plenty of high-quality restaurants, trendy new nightclubs and a stunning water-lined location, there’s so much to see and do in Singapore you won’t know where to start! The landscaped, cage-free Singapore Zoo is a premier attraction, famed as one of the prettiest zoos in the world.

Those visitors who don’t have the zoo on their list of things to do in Singapore may well be planning to shop. Orchard Road is comparable with New York’s Fifth Avenue or Tokyo’s Ginza when it comes to retail therapy. Universal Studios Singapore, the Botanic Gardens and Sentosa Island all ensure there’s no shortage of familiar sights to enjoy in the ever-changing Lion City.

Sample the sights from…

  • Singapore Flyer (bird’s-eye aerial views)
  • Botanic Gardens (the city’s green lungs)
  • Singapore Zoo (for a unique Night Safari)

Eat and Drink »

Singapore does more than a ‘Singapore Sling’, but the iconic tipple should still find a plus on your must-try list. Singapore restaurants are famed for their fare. A blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Western influences make for gastronomic treats. Being a maritime city, Singapore also does seafood well and its most famous dish is probably chilli crab.

You can find Michelin-starred tapas at ‘Esquina‘, and a fun crowd at The Cufflink Club, while fine dining at a modest price can be enjoyed at The Clan Restaurant. If you want to try a bit of everything cheaply under one roof, your best bet is to find a ‘hawker centre’, where you can get a hearty meal for a few dollars. Be sure to try the Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre!

Treat your tastebuds to…

  • Kaya toast and eggs from a kopitiam
  • Tasty hawker food at Maxwell Road
  • Chilli crab cooked Singaporean style

Where to Stay »

There’s always a high season here, so booking Singapore accommodation well in advance is advisable. The high turnover of business guests means this can be a tough town if you’re looking for budget properties, but they do exist; primarily in Little India, Bugis and Clarke Quay.

Mid-range hotels cluster near the western end of the Singapore River and you’ll find a few boutique properties in Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar too. The most choice exists at the luxury end of the spectrum – anyone who’s anyone has heard of Raffles Hotel. If you’re on a romantic break or are looking for a family-friendly resort, you might like to try Sentosa Island.

Sleep somewhere unique…

  • Kam Leng Hotel for old world Singapore
  • The Scarlet Hotel – Singapore’s first boutique hotel
  • Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island

Shopping »

What’s not to buy here? Shopping in Singapore is almost a national pastime.Ann Siang Road is a designer fashion hub saturated with patisseries and niche bookshops. Little India draws a mixed crowd (and includes the shopping hot spot Mustafa Centre), while Singapore’s Chinatown is one of Asia’s most dynamic.

For a choice of more than 300 high fashion stores and restaurants, ION Orchard is where it’s at. Haji Lane is a vintage-lover’s dream, but the mother of all Singapore shopping is to be had on Orchard Road – a meticulously landscaped 2.2-kilometres of six department stores, 22 malls and close to 5,000 brands.

Stuff your suitcase with souvenirs from…

  • Orchard Road’s boutique stores
  • Tiny backstreet shops in Chinatown
  • Hip fashion boutiques on Haji Lane

Singapore like a Local

Singapore events pop up throughout the year, so consider timing your trip to celebrate with the locals. Marina Bay lights up for the annual Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, while the Singapore Food Festival tempts epicureans with its delectable delights.

If you’re invited to a Singaporean’s home, be sure to take off your shoes before entering. When choosing an appropriate gift, keep in mind that white flowers are usually reserved for funerals and clocks also bear bad symbolic connotations. Most Singaporeans speak more than one language, but you will find Mandarin the most widely spoken.

Time your visit for local events…

  • Chinese New Year – late January
  • Singapore Arts Festival – May
  • Deepavali – November held Hindu festival

Source: http://www.flightcentre.com.au/world-travel/singapore

Hawaii, The Paradise Of The Pacific

Hawaii is a state of United States comprising an archipelago of the Hawaiian Islands in the central Pacific Ocean. The erstwhile known as the Sandwich Islands, the Hawaiian Islands became the U.S. territory in 1900. The Hawaiian Islands include eight major islands including Nihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lānai, Kahoolawe, Maui and the Island of Hawaii and many islets.

A British explorer, Captain James Cook, discovered the Hawaiian Islands and named them as ‘the Sandwich Islands’. The Hawaiian Islands were united for the first time under a single ruler, King Kamehameha the Great.

Hawaii became the 50th state of United States in 1959. The state of hawaii is also known as “the Aloha State”. Aloha is acknowledgment that can be used as greeting. The state is the southernmost part of that country, situated 2500 miles from the mainland. HI is the abbreviation of Hawaii. Honolulu is the capital and the largest city of the state. Hawaiian and English are the official languages of the state.

Tourism is one of the cornerstones of Hawaiian economy. The tourism is the largest industry in Hawaii. Hawaii is sometimes called “the paradise of the Pacific” because of its exquisite beauty including abundant sunshine, lush green plants & gay flowers, palm-fringed, coral beaches with rolling white surf, and mesmerizing cloud-covered volcanic peaks rising to majestic heights.

The hawaii vacations, hawaii cruises and hawaii vacation packages are the hottest tourism deals. The hawaii beach vacation, hawaii honeymoon vacation, romantic hawaii vacation, hawaii family vacation and hawaii golf vacation are the most coveted vacation. The hawaii hotels are sheer manifestations of romantic luxuries.

The major attractions of hawaii include Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, Haleakala National Park, Haleakala Wilderness, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes Wilderness, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Honolulu Engineer District Pacific Regional Visitor Center (PRVC), James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge, Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Kona Historical Society, Lyman Museum and Mission House, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Pu`uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, U S S Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Akaka Falls, Na Pali Coast, Satellite Image etc.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/144742

Beijing Travel Tips

“That is a sleeping dragon,” Napoleon once said. “Let him sleep! If he wakes, he will shake the world.” In 1803, the future French emperor recognized China’s potential. Presiding over the greatest military and economic power of his day, Napoleon had an eye for opponents. Less than two centuries later, China’s GDP surpassed that of both Britain and France and continues to steadily climb. If he arrived in Beijing today, Napoleon would undoubtedly say, “I told you so.”

Nowhere is China’s influence more apparent than Beijing. As China’s political and cultural hub, Beijing offers a glimpse into the nation’s expansive history and its rapid modernization. You’ll find preserved palaces rubbing elbows with new subway stations and tranquil lamaseries sharing space with world-class stadiums. Many of the city’s historical sites, like the Forbidden City and the Tiananmen Square, are well-known to the world. Yet, the most popular attraction is located outside Beijing: The Great Wall of China serpentines through the hills north of the city. When you witness this astounding accomplishment of ancient China, you too will sense the immeasurable potential of this modern country.

How To Save Money in Beijing

  • Bargain, bargain, bargain!When you approach a vendor (or vice versa), know that all prices are negotiable. Never take the first offer, and throw out ridiculously low prices to start. And don’t forget that smiling goes a long way.
  • Take the subwayNot only will you save money by taking the subway, but also you’ll probably reach your destinations in less time. Beijing’s street traffic is awful, so go underground.
  • Get the museum passIf you’re going to be in Beijing for awhile and plan to hit up numerous museums, purchase the Beijing Museum Pass for 80 CNY (about $12.50 USD). This card will get you free or discounted admission to most of the museums.

Beijing Culture & Customs

Even for locals, Beijing has a confusing medley of languages. The official language is Mandarin; however, Chinese citizens from across the country arrive with their own regional dialects (and sometimes entirely different languages). That said, Chinese visitors will probably have an easier time getting around than you will. Combined with culture shock, the language barrier can get in the way of Western travelers. If you are traveling with a group, consider hiring a bilingual guide. He or she will be particularly useful on excursions outside of Beijing where it’s more difficult to find English-speakers. In the city, you’ll find that only some hospitality-industry workers will speak some English. Be patient when you communicate with locals and bring a Mandarin phrase book.

For Western travelers, culture shock hits the hardest in restaurants. The Chinese have very different expectations of sanitation. There are some culinary spots that observe Western customs, but the local hot spot around the corner from your hotel probably will not. You may see food sitting out in the open, bugs patrolling the floors, or even a rodent scurrying past. To indulge in the local cuisine, you’re going to need a tough stomach. If you don’t have one, stick with bland food, avoid meats, and consume packaged goods. Also, only drink bottled or boiled water. When eating out, this means you can drink hot tea but order bottled water.

China’s official currency is the Renminbi; however, amounts are often referred to in terms of “yuan.” Yuan is the primary unit of the Renminbi, like the “dollar” in the U.S. Vendors may announce prices in RMBs (the unofficial abbreviation for Renminbi) or yuan, but they are actually referring to the same thing. (Please note: We will be referring to all prices in CNY, the official currency abbreviation, for the sake of uniformity.) While the current exchange rate is about $1 USD for 6.30 CNY, the value of the Renminbi has been steadily climbing against the U.S. dollar.

Source: http://travel.usnews.com/Beijing_China/Travel_Tips/


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