Showing posts with label go travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label go travel. Show all posts

Monday, December 05, 2011

10 World Biggest Holes on Earth

It is believed that holes are wrath of god on this earth and are pathway to hell. Most people reading this would agree but here it is certainly not the case. Holes created in different parts of the world either due to human works like mining, as sum of these are diamond mine shafts that have been abandoned or due to wrath of god as we all know through meteor shower or something similar falling that made the dinosaurs extinct are today popular vacation spots as they are a visual extravaganza.

Whether it’s the Great Blue Hole of Belize, Mirny Diamond Mine of Siberia or the Burning Gates of Turkmenistan, all of these attract a hell lot of tourists and adventure seekers every year just to get a glimpse and experience the ultimate souvenir of nature. Check these cool pictures.

Mirny Diamond Mine of Siberia

Great Blue Hole – Belize

Burning Gates of Turkmenistan

Kimberley Big Hole -  South Africa

Bingham Canyon Mine – Utah

Glory Hole in Monticello Dam California

Diavik Diamond Mine – Canada

Guatemala Sinkhole

Chuquicamata Copper Mine – Chile

Udachnaya Pipe – Russia

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Travel Picks: Top 10 tips for holiday travel

Travel Month
(Reuters) - Silver bells, sleigh rides, menorahs and mistletoe are on the not-so-distant horizon.

But before the festivities get underway, there are flights to catch, security lines to endure and delays to tolerate. With that in mind, online travel adviser ( ) have come up with 10 top holiday travel tips to help you navigate the festive season. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. For procrastinators: Book last-minute

Typically we encourage travelers to book flights between 60 and 90 days before an anticipated date of departure. That ideal time-frame has now passed, leaving many fliers scrambling to find holiday fare deals. But all is not lost! Data shows that airlines this year were perhaps a bit too aggressive with pricing early on, leaving seats still to be filled. Lucky for procrastinators, flash sales are popping up left and right and - better yet - the best is possibly yet to come. Start scanning now, as early December bookers could save the most on holiday flights.

2. Travel alternatively

As ongoing advocates of both alternative airports and alternative destinations, our stance holds true with the season of cheer upon us. For fliers with a set destination in mind, taking the time to compare nearby airports based on affordability could mean major savings. Boston residents, for instance, should consider TF Green International in Providence or Manchester-Boston Regional in New Hampshire if fares out of Logan are too steep. And the same is true for arrival cities. Folks eager to get away for a beach vacation should look for the deal rather than the destination. Instead of Miami this Christmas, how about a beach town on the Gulf like Fort Meyers or Sarasota? The bottom line: do your homework.

3. Fly on the holiday

Flight searches by date often tell an interesting but consistent story: flying midweek, early in the day or late at night saves travelers cash. 'Tis true on holidays, too. Many times the lowest fares go to travelers willing to fly on the holiday itself, whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's Eve. Plus, the cheer can be felt 35,000 feet in the air for flexible fliers, as some airlines are particularly festive. Lufthansa in Christmases past has cooked traditional German meals and decked cabins with wreaths and decorations so passengers - and flight crews - can share in the celebration.

4. For gift givers: Shop online

In an era of ever-increasing baggage fees, it's best to show up to the airport with as little to check in as possible. Lucky for those with long wish lists, nearly everything nowadays can be found - and shipped - thanks to the glorious Internet. Evidence? Our recent list of travel gift ideas, all of which are available courtesy of the web. Order a Big Wheel-luggage hybrid for the junior traveler in your life or an airline gift card for your favorite frequent flier. No matter the choice, it means less to get through security and less on your credit card.

5. Ship gifts

If you've found a gift at a great rate or a specialty item during your holiday shopping sprees, then of course seize the deal. But if it doesn't fit in your carry-on, you may want to ship it via a courier company. Do the math a week before to see what will cost you less: a tracked package or an extra bag. If it's the latter, remember to leave your gifts unwrapped so security can easily access the contents.

6. Pack an empty suitcase

If the price is right, bringing an extra piece of luggage on your trip can be a frugal decision. Then, when it comes time to transport the gifts you've received home, you'll have an empty suitcase to fill. Either pack a fold-up duffel in your luggage or bring a separate bag if it means you won't get hit with high-priced baggage fees. First calculate what it will cost to ship your gifts home, then plan and pack accordingly.

7. Peruse duty-free

International fliers over the holidays have the opportunity to savor their layovers a bit in the duty-free shops, where high-end products go for everyday prices in airports around the globe. Hubs like Hong Kong International Airport, Amsterdam Airport Schipol and London Heathrow Airport offer shoppers a bounty of stocking stuffers and goodies for under the tree. Shop on your way - or way home - tax-free. A friendly reminder: If you're connecting Stateside from certain international locations, liquids purchased at duty-free have to be checked before the domestic leg of your flight.

8. For air mile collectors: Save the miles

Miles get tricky around the holidays, especially since "low points" seats for the most popular travel dates sell out even before the Halloween candy has hit the shelves. There's that, plus some airlines implement the never-popular blackout dates. Accumulated miles, whether through an airline or a credit card, are used most economically either when travel plans are booked early or a traveler has flexibility with their itinerary. Our advice: Save the points during the holidays unless you snag a great deal.

9. Health: Invest in hand sanitizer

The most wonderful time of the year is also the most sniffly time of the year for many travelers. Keep that in mind before you head for the airport, and pack plenty of hand sanitizer to help fend off germs. There's nothing worse than realizing during ascent that you're stuck in a cabin full of recycled air with a sickly seatmate. Fill your prescriptions, drink lots of water, wash your hands often - whatever it takes to guarantee your holidays will be spent both joy- and health-filled.

10. Plan ahead and expect delays

Flight delays are pretty much a guarantee this time of year, whether its crowded airports, bad weather or mechanical problems causing them. There's a way to plan ahead so that getting stuck behind infrequent fliers and families of five at airport security doesn't cause anxiety. First, avoid connections if you can when booking, even if it means paying a little more. If a connection is a must, then ensure there's a long enough layover in case your first flight is late to land. On the day of travel, get to the airport earlier - way earlier - than you typically would. Worst-case scenario: You spend extra time with your Kindle at the departure gate or relaxing at the airport bar.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Where to go in December ?

Best Place For December.
In Europe, the Christmas holidays draw families to the ski slopes to celebrate the festive season: the Pyrenees in France and Spain and the Austrian, Swiss or Italian Alps are popular destinations. It is also the time for festive markets in many European towns such as Strasbourg, Munich or Brussels. Whatever the destination in Europe it will probably be cold and wet with snow in the more northern regions.
In Asia, it is the best time to visit Laos where there is little rain at present and the temperature is not too high as yet. It is also pleasant to travel around Bangladesh in December and visit the long beaches, archaeological sites and get to know the friendly people. It is a great time now for the Maldives during their dry season although the prices are a little high as it is a popular destination at this time. In Thailand the rains have decreased somewhat now and the temperatures are warming up, it is fairly calm there at present if you avoid the typical tourist resorts.
In Africa, the Cameroons have their dry, temperate season right now, the only disturbance being the harmattan, the warm wind blowing over from the Sahara. The same is true for Senegal where the temperatures are as agreeable. The Ivory Coast is a perfect destination at this time. If you like to visit the beach during wintertime then the Seychelles are a dream destination but you will certainly not be alone and the prices are a little elevated at this time so popular with tourists.
In America, Mexico is a favourite destination during December as is the whole of the Caribbean including Jamaica, Cuba, the French West Indies and the Bahamas too which see a sharp rise in visitor numbers during the festive season thanks to the excellent climate which sees a fairly stable temperature of around 28°C at this time. If you don't mind the cold then you could visit New York and participate in the lively New Year festivities in this megalopolis.
To be avoided:
Malaysia, in the middle of its winter monsoon period so experiencing heavy and sustained rainfall. Egypt, with little sun at present and some hotels there are unheated despite the cooler temperatures. All of Eastern Europe, the climate is currently a little harsh and unappealing.

Our choice
For skiers, the French and Spanish Pyrenees have plenty of small family ski resorts with good snow and reasonable prices even during the festive season.
Southern Australia will certainly satisfy those with a taste for adventure down under as it's entering its summer season. The ideal time for surfing, swimming and meeting the koalas, emus and opossums, not forgetting the famous laughing kookaburra.
Between those two destinations we find Senegal; a stopover warmed as much by the weather as the smiles and sunny dispositions of the people.

News By Thebesttimetovisit.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Sydney's Island Bar in full swing

Sydney, Australia
One of the best ways to kick off summer in Sydney might just be an outdoor barbecue in your best friend's backyard. Even better if that backyard has panoramic views of the city skyline and sunsets that most visitors to Sydney would pay a premium to see.

Island Bar, a trendy drinking oasis reached by ferry on the small, historic Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour, is back for its second season, and starting 1 December, will be open every day through 31 January.

The patio area, decked out with lawn chairs and an artificial grass lawn, is a stark contrast to the bar area, which is constructed from recycled shipping containers to honour the island’s shipbuilding and naval history. In the ample open-air seating, visitors can sip gourmet cocktails stirred up by mixologist Marco Faraone and dine on authentic Italian spuntini platters and wood-fired pizzas in Sydney's world-renowned summer weather. The new second floor Tropics Lounge overlooks the bar and water.

Island Bar is a perfect place to partake in the very Australian "Sunday Sesh", where locals spend the afternoon lazily hanging around with their best mates and a couple of jugs of Cold War Sgroppino -- a delightful mix of Russian Standard Vodka, lemon sorbet, Aperol and lemon juice. There’s also a tennis court nearby with the best backdrop in all of Sydney.

Visitors to Cockatoo Island before 11 December can stop by the Outpost Project, a street arts festival featuring more than 150 street artists from around the world. Along with perusing some visually stimulating art, drop by some of the pop-up bars and galleries tied to the festival before kicking back for the rest of the evening at Island Bar.

News by BBC

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Monday, October 31, 2011

10 Great Mountain Towns

By Jamie Moore (Yahoo Travel)

Lucerne, Switzerland

This picturesque Swiss Alps city is like a model-train set come to life. Medieval-style homes and shops with flower boxes line cobblestoned streets. The wooden 14th-century Chapel Bridge (Kapllbrücke) spans the Reuss River flowing through the town's crystal-clear Lake Lucerne. And in the backdrop, little red cog railway cars climb the steep Mt. Pilatus.

Do: Take the cog railway up to Mt. Pilatus for lunch or for a hike at what feels like the top of the world. There are also high ropes courses, zip-lines, tubing slides, and summer toboggan runs here. Return by train and boat or by gondola and bus to the historic Old Town, a pedestrian-only shopping area where you can stroll narrow, winding streets to the Hermès shop. Splurge at Max Chocolatier, or save by hitting the impressive chocolate aisle at a local grocery store.

Riobamba, Ecuador

Like many cities in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Riobamba lives in the shadow of a sleeping giant. Clouds wisp at the tip of the inactive Chimborazo volcano, Ecuador's highest point, while native llama, alpaca, and vicuña graze in the protected habitat below. You'll see why some call Riobamba the Sultan of the Andes when you explore the colonial city center's cathedrals and museums.

Do: Shop for handicrafts at the Saturday market on the streets northeast of Parque de la Concepción. Try the market's snow cones (raspados) made from blocks of ice transported from the glacier by mules, a local tradition. Another favorite is the zigzagging Chiva Express train ride up a 45-degree pitch called Devil's Nose. Latin Trails will take you to the train or on an ice-harvest adventure.

Girdwood, Alaska

Next to the state's largest ski resort, just outside Anchorage, Girdwood was originally called "Glacier City" for the colossal icy peaks that surround it. Calving glaciers thunder into the Prince William Sound, and humpback whales play in nearby Kenai Fjords National Park. Set amid this idyllic valley's rugged beauty is one of Alaska's most productive and still active placer gold mines, Crow Creek Mine, where you can pan for gold.

Do: Find adventure and great photo ops year-round on a guided glacier hike or ice-climbing trek. A trip to the top on Alyeska Resort's aerial tram nets you a splurge-worthy dinner destination: Seven Glaciers Restaurant. The town's best cinnamon rolls are at The Bake Shop near the base of the ski hill.

Bled, Slovenia

Not far from the Austrian border, Bled in the Julien Alps has all the elements of a classic fairy tale: a clifftop castle, frosted peaks, an emerald lake, a church steeple, a wishing bell, and a signature sweet treat. This alpine town even sits at the edge of a dark forest (Triglav National Park) with a waterfall and mountains known for legends of the Zlatorog, the golden-horned chamois that is said to live here.

Do: Hike up to the 1,000-year-old Bled Castle, where you can bottle wine in the cellar, indulge in the herbal gallery's aroma, or stay for a meal with a view. Visit Bled Island in Bled Lake by rowing a boat or hitching a ride on a local gondola-like pletna, then ring the famous church bell. Don't miss the town's signature cream cake (kremna rezina) at Slascicarna Smon.

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games introduced the world to this ski town's stunning beauty and cosmopolitan allure. At the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, icy blue streams gurgle through the pedestrian village. Boutique shops, lively pubs, and restaurant patios open onto great people-watching thoroughfares, where you can take in high fashion and sexy foreign accents in one delicious shot.

Do: Ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola from Whistler to Blackcomb, or soak in the outdoor hydrotherapy baths at Scandinave Spa. In winter you can try the Sliding Centre's skeleton and bobsleigh runs—reaching speeds of up to 135 kilometers per hour—or race the luge track from spring through fall. At the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre cafe, sample traditional bannock fry bread and salmon chowder. Hit Zog's Dogs food cart for cinnamon BeaverTails or bratwurst and poutine (a mix of fries, cheese curds, and gravy).

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe is the quintessential New England village. In a fertile valley between the Green Mountains' peaks, this quaint town of 4,500 is a throwback to all things wholesome. The historical Main Street area is home to a general store, a malt shop, and even a mercantile with fresh handmade fudge. Head to the surrounding countryside for a grazing tour of Vermont's farm treats.

Do: You can stop in for free samples year-round at Laughing Moon Chocolates on Main Street or at Cold Hollow Cider Mill and Ben & Jerry's in the Waterbury area. Harrison's Restaurant & Bar, a popular watering hole in a historical Main Street basement, is like the Cheers of Stowe. Browse Stowe Craft & Design for handmade items, including great furniture for mountain retreats.

Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand

This South Island lake town, away from the crowds of its popular Queenstown neighbor, sits in a glacier-carved basin near the edge of Mt. Aspiring National Park's Southern Alps. Mountains rise out of Lake Wanaka, vineyards drape the hillsides, and tiny islands harbor uninhabited sanctuaries for the flightless buff weka bird. It's no wonder the laid-back Kiwi vibe has such a stronghold here.

Do: Relax with a local beer and a slice of pizza at Kai Whaka Pai, which has the best view in town. Eco Wanaka boat tours take you to Moa Wahu Island to see the native weka. At Cinema Paradiso you can watch movies in comfy old couches and eat warm homemade cookies during the intermission. Experience the scenery from an open-air Vintage Tigermoth flight with goggles and a leather helmet or on a canyoning trip in a wetsuit, helmet, and booties.

Taos, New Mexico

This Southwestern town, in a high desert valley, is a study in contrasts. Rich blue skies meet an arid countryside dotted with adobe dwellings and the Taos Pueblo village. The Sangre de Cristo Range towers majestically above the desert floor. And the Rio Grande's whitewater cuts a deep gorge in red sandstone below. Is it any wonder Georgia O'Keeffe, D.H. Lawrence, and countless others have been inspired here?

Do: Find kitschy kachina dolls, baskets, pottery, and other treasures at Robert Cafazzo's Two Graces Gallery, Curios and Bookstore in Ranchos de Taos. Sip a local specialty—the Buddha Margarita—during Taos Inn's Adobe Bar happy hour from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For dinner, don't miss El Meze, a restaurant that puts a Spanish/Moorish twist on traditional local cuisine.

Gyalthang, Yunnan Province, China

Set among Himalayan snowcaps, this ancient rural town near the Tibetan border is a hidden highland utopia. Here in Gyalthang (Jiantang Town), renamed after the fictional land of Shangri-La in 2001, locals live simple, long lives far from the influence of the outside world. Shaggy yaks drag plows through rich soil, and the sound of chanting floats out of Tibetan monasteries. Just outside town, pastures open up to alpine lakes, gorges, and swift rivers fed by mountain snow.

Do: Shop for colorful scarves, blankets, and local handicrafts in Old Town, or stop at Bhuskar's Kitchen for authentic Tibetan and Indian/Nepalese food. View seekers can climb the local Shika Mountain or take a cable-car ride to the top. Songtsam Retreat leads excursions to Pudacuo National Park, home to 100 endangered species.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Gold seekers founded this Victorian mining town in 1859, and many of the original buildings that housed hotels, dance halls, and saloons still stand. The new occupants—quirky boutiques, restaurants, outfitters, and microbreweries—capture Breckenridge's pioneering spirit and down-to-earth character. It's an unpretentious Rocky Mountain high 90 miles west of Denver.

Do: Meet local sled dogs in their off-season and hop on a dogcart for a backcountry tour. Check out the whimsical, handmade clothing at Magical Scraps. Try Breckenridge Brewery, the Breckenridge Distillery, or the Blue River Bistro for drinks. For dinner, indulge in locally sourced cuisine in a historical Victorian house at Hearthstone Restaurant. Lucha's breakfast burritos are legendary.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

The 20 Best Views in the World

beautiful scenery
Beautiful Scenery

Fortunately for us, a great view can happen at any place and at any moment: a sunset over an empty field, an unexpected panorama from the top of an office building, the morning sun on a crowded street. There are some classic views, however, that are certainly worth a trip. As a travel writer, I am lucky to behold a number of spectacular sights, but the following ones I'll remember for a very long time.

1. The Grand Canyon from the South Rim
People come from all over the world to take in this vista, which at sunset resembles an impressionistic painting brought to life. Hopi Point, on the West Rim Drive, extends far out into the canyon and is an excellent vantage point among many. Try to visit during the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October, when the weather is milder and the park is less crowded.

2. Hong Kong Island from Kowloon
Hong Kong Island is clustered with dizzying neon-lit skyscrapers, and the view from the Kowloon Peninsula across Victoria Harbour is straight out of a science-fiction film. This dense urban scene is especially impressive every evening at 8, when it promptly erupts into a laser light show!

3. Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
This remarkable bay between the island of Phuket and the Thai mainland is dotted with hundreds of tall limestone formations that rise hundreds of feet from the sea. Ten thousand years ago, you could walk among these towers; now only their tops are visible, like the skyline of a sunken city.

4. Manhattan from the top of Rockefeller Plaza
The Empire State Building has some very serious competition when it comes to sweeping views of Manhattan. I now prefer the relatively new Top of the Rock Observation Deck in Rockefeller Center, mostly for its incredible panorama of Central Park to the north. Look hard and you can spot Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

5. Istanbul skyline from the Bosphorus strait, Turkey
The Bosphorus strait, which runs squarely through the middle of Istanbul, famously divides Europe and Asia. Both sides of the city slope down to the water like an urban valley. The view from Galata Bridge includes several of the city incredible mosques, whose graceful domes and towering minarets are the stuff of fairytales.

6. The Ngorongoro Crater from North Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world largest calderas, which are formed when volcanoes explode and collapse upon themselves. The result is an elevated plateau perfectly ringed with tall mountains. From this hotel, the caldera spreads out below like a vast natural basin, and to know that it�s teeming with elephants, lions and wildebeest is especially exciting.

7. St. Paul from Waterloo Bridge, London
Waterloo Bridge, which has been around in various guises since the early 19th century and has inspired all manner of songs and poems, is cannily situated on a bend of the Thames that affords one of the best views in London. Looking east toward the city, St. Paul Cathedral (the dome of which recalls the U.S. Capitol) sits like a graceful dowager queen in the midst of cranes and skyscrapers.

8. The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands
Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge is vastly overrated; it incredibly windy, and rushing traffic is just steps away. You are much better off heading up to the Marin Headlands (particularly Hawk Hill) and taking in the view from a calm park bench, with the Bay, the bridge, the city and the blue Pacific spread out far below.

9. Machu Picchu, Peru
Perched on a mountain ridge high above the Urumba Valley in central Peru, this remarkable Incan city is surrounded on three sides by steep valleys, giving visitors the distinct impression that they are hovering in air. The fact that the ruins are frequently draped in a light cloud layer only adds to the thrilling vertigo of the place.

10. The Yucatan Peninsula from the top of Chichen Itza, Mexico
It 365 steps to the top of El Castillo, the main temple of this sprawling Mayan city, but the view from the top is well worth it. The soft green expanse of Yucatan jungle stretching out in every direction is truly mesmerizing. And with a good pair of binoculars, you can spot distant ruins rising up from the canopy.

11. Florence from the loggia of Villa San Michele, Italy
The town of Fiesole, perched on a hillside northeast of Florence, was where wealthy Florentines chose to escape the heat and humidity of the Arno River Valley in the gardens of their lavish villas. The Villa San Michele was constructed in the 15th century and is now a famous hotel. A loggia (open-sided gallery) runs along one side of the building, from which you can look out across the entire city of Florence, an expanse of terra-cotta roofs dominated by the great dome of its 14th-century cathedral. The view, which has changed little in 500 years, offers a kind of time travel back to the world of the High Renaissance.

12. Paris from the Pont des Arts, France
A pedestrian bridge across the Seine, the Pont des Arts is at the epicenter of Paris. On the right bank is the Cour Carr of the Louvre; on the left, the Institut de France; directly upstream is the far of Notre Dame Cathedral. Standing on the bridge, the great art historian Kenneth Clark famously remarked: What is civilization? I do not know. But I think I can recognize it when I see it: and I am looking at it now."

13. The medina of Fes from the Palais Jamai, Morocco
The ancient walled city of Fes is dramatically sited in a bowl of hills. From the Palais Jamai (now a hotel) you gaze down on the white and beige roofs of the medieval medina, a vast warren of alleys and courtyards in which it is all too easy to become hopelessly lost. At is center are the green-tiled roofs of the University of Al-Karaouine, founded in 859 and the oldest university in the world.

14. Annapurna from Sarankot, Nepal
The Himalayas are unlike any other mountains on earth: They are simply much bigger and grander. Arguments rage about which is the most unforgettable view: The Kangshung Face of Everest in Tibet; K2 from the snout of the Baltoro Glacier; Kanchenjunga across the tea terraces of Darjeeling. The list is endless. The first time I saw the Himalayas in all their incomparable splendor was from the village of Sarankot, 5,000 feet up in the foothills of Nepal. It is a famous panoramic view of immense peaks, dominated by the 26,000-foot Annapurna massif. And to this day, it remains my most indelible memory.

15. Sydney Harbour from Taronga Zoo, Australia
Which is the most spectacular harbor in the world: Rio, Hong Kong or Sydney? It si hard to say, but on a sunny day, the view from Taronga Zoo across a yacht-strewn expanse of blue water to the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the towers of downtown Sydney certainly takes the cake.

16. The Potala Palace from across the Lhasa River, Tibet
Throughout the 19th century, Lhasa was the most mysterious city in the world, a magnet for intrepid European travelers. Today, it is a Chinese regional capital, increasingly swamped by shoddy and depressing concrete buildings. At its heart, however, the magnificent Potala Palace, the winter residence of Tibet Dalai Lamas, is still as extraordinary as ever. Its 13 stories are terraced 400 feet up the side of Marpo Ria, contain more than 1,000 rooms and have walls 16 feet thick. There are few more remarkable and impressive structures on earth.

17. The Parthenon from Mount Lycabettus, Athens, Greece
Athens is not a particularly beautiful city, but every time you turn a corner and catch a glimpse of the Parthenon, high on the Acropolis, your spirits are instantly lifted. The most stirring view is not from down in the city itself, however, but from the top of 900-foot Mount Lycabettus, one of the isolated limestone peaks that rise from the Plain of Attica. It is possible to walk to the summit through pine trees from Kolonaki, Athens chicest residential district.

18. The Lemaire Channel, Antarctica
Nicknamed Kodak Gap, of the Lemaire Channel extends for seven miles between the Antarctic Peninsula and Booth Island. Snowcapped 3,000-foot peaks rise almost vertically from a sea littered with ice floes. For some reason, the water usually has a mirror-like surface, and the reflections, especially in December and January at the time of the midnight sun, are almost psychedelic.

19. The City Palace from the Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
The Lake Palace, apparently afloat in the middle of Lake Pichola, is an image familiar from innumerable photography books and India Tourist Board posters. But the view the other way, from the Lake Palace to the city of Udaipur, is equally, if not more, extraordinary. The colossal City Palace, a mass of golden stone rising from the sapphire waters of the lake, was a scene beloved by 18th- and 19th-century European watercolorists.

20. The temples of Bagan, Myanmar
Dotted across a plain beside the Irrawaddy River in central Myanmar, the ruins of Bagan cover 16 square miles. Dozens of immense stupas and temples rise from the red, dusty soil, all that remains of a major city sacked by the Mongol Kublai Khan. The scene at sunrise is unforgettably romantic.

By Andrew Harper

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Friday, October 14, 2011

10 Outrageous Travel Fees

Companies in the travel industry seem to be finding more ways to get you to open your wallet. At a time when travelers are looking to save, prices are actually rising. In fact, domestic airfare prices jumped more than 8 percent from last year.

But that increase tells only part of the story. Consumers also are feeling the pinch of rising costs from airlines, hotels and car rental companies over items as mundane as boarding passes and pillows.

Here are Bankrate's 10 most outrageous travel fees and how to avoid them.

1. Fees for Booking by Phone

If you try to book your flight over the telephone instead of over the Internet, you may be charged more. Nearly all major airlines charge booking fees of $25 to $35 for this service.

To avoid the surcharge, try to book online whenever possible. Often, the best deals are listed on the airlines' websites.

2. Print Your Boarding Pass

Spirit Airlines (SAVE: 15.90, +1.38, +9.50%) has started charging passengers $5 to print their boarding passes at the airport. These travel fees will be assessed starting Nov. 1, 2011. The charge is assessed for each flight, so that's an extra $10 round trip. If you want to avoid the fees, you'll have to print the pass at home and bring it with you.

3. Avoid Checking Your Luggage

Got extra luggage to check? You'll have to pay. American and Delta airlines (DAL: 8.68, +0.26, +3.09%) charge $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second one. The airlines do make exceptions. They typically won't charge the most elite members of their frequent traveler clubs or for passengers who are traveling to certain international destinations.

Otherwise, take a carry-on bag instead of checking your luggage to avoid these travel fees.

If you do need to check a bag, be sure to pack light. Major airlines charge fees of up to $90 per bag for overweight luggage that weighs 51 to 70 pounds, and the prices increase for heavier bags.

Also, check with your airline to see if it gives a discount for online baggage checking. For example, US Airways (LCC: 6.30, +0.07, +1.12%) charges $20 for the first checked bag that's ordered online, compared to $25 to check bags at the airport.

4. Seat Selection Fees

It's one thing to buy your ticket for a flight, but if you want to select your seat, you may have to pay an extra travel fee. Many airlines, such as AirTran and Spirit, charge you to select the seat you want. At AirTran, the cost ranges from $6 to $20 per ticket.

Even if your airline doesn't charge for seat assignments, you may have to pay if you want to sit in a row that has extra legroom. At Spirit, the fees for seats with more leg space start at $12 if reserved in advance.

5. Priority Boarding Charges

If you want to board your plane early in order to claim space in an overhead bin, some airlines will make you pay for the privilege. American Airlines (AMR: 2.96, +0.15, +5.34%) charges for a service called Express Seats. You have to pay more for your ticket, but you can be one of the first people to board for your flight, regardless of your frequent flier status.

You also get to sit in one of the first few rows in coach. Pricing varies by trip, but The Dallas Morning News reported the surcharge at $19 to $39 each way.

JetBlue Airways (JBLU: 4.57, +0.05, +1.11%) recently launched a related program called "Even More Space," which costs a minimum of $10 per seat. Customers have early access to boarding and overhead bins and can sit in rows with extra legroom.

If you don't pay this extra charge, you'll have to hope you can grab a seat with sufficient space after the airline loads everyone else.

6. A Pillow will Cost You

If you want to take a quick nap on your flight, you'll have to pay up if you want to use a pillow from some airlines.

US Airways charges $7 for what's called a Power-Nap Sack. The package is an upgrade from a standard issue pillow. It includes a blanket, inflatable neck pillow, eyeshades and an earplug. It also includes a coupon for a future purchase from SkyMall, an in-flight shopping catalog.

American Airlines has a similar blanket and pillow package for $8.

The new products are nice and convenient, but if you don't want to pay this travel fee, you'll have to figure out a way to nap without an airline-issued cushion.

7. Expect Credit Card Surcharges Abroad

If you plan to travel abroad, be aware your credit card company may levy surcharges on foreign purchases you make. These travel fees are typically about 3 percent of the purchase price.

To avoid some of these travel fees, consider prepaying your international hotel and car rental costs while you're still in the U.S. Also, consider using a credit card that doesn't charge extra for currency conversions and spending overseas. Some card issuers, including Capital One, offer this benefit.

8. Rental Car Insurance

Collision-damage waiver, or CDW, insurance is a moneymaker for car rental companies. These optional policies insure you if you get in a wreck or otherwise experience a claims loss while renting a car. The charge for such rental car insurance can add $15 to $25 to the daily cost of a car rental.

The catch is that you may already have protection through your credit card company or auto insurer.

Before leaving on a trip, check with your insurance agent and card issuer to see what kind of coverage you have for car rentals. If your credit card already offers sufficient protection, you could decline the optional coverage. Just be sure to use that credit card when you make your rental reservation.

8. Watch Out for Airport Fees

This isn't an airline charge, but it is charged by rental car companies located within airports. These businesses have to pay fees to the airport to operate in their facilities, and they pass the charges on to you in the form of a concession recovery fee.

This charge can increase the cost of the car rental by up to 20 percent. To avoid paying extra, consider renting a car at a nonairport location. Just make sure the company offers a lower rate at the other location and doesn't inflate the price to match what's charged at the airport facility.

10. Hook up to Hotel Wi-Fi for a Fee

Many major hotel chains, including Marriott (MAR: 30.15, -0.08, -0.26%) and Sheraton (HOT: 46.50, +0.48, +1.04%), charge for high-speed Internet access in your hotel room. Fees start at about $10 to $15 per day. To avoid these charges, ask if free Wi-Fi is available in common areas, such as the lobby. Also, ask the front desk or concierge if there are restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi nearby.

If you have a smartphone with a data plan, you can skip the hotel Internet altogether and just use your phone to surf the Web.

News by Foxnews

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Top 100 travel destination

Cast your minds back to every holiday / vacation you have ever taken!! Is there a place that stands out from the rest? Is there a destination or specific holiday or vacation attraction that takes its place as your number 1 'Best Travel Destination'. If so, whether it be an awe inspiring historical monument, place of immense excitement, the most beautiful place you have ever experienced or simply a place that just 'did it for you', please participate in this international survey (more details at the bottom of the page) for the 'Best Travel Destination'.

Below is the international survey for the world top 100 'Best Travel Destination''s based on holiday / vacation experiences.
1, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Orlando (USA) 
2, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Sydney (Australia)
3, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Paris (France) 
4, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Venice (Italy)
5, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. London (England)
6, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Manhattan (USA)
7, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Cape Town (South Africa)
8, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Las Vegas (USA) 
9, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Rome (Italy) 
10, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Great Barrier Reef (Australia) 
11, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Maldives (Asia)
12, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. South Island (New Zealand Region)
13, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Hawaii (USA)
14, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Grand Canyon (USA)
15, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Niagara Falls (Canada)
16, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. San Francisco (USA) 
17, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Rio De Janeiro (Brazil)
18, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Los Angeles (USA)
19, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Dubai (UAE) 
20, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) 
21, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Singapore (Asia)
22, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Seychelles (Africa)
23, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Auckland (New Zealand)
24, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Bali (Indonesia)
25, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Durban (South Africa)
26, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Bangkok (Thailand) 
27, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Whitsundays (Australia)
28, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Iceland (Europe)
29, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Costa Del Sol (Spain) 
30, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Cairns (Australia)
31, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Antigua & Barbuda (Caribbean)
32, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Melbourne (Australia)
33, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Mallorca (Spain)
34, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Giza (Egypt) 
35, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Lake District (England)
36, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Barbados (Caribbean) 
37, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Abu Simbel (Egypt) 
38, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Bahamas (Caribbean) 
39, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt)
40, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. New York (USA)
41, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Madrid (Spain)
42, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Zermatt (Switzerland)
43, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Algarve (Portugal) 
44, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) 
45, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Marbella (Spain)
46, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Bora Bora (French Polynesia) 
47, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Chich�n Itz� (Mexico)
48, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Masai Mara (Kenya) 
49, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Florence (Italy) 
50, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Disney World (Florida, USA) 
51, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Puerto Banus (Spain)
52, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Toronto (Canada)
53, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Great Wall (China)
54, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Agra (India)
55, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Edinburgh (Scotland)
56, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Menorca (Spain)
57, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Luxor (Egypt)
58, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Monaco (Europe)
59, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Hong Kong (China)
60, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Banff (Canada)
61, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Sorrento (Italy)
62, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Key West (USA)
63, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Canc�n (Mexico)
64, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Koh Samui (Thailand)
65, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Nice (France)
66, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Machu Picchu (Peru)
67, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Yosemite National Park (USA)
68, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Oahu (USA)
69, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Florida Keys (USA)
70, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Guam (Pacific Islands)
71, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Dublin (Ireland)
72, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Vancouver (Canada)
73, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Cumbria (England)
74, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. La Digue (Seychelles)
75, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Ayers Rock (Australia)
76, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Cayman Islands (Caribbean)
77, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Amritsar (India)
78, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. St Pete Beach (USA)
79, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Ibiza (Spain)
80, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Adelaide (Australia)
81, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Benidorm (Costa Blanca, Spain)
82, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Airlie Beach (Australia)
83, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Prague (Czech Republic)
84, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Aberdare National Park (Kenya)
85, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Cuba (Caribbean)
86, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Paphos (Cyprus)
87, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Valley of the Kings (Egypt)
88, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
89, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Isle of Man (Europe)
90, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Chamonix (France)
91, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Cannes (France)
92, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Courchevel (France)
93, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Berlin (Germany)
94, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Corfu (Greece)
95, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Wroclaw (Poland)
96, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Iguassu Falls (Argentina/Brazil)
97, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Malta (Malta)
98, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Playa Del Carmen (Mexico)
99, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
100, Visit Travel Guide for this destination. Miami Beach (USA)