Top Tourist Attractions of Bali

Bali Indonesia, though a tiny island, has a lot to offer to its travellers. The exceptional scenic beauty of this tropical island has fascinated tourists for years. Lofty hills, rice terrace fields, lush rain forest, pristine beach, great volcano – there is no such thing that is missing in Bali , so much to explore, that a short visit is not enough. Here are some of the major Bali attractions that you should not miss during your stay here

Bali Kuta surf
Bali Kuta surf

Kuta: The famous surfing area of Bali, Kuta offers a lot of things to enjoy. If there is one place that will help you to see a lot of the best of this island, it is Kuta. If you are just off the plane, come to this place to get the local flavor.

Ubud: Nestled to the north of Denpasar, this region is home to the Balinese royal family. Situated in the mountains Ubud is extremely beautiful. It will give you the opportunity to see some traditional villages. It’s a different world altogether where you can come close to the unspoiled old culture.

Barat National Park: Are you interested in wild life? Did you ever know that Bali has its own unique leopards? Yes Bali has a rich wildlife. If you don’t visit the Barat National Park, you are sure to miss a lifetime experience.

Kintamani: Once the biggest city of Bali, Kintamani was created by a volcanic crater. Nature lovers would simply hate to leave this place. Surrounded by mountains and jungles Kintamani offers a feel of a lost world. The beaches and hot springs add to the beauty of this place. Great site to spend your time with your beloved ! For more ideas about holiday gateways for couples check this site http://weekendgetawaysforcouples.net/

Denpasar: If you are wondering, what is the best shopping destination of Bali, the answer is Denpasar. It is the most popular shopping district where you can find good souvenirs, craftworks and the best thing about this place is that you can do some pricing.

Several Bali holiday packages are offered by travel companies these days. No matter which package you choose, make sure these places are included in your package.

Bruneau Dunes State Park

Destination:
Bruneau, ID
Bruneau Dunes State Park
Eagle Cove Campground

Bruneau Dunes State Park Map
Bruneau Dunes State Park Map

When I booked my reservation online, I was surprised to see that the Eagle Cove Campground was virtually wide open with just one reservation; while the nearby Broken Wheel Campground was nearly sold out. And that was perfect for me since I was taking a large group of campers with me, making it easy for everyone to make their own reservations and still have us all be centrally located on the same loop. I learned later why this campground was wide open, and the other nearly fully booked.

Bruneau Dunes has 82 serviced camp sites providing 15/30/50 Amp Power and water, and 16 additional standard sites. The free RV dump is conveniently located between the two campgrounds making it easy to dump either on your way home, or at any point during your stay.

The sand dunes and lake at the Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park
The sand dunes and lake at the Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park

Bruneau Dunes is home to the tallest single-structured dune in North America. Rising 470 feet above the desert and small lakes of the park, the dune covers about 600 acres and is estimated to have formed over a period of just 12,000 years. Activities at the park include fishing, birdwatching, camping, hiking, swimming, and my personal favorite: star gazing. Bruneau Dunes is home to Idaho’s only public observatory, with star watching programs available most Friday and Saturday evenings in the summer months. The stars are just spectacular out here. There isn’t a city light for many miles, and that makes for spectacular star viewing.

What I recently learned about the Eagle Cove Campground, and what you need to know about it, is this: It’s HOT at Bruneau Dunes, and ALL THE TREES are in the Broken Wheel Campground. So if you find yourself camping at Eagle Cove, bring your own shade. Also, try to park in spots 94-97 to make best use of your RV & Awning as a sun shade in the afternoon and evening hours. Spots 73-74 are also oriented well for providing shade. It also tends to be quite windy at Bruneau Dunes, so come prepared for heat and wind (think convection oven) – and bring a kite!

DESTINATION – Central & South America (Leg #1)

Central & South AmericaMy final countries destination list for Central & South America is significantly shorter than anticipated. Although I initially wanted to do 12 countries, the expensive flights and inconvenient routes of Central & South America became a hindrance. So as a compromise, I chose to stay longer at each place instead of visiting more countries. This also cuts down on administrative costs & time, and will allow for a mix of hectic exploration and relaxation

I am approximately under 5 months away from my date of departure and considering I have to get my passport renewed, get visas, etc, this leaves very little time to apply for visas for more than 3 countries.

This is where I really had to return to my  Travel Mantra, I had to think about what I wanted to get out of the experience and from there, cut the fat

FINAL LIST:

– Honduras

– Colombia

– Brazil (including flight to & from Manaus)

– Argentina

– Bolivia

– Peru (Including a flight to Cusco from Lima)

PLACES I HAD TO CUT OUT (but really didn’t want to):

Ecuador / Galapagos Islands – While it has been my lifelong DREAM to go to the Galapagos Islands, this excursion alone would add upwards of $1000 to the trip and considering I have to budget for the whole year, this seems like an obvious cut. Not one easily made however

Chile – I really wanted to go to the southernmost point of South America via Chile, and also to the Easter Island, but the Island is basically halfway to Indonesia and Chile has expensive visas & I thought about how awesome it would be to lump my eventual Chile visa with an Antartica trip when I can afford it

Mexico – Even though my only Mexico visit was to Acapulco during spring break in college (I succumbed to peer pressure – *sigh*) and I really wanted to experience the Mayan ruins, its close enough to the US that I can visit another time. And besides, this is probably not the safest time to be traipsing around drug-lord infested Mexico.

Venezuela – I’m sure Venezuela is incredible, and its both mine & Justin’s dream to visit Angel Falls, we would need an aerial tour to really experience it, and the cost of visiting the falls + airfare would be close to 1000 USD

Fernando de Noronha – This incredible escape in the Northeast corner of Brazil looks AMAZING, and I’m dying to go, but besides the 200+ USD flight to Recife, the flight from Recife to the islands (upwards of $600) and the expensive accomodations ($120+ / night) – this escursion would’ve cost us close to $1200, didn’t seem worth it

PLACES CONSIDERED (BUT SKIPPING):

Costa Rica – I’ve always fantasized about Costa Rica as this amazing place, the jungle, the surfing & beaches, but 99% of my well traveled friends pretty much agree. Once you’ve seen great beaches, & the rainforest, its kind of the same thing. And I’ve done the whole zip lining thing so it seems like an obvious choice to omit

Caribbean – Both my boyfriend and I have been to the Caribbean plenty, and not to generalize, but again, once you’ve seen a few, the difference is marginal

Panama – was on our original itinerary, but a few people who have been there told us its OK to skip that in an attempt to shave down our airline expenses

AIRFARE COST:

We had a lovely agent (Andrew) at http://www.airtreks.com help us price out our different itinerary options. Andrew was SO patient with us as we tried to rejigger everything to make all the dates work and the costs down.

In the end our fare was approx $3600 (16 flights) – including taxes & fees & the base travel insurance

And just to be sure, I priced out the itinerary via Kayak, Skyscanner and Vayama and AirTreks ended up being WAY cheaper.

How is the food in Vietnam?

How is the food in Vietnam
How is the food in Vietnam

Vietnamese cuisine is distinguished by its delicacy and lightness. The abundant use of various vegetables and spices makes it a unique culinary flavors. Overview of a kitchen that smells the exotic.

Composition of Vietnamese cuisine

Westerners often confuse the Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. The latter is however characterized by its finesse, lightness and variety of its dishes. There are nearly 500 Vietnam national dishes! Vietnamese cuisine is characterized by the omnipresence of nuoc mam sauce, fish sauce that gives flavor to its dishes, while Chinese cuisine is rather characterized by the use of soy sauce and oyster.

The Vietnamese cooking also uses a wide variety of herbs such as coriander, basil, raoram the Tiato (kind of mint), or citronella, most often added to dishes to give them a subtle fragrance. Rice and rice noodles make up the base of most dishes.

Vietnamese dishes are generally rich in vegetables. These are preferred crisp and tasty, rather than boiled in water and softened. Vegetables are usually fried, seasoned with garlic or ginger. Leafy vegetables are in turn when they are boiled, thrown into simmering water containing a little oil. Boiling water should be avoided so that the vegetables retain their freshness and green. After being drained, you can include them into salads and season with fish sauce sauce or oyster sauce. You can find many nice pictures about Vietnam food and cuisine in this Fan Page voyage vietnam , nice ressource to check before you go to Vietnam

There is less meat in Vietnamese cuisine as fish or crustaceans. Numerous dishes include the use of shrimp, whether grilled, fritters, in soups, or crushed sugar cane (chao tom). The crab is also very popular in salads or stuffed.

There are many exotic fruits that embellish meals or for desserts or dishes themselves: Khaki, jujube, green dragon, star fruit, longan, mangosteen, sapodilla, corrosoles, rambutans, toffee apples, jackfruit, passion fruit …

To visit vietnam, get your visa vietnam and don’t use water from tap to drink

Best Places to Visit in Montreal

Botanical Garden

Visitors to Montreal Botanic Garden can enjoy color and fragrances from around the world in any season and is called one of the Best Places to Visit in Montreal. Here you can explore Chinese, Aquatic, Japanese, Rose, City, Lilac Collection, Peace garden and many more. Visitors can enjoy different flowers such as Lilacs, Lotus, Cacti and Succulents, Orchids, and Gesneriads.

Best Places to Visit in Montreal
Best Places to Visit in Montreal

Biosphere Environment Museum

Museum is a architectural masterpiece and spectacular structure and is among the Best Places to Visit in Montreal. Biosphere has two wind turbines that produce 13kwh per day. Biosphere also has a geothermal system that helps to save 30-40% energy savings.

La Ronde Theme Park

La Ronde Theme Park has more than 40 rides and attractions specifically designed to delight people of all ages and theme park is truly a complete family entertainment. Here visitors with kids going to enjoy and will spend time in a perfect family fun atmosphere.

Notre-Dame Basillica

Notre-Dame Basillica is a historic building in old Montreal. The church’s Ghothic Revival architecture is among the most dramatic in the world and is one of the Best Places to Visit in Montreal. Its interior is colourful, its ceiling is deep blue and decorated with golden stars, and the rest of the sanctuary is a polychrome of blues, azures, reds, purples, silver, and gold.

Park Safari

Here families with kids going to have tremendous time as kids will enjoy to see animals as well as wild rides. Here kids can also explore the Nairobi game park and older children will enjoy playing mini-putt. Here visitors will see the wild animals from around the world and will witness why this is among the Best Places to Visit in Montreal.

International DE JAZZ DE MONTREAL

This festival is world’s largest Jazz festival and for the past 30 years Montreal is the venue for this festival. This festival hosts some 30 countries for 11 days.

Grand Prix Du Canada

Every summer Montreal hosts the Grand Prix Du Canada and thousands of race loving people come to see and enjoy the race.

Old Montreal

Old Montreal has a history dating back to 1642 when settlers from France landed at the edge of the St. Lawrence River. Here you can see some of the oldest buildings dating back to the 1600’s.

Above is the only few places to visit in Montreal and there is much more to explore.

Rex Hotel in Hochiminh city

Rex_Hotel_in_Hochiminh_city.serendipityThumbWe then proceeded to the magnificent REX HOTEL, where we had booked our five days stay. Rex Hotel started as a garage and trading center. Since then it has been renovated into a 6-storey hotel. It was used as a meeting and entertainment venue for United States military personnel.

Rex is a four star hotel. The rooms are nice and ornately appointed with rattan furniture and handicrafts. Plus they always serve daily newspaper, mineral water and fresh fruit.

The central location of the hotel makes it a top place to explore the city by foot without the need for transport. Adjacent to the People Committee House, within steps of the famous Ben Thanh Market and historical Opera House.

We feasted everyday an unforgettable buffet breakfast at the Hoa Mai Restaurant (inside Rex Hotel) that serves traditional Vietnamese cuisine together with Western favorites.

I LOVE this restauran! A major mouthwatering experience! BuUuRP! Oops, excuse me.

ADDRESS:
Rex Hotel
141 Nguyen Hue Boulevard,
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Room Rates : $95-$290
Hotel Class: 4

You can order a travel package vía a local agency as http://voyagevietnam.co/ that i’ ve tested !

San Diego – Would a City by Any Other Name be as Cool?

If you live in San Diego, there’s a good chance that you have no idea how the city (and county) was named. Well, San Diego was a real person, but not one who ever lived here.

Saint Didacus, painting courtesy San Diego Historical Society San Diego (born in 1400) was a Spanish peasant. He was named after St. James the Apostle the Greater, the Spanish patron saint. (Diego was a common alternate for Santiago or Saint James; In Latin, the name translated to Sanctus Didacus). Santiago joined the Franciscan order, and devoted his life to good works, prayer, and tending to the sick.

It is said that San Diego performed miracles. The most enduring tale about him is that he was caught sneaking some bread out to the poor. When his superior questioned him, asking what was under his cloak, he opened it and there were only flowers. Some considered this a miracle. It is also believed that after his death (in 1463 in Alcala, Spain), his relics cured Don Carlos, son of Philip II, of a grave illness.

San Diego was canonized (attaining sainthood) in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V, becoming Saint Diego (also known as St. Didacus).

When explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first saw our bay in 1542, he named it San Miguel, because the archangel’s feast day (September 29) was the first full day his party spent here.

Later, on November 11, 1602, explorer Sebastian Vizcaino renamed it San Diego de Alcala de Henares because his flagship (the San Diego) was in the bay on their patron saint’s feast day. He claimed that the reason that he renamed this land is that Cabrillo’s observations were so inaccurate that he could not find the lands Cabrillo named.

So would this be the same town if it were San Miguel? I don’t think so. Vizcaino may have had no right to rename our fair city, but I’m glad he did. Aren’t you?

Cooling Down in the San Diego Heat

San Diego
San Diego

San Diego awakened this morning to glaring sunshine and warm, dry breezes. With temperatures rising into the eighties (and the nineties in outlying areas like Ramona), students across the county couldn’t wait to get out of school and cool off. Solar covers were flung off of swimming pools faster than a frisbee to a forehead, and anyone without a pool in the neighborhood probably spent their afternoon in the sprinklers or sitting in front of an air conditioner.

Tomorrow’s temperatures are predicted to be even higher, up to 98 degrees in Borrego Springs, continuing to rise on Wednesday morning.

This all might sound enviable if you’re looking at severe thunderstorms in Texas, or tornadoes in Kansas, but the San Diego weather is not without worries.

Just a few days ago the Union-Tribune reported that California is facing the worst fire conditions in almost a century.

Several indicators, especially fuel moisture levels, add up to tremendous fire potential

said San Diego fire Deputy Chief of Operations Jeff Carle. This is particularly frightening now, with the memory of the Cedar wildfire, which took 2,400 homes and fifteen lives, still fresh in our memories.

Historically, the state has declared fire season between May and June, but the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CDF) declared that fire season started last Monday in San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties. Today they kicked off CAL FIRE Wildfire Awareness Week with a tour of public events, which should arrive in El Cajon on Friday.

For the elderly in particular, the heat can be both expensive and dangerous. If you live on the coast, you can do without air conditioning, letting the ocean breezes do the cooling on most days. Those living inland are not so lucky, and many of our aging population must forego air conditioning to cut down on expensive energy bills.

Each year, dozens of people, most of them elderly, die of heat-related causes in California. Hoping to save lives, San Diego’s Aging and Independence Services (AIS) is now coordinating Cool Zones, offering places for senior citizens to escape mid-day heat and reduce their own air conditioning use. People with special needs and the general public can also visit these sites, normally located in senior centers and public buildings.

SDG&E is working with AIS to enable seniors without transportation to get to a Cool Zones site. They are also offering free portable fans for seniors and the disabled, if they cannot afford them.

To find a Cool Zone in your community, call (800) 510-2020, or visit the Utility Consumers’ Action Network or the San Diego Eldercare Directory and click on your area under Cool Zone sites.