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The 2 Sides of Hoover Dam

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Did you know that Hoover Dam is between Arizona and Nevada? Yes it is. I only came to know when we visited few days ago. All I know is that Hoover Dam is a very famous landmark in Boulder City, Nevada. It was built around 1931 and completed 5 years later.  After visiting the famous attraction, I learned that the Hoover Dam spans from one end of Nevada and the other end of Arizona.

 

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(The Hoover Dam from the Arizona side and behind is the Memorial Bridge)

 

We drove from our hotel in Las Vegas to Hoover Dam. The drive was approximately 45 minutes without any congestion. We even got lost and drove all the way to Arizona and had to turn back to reach the road towards the entry of the Hoover Dam gate.

 

We crossed the Hoover Dam and parked our car on the Arizona side. The view was spectacular! We walked towards the sign board that indicated that we were in Arizona already. The road uphill after the state sign has more views of Hoover Dam and the surroundings. And I find them very beautiful despite of the very hot and humid weather that day.

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The water was a bit low when we visited but there were still some small sailboats sailing by beyond the buoys. We took some pictures from the upper road that has a balcony ledge on the side of the dam. After that, we went back to the car and drove to the other side, which is the Nevada side and parked in the car park.

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If you are visiting the Hoover Dam for the first time, it has a small restaurant and a merchandise/souvenir shop near the entrance, and car park. Few meters away from the shop is the Spillway House which was originally built in 1987. It was rebuilt last 2013 and has been set to house events for a beautiful vista of the Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead. All these are in the Nevada side of the dam.

 

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I just wished that the weather was not very extreme as there was a heatwave at the time of our visit. We weren’t able to cross the Memorial Bridge.

I don’t recall every paying for entrance when we entered and cross the Hoover Dam. The only fee we paid for was the parking.

 

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(This is in the Nevada side as you enter The Hoover Dam)

 

This is a perfect place to visit when you are already in The Strip in Las Vegas due to its proximity. You can either join a tour organized by your hotel or pre-booked with a tour operator of your choice. You may also drive there on your own if you don’t want to follow a rigid timing and want to explore at your own pace. You can check the web for directions on how to get there coming from The Strip of anywhere in the US if you are driving. However, consider traffic and weather conditions too when visiting. We could have stayed longer if it wasn’t from the high temperature. It is still a very memorable experience!

Address: Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, NV 89156

 

 

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World’s Top Scary Cliffs

Are you afraid of heights or you’re the kind of adrenalin junkie who loves daring activities while on vacation? Well, if you belong to the latter then welcome to the world’s top scary cliffs. You may want to visit them and test your fear factor.

While the views are breathtaking from the cliff area, I know that no matter how beautiful mother nature is from where I will be standing; I guess I won’t have the guts to even go there. I’ll just be satisfied looking at their scenic vista through the internet.

Daring tourists and thrill seekers may find this list helpful. Go ahead, book your next trip to the world’s top scary cliffs.

Faro de Los Morrillos, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Don’t be fooled by the beautiful white limestone cliffs of Faro de Los Morrillos. They may look solid but they could only be few inches and some may even have holes which can be very fragile. One step on the wrong limestone ledge and you will plunge to the ocean below and can become one of the many people who have perished in this place.

Preikestolen, Ryfylke, Norway 


This ledge is like a big squarish stone atop the mountain with no safety rails nor barriers to deter curious people from getting too close to the edge. The flat surface is almost 2,000 feet above the Lysefjord.

Chang Kong Cliff Road, Huashan Mountain, China 


Only wooden boards were nailed to the cliff for visitors to hold on to with added safety harness. Visitors are advised to think twice before ascending on the cliff to visit the temple attraction on the top as only one person is allowed to traverse it at a time.

Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie, China 


Here is another scary cliff attraction in China. This attraction is a cliff walk that is attached 4,000 above sea level on Tianmen Mountain. The cliff walkway is a mere 2.5 inch thick glass and 3 ft. wide which separate you from the precarious fall below.

Slieve League Cliffs, Donegal, Ireland 


Reaching the Slieve League Cliffs will require visitors to traverse the One Man’s Path. It is aptly named because only one person can wal at a time in the narrow path. If you slip, a quick tumble of almost 2,000 feet awaits you down into the open ocean. Ireland is known to have wet weather most days in a year so it is very dangerous to go there because of the misty weather which makes walking very slippery.

Cliffs Of Moher, Galway, Ireland 


The narrow paths along the cliffs are very hazardous. Plenty of visitors choose to ignore the warnings and get close to the edges and are blown off and fall 700 feet into the open ocean. Bikers are not recommended to go here because some of the ledges are unstable and some have already collapsed. However, the bold and the daring will still find the Cliffs of Moher a must-see when in Ireland.

(Photo credit: all photos from yahoo images)

 

 

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Sampling The Delights of New Mexico

Across the country, there are few states that offer as much natural beauty and charm as New Mexico. While shows like Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul have focused their attention on the state’s vast arid deserts and sleepy suburbs, you have to see it to understand how grievously they do it a disservice. New Mexico is home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world, with breathtaking views that could give The Grand Canyon a run for its money. With some of the country’s most glorious national parks and two UNESCO World Heritage sites, there’s a damned good reason why they call it the land of enchantment.

Here are a few suggestions for enjoying this beautiful and diverse state.

Take a hot air balloon ride in Albuquerque

Image by Flickr

 

There are few experiences that give you the unique and thrilling perspective of a balloon ride and Albuquerque balloon rides are a great way to view the diverse terrain New Mexico’s largest city. As the world slowly shrinks away beneath you, and you float into the Heavens it’s an incredibly meaningful experience alone or a moment of unparalleled romance if you’re riding with a partner. You’re sure to be awed by the silvery flourishes of the Rio Grande glistening in the sun and marvel at the magnificent Sandia Mountains.

 

Walk in the footsteps of the Pueblo peoples at Chaco canyon

Chaco Culture represents the synergy of ancient culture and national heritage about as well as any of the country’s best National Parks. Wandering through the remains of the ancient buildings at Chaco Canyon (the construction of which began in the mid-800s), the scale and complexity of the architecture is awe inspiring and humbling. Chaco’s unique architecture is uncommon for its time, because it was built according to a plan that pre-dates modern high rise apartment blocks.

When intact, the structures of Chaco consisted of hundreds of rooms, stacked several stories high. In fact right up until the 19th century, the buildings at Chaco held the record for being the largest in North America.

 

Be awed by the Bisti / De-Na-Zin badlands

Image by Max Pixel

 

If you love to travel off the beaten track, then prepare to be dazzled by one of the most unique and beautiful locations on the planet. When you enter the 41,170 acres of this undiscovered treasure near to the Chaco National Park, looks like you’ve stepped off a spaceship onto the terrain of some vast and mysterious new planet.

Its geology is as diverse as it is stunning, alternating between grasslands and wondrously bizarre rock formations in a landscape of white, gray and red.

 

Plunge into the mystery of the Carlsbad caverns

When sulphuric acid dissolved in the limestone beneath the Chihuahuan desert, it resulted in these astonishing underground rock formations. A range of guided tours are available which are well worth considering, however we’d still recommend coming back just to meander at your own pace in the cool depths, marvelling at the incredible beauty and diversity of the caverns.

 

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Enjoy The Beach Holiday Of Your Dreams In The Cayman Islands

Flickr

 

When you ask someone to identify what their view of the perfect vacation is, they’re likely to tell you about rolling white sand beaches, a beautiful crystalline ocean and plenty of activities for the family to do around that. Who could blame them? In the pursuit of a career at home, or in inner-city living, the drabness can affect you after a while and leave you positively dreaming of a seaside escape.

If you’re looking for a holiday like this, you should place visiting the Cayman Islands at the head of your list. The Cayman Islands are a British overseas territory and is host to a plethora of wonderful attractions under the sun. Known for its scuba diving and snorkelling offerings, the Cayman Islands can satisfy and beach-lounger and aquatic adventurer alike. These Caribbean islands have everything you need to flourish, gain that coveted tan you’re seeking, and give you that perfect Island getaway in the security and safety of a beautiful resort.

But what else do the Cayman Islands have to offer? What can you do aside from lounging on the beach, which is amazing to do for the first few days of your holiday, but might need spicing up after a little while?

 

Grand Cayman

First of all, you should visit the largest and most populous out of the Cayman Islands, aptly named ‘Grand Cayman’. Grand Cayman is home to the ‘Seven Mile Beach,’ a heavenly expanse of sand that, despite what the name suggests is only 5.5 miles.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would hold that against the beach though because what it might miss in those extra 1.5 miles, it makes up for in resounding beauty and fun to be had. The things to do at Seven Mile Beach are numerous. Bars such as the Royal Palms can help you relax and unwind with like-minded holidaymakers, while the Stingrays hosted at Stingray City allow you to experience a sealife form that many rarely get to come face-to-face with.

No matter the age, ability or demeanour of your family, on Seven Mile Beach you’re sure to smile the whole way round.

 

Flickr

 

Mermaid Statue

If you’re looking for a hint of magic during your stay, the Mermaid Statue situated around half an hour from the East End of Georgetown will give you the opportunity to scuba dive and see the beautiful bronze statue herself.  Standing at an impressive 600-pounds and a whopping nine-feet tall, this is truly a sight to see. It’s likely that you’ll be stunned at the move-like magic of witnessing her in person, so be sure to arrange a viewing immediately!

There has been plenty written about how the aspiring tourist should go for more cultural holidays; ones focused on celebrating high-art, high cuisine and high historical narratives. This is fine, but sometimes you just need an undeniably fun and beautiful beach resort adventure, and the Cayman Islands provide that. However, that isn’t all they offer, as the Cayman Islands have a rich history just waiting to be exposed if you scratch under the surface. Be sure you do, and you’re sure to fall in love with this magical place.

 

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Your July Travel Guide Is Here

** This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase. Thank you.

 

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A Gaijin Friendly Guide to Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the most spectacular cities in the world. It’s the city of bullet trains, skyscrapers, fashion, street food and fun, where the traditional meets the contemporary and the bizarre meets the brilliant.

 

It’s also notoriously difficult to navigate for tourists.

While in many ways it’s a city at the bleeding edge of business, technology and couture there’s an almost impenetrable sense of etiquette and complex tradition that can bamboozle most gaijin (foreigners). In this kind of culture it’s important to know the right way to behave and the most tourist-friendly places to visit to help you get the most out of your visit without falling afoul of the difficulties some tourists tend to encounter.

 

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Cheap flights to Tokyo are getting easier to come by, so a Japanese holiday may well be more affordable and accessible than you’d previously thought. Before you start packing, though, here are some useful tips for a gaijin in Tokyo.

  • A little Japanese goes a long way. Most Japanese people haven’t spoken English since their schooldays. Showing some willingness to attempt their language will be very ingratiating.
  • Remember that ‘gaijin’ is not an insult, it’s a far more nuanced version of the English ‘foreigner’. If someone refers to you this way, smile and be polite. Chances are they’re not trying to offend you.
  • Learn the local etiquette. There’s WAY too much to learn here but always removing your shoes before going indoors, purifying yourself on the way to a shrine, never blowing your nose in public, never pointing with chopsticks and never ever tipping your waiter (it’s considered an insult) are a good place to start.

 

A note for vegetarians and vegans

It’s surprisingly hard to subsist on a plant-based diet in Tokyo. While you’ll find plenty of items on your menu that seem perfectly safe but beware of dashi, a fish stock that finds its way into most soups and sauces. Vegetarianism and veganism are unusual concepts to many asian cultures so be sure to explicitly mention that you don’t eat meat of fish including dashi.

 

Essential locations

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There’s so much to see and do in Tokyo it’s difficult to know where to begin. Shinjuku is no doubt at the top of your list and the thriving skyscraper lined district really is spectacular to behold with its ultra-chic department stores and legendary nightlife but this district really is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

You should also make these essential stops on your itinerary. All of them encounter tourists on a regular basis so will likely be friendly and welcoming (so long as you observe the customs and etiquette).

  • The Imperial Palace– A must for anyone with an interest in Japanese history. The walled palace is surrounded by walls and moats and is lined with beautiful 17th century parks.
  • Senso-ji Temple– The city’s most famous temple is thronged by shops selling traditional handmade carvings, masks and kimonos. Built in 645 AD its appearance has remained unchanged despite it having been rebuilt numerous times. While the pagoda itself is currently closed for renovations it reopens to tourists in September 2017.
  • Ueno Park– The quintessential Japanese park, Ueno is a gorgeous oasis in the bustling centre of Tokyo. The cherry blossom lined gravel paths lead to a huge range of attractions including the reed fringed Shinobazu pond with its Bentendo temple, 17th century Toshogu Shrine and the Tokyo National Museum.

 

Image by Pixabay

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Posted in tour, tourism, tourist attractions, tours, Tours4Fun, travel
on May 20, 2017

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