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tourist attractions

Best of Indonesian Travel, 2017

If you’re looking for one last travelling experience to indulge upon in the year 2017, then let that be a travelling experience that takes you through Indonesia. You should do so because, whether it’s bustling cities or serene nature that you prefer to see when you travel, Indonesia has it all to offer. For advice on exactly where you should head to whilst travelling Indonesia, and what to do whilst you’re there, make sure to read.

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The Province of Bali

There are a host of beautiful islands to head to on our planet, but none are more beautiful than the Indonesian islands. And, none of these 17,508 Indonesian islands are better than Bali.

Bali is the most recognised Indonesian island and is probably one of the most recognised places in Indonesia in general, and it is so for good reason. It is so because it offers fun for the whole family, no matter how old they are. For children, for instance, there are a host of different activity parks that will keep them entertained for hours on end. There is the Waterbom Park, located on the world famous Kuta street, that is home to a plethora of water rides that allow children to have wild and wet fun like no other place in the world. And, there is the Treetop Adventure Park, a park that is dedicated to getting children (and adults) as close to nature as possible in as fun a way as possible. This park is home to a number of different courses and circuits that allow those that follow them the chance to move from tree to tree in as a safe a way as can be.

But, Bali isn’t just about waterparks and treetop assault courses that will keep the children entertained for days and day, it’s about things that provide fun for adults, too. Specifically, it can provide all you inquisitive adults out there who love finding out about different cultures a chance to, well, find out about Bali culture and Indonesian culture in general. For instance, there is the town of Udud that plays hosts to forests filled to the brim with many different monkey species that call this corner of the world their home; there are many Hindu temples to explore around and learn about (would you expect anything less from a place that is known as the Island of the Gods?); there are the foothills of Mount Batur, an active volcano, to explore; and there are locally farmed rice terraces to take a look at. Basically, there are a host of things to look at that, when looked at, will provide you with an insight as good as any into Indonesian culture.

Bandung, Bali

Bandung is a regency found in the wider reaching province of Bali, but deserves its own credit simply because of how much it has to offer for nomads of all travelling dispositions.

For instance, some of the most interesting Dutch Colonial architecture to be found in all of Indonesia is plotted in Badung, which means this is a great place for historians, especially those concerned with the history of European Colonialism in Southeast Asia, to visit. And, there are just as many cultural attractions to be found here, too, so that those who aren’t as keen on history can enjoy themselves just as much. There is, for example Jalan Legian which offers much in the way of shopping and nightlife, and Pandawa Beach that offers even more in the way of tranquility and relaxation. It is for these reasons, and the fact that it is much cooler in relation to other parts of Indonesia, that makes Badung a hotspot for travellers. In fact, these reasons make Badung not just an ideal place to travel to but they make it an ideal place to move to for those who truly wish to relocate to Southeast Asia, too. If anybody wished to do just, then they would have to access a trustworthy site such as https://rumahdijual.com/bandung/ in order to find themselves the perfect Badung residence. And, once they’d found this perfect residence, they’d have to book themselves a one way flight to Ngurah Rai International Airport!

Sumatra, Sunda Islands

Indonesia is known as The Emerald of the Equator, a name given to it by Dutch writer Eduard Douwes Dekker, because of its abundance of beautifully natural and lush rainforests. And, there is no place in Indonesia that is famed more for its rainforests than Sumatra.

The rainforests In Sumatra, that have been given UNESCO World Heritage credibility and now come under the prestige title of being national parks, really are a sight to behold. There is the forest known as Gunung Leuser, the forest known as Bukit Barisan Selatan and the forest known as Kerinci Seblat, and upon a visit to any of these forests you’ll be able to see a host of native things. You’ll be able to see flora and fauna that is only found in this specific part of the world and nowhere else in Southeast Asia, let alone in the world. And, you’ll be able to see specific types of animals that also cannot be found anywhere else in the world either. Yes, you’ll see tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants, cuckoos and orangutans, but you’ll types of these animals that are native to this part of the world, and hence have the term Sumatran prefixing their name. So, you won’t just see a tiger (at a safe and controlled distance, by the way), you’ll see a very specific type of tiger called the Sumatran tiger!

Sumatra isn’t just a place to visit for those of you out there who have horticultural tendencies or just love seeing types of animals that you’ve never seen before. No, there are many other things to do in Sumatra that don’t include trekking through a rainforest. You could, for instance, visit the infamous Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman mosque and take in the sight of its minaret, white walls and black dome for yourself rather than just looking at pictures of it on postcards. Or, you could pay a visits to the extremely sad but extremely poignant Tsunami Museum. Here, you would be able to see just what devastation the not-so-long-ago Tsunami caused on this part of the world; the walk down the tunnel that mimics Tsunami waves is something that can’t be missed upon a journey here. Or, those of you who like to live on the wild side could not only journey up the volcano known as Gunung Sibayak, but could take the forest path that leads to it; this is a path that is deemed to be that dangerous that a professional guide will have to go with you if you do decide to take it!

Indonesia is a great place to travel to now and will undoubtedly continue to be a great place to travel to for years to come. It is a place where culture can be felt immeasurably. It is a place where history and the modern day is celebrated fervently and in equal measures. It is a place when young and old can have the experience of a lifetime. It is the only place where specific types of wildlife can be found. It is one of the only places where a true Southeast Asian travelling experience can be experienced safely and without much restriction. Truly, it is just a place that must be visited in your lifetime!

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The Asian Adventure: Thai Up Those Loose Ends Before You Go!

The area of southeast Asia has long been a popular place for budget backpackers and those wishing to experience a totally different culture to what they are used to. There’s a good reason for that – you can stretch your cash so much further in this corner of the world than in others. It’s an absolute must to include Thailand on your list of places to visit when you choose to roam the globe, especially as you can travel through Thailand for a good few months on the same budget you’d spend in the USA in 2 months!

 

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There are a lot of guides out there for different types of travel, whether that be solo travelling adventures or group travelling with https://www.gadventures.com. There are a lot of loose ends to get tied up before you go globe-trotting, and we think we’ve got them down pat for you. Before you set foot on a plane to Thailand or any of the southeast Asia area, you need to read this list:

 

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  1. Visas. Jet-setting across the globe is fun, but the fun soon stops if you haven’t got the right visas in your possession. The requirements will vary from country to country in SE Asia, so don’t make the mistake of assuming you can just show up with your passport for a stamp. This is an important loose end you need to tie up before you go anywhere, so have a look here at the requirements for Thailand!
  2. Manners. If you were raised right, you would have been taught that each culture and country has their own customs. A beach holiday in Phuket may be your goal, but it doesn’t mean you should just show up with packed bikinis. Thailand is a modest country, so do your research before you get on the plane. Learn where you can and cannot wear shoes and immerse yourself in the culture. It pays to be polite!
  3. Insurance. Before you plan to go anywhere, you need to look at travel insurance and how you can make sure you don’t get taken advantage of abroad. Wherever you go, there will always be someone somewhere who will see you as a tourist and sometimes this comes with extortion (that tuk-tuk may not NEED to go around the houses, but they will!). Check out this link for information on most common scams you could come across while abroad.
  4. World Differences. When you travel from a developed country to another not-so-developed area of the globe, you could find yourself feeling a little shocked and out of place. Accommodation may not be what you are used to and the locals have really been through the mill. Be prepared to step up and take notice of your surroundings.

Your travels are going to become a part of who you are and who you want to be. Going to Thailand for the scenery is a nice idea, but make sure you are well-prepared to see things you didn’t anticipate. You’ll love each experience as long as you are ready for them!

 

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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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What To See Around The Pest Side of Budapest

 

It’s been several months since I visited Budapest in Hungary but the beauty of that place still lingers in my mind like it was just yesterday.  I have expected most of Europe to be similar in terms of architecture and design but somehow, I have been taken by Budapest’s beauty.

I have seen various old towns and cities of other European countries. Their beauty varies from one another. Budapest in Hungary is like a gem tucked in the Central part of Europe. Budapest has been cited as one of the beautiful cities in the world and a top travel destination by a famous travel magazine.

Budapest is the combination of 2 cities, the Buda and Pest side. These 2 are separated by several bridges and one of that is the famous Chain Bridge.

If you are visiting Budapest anytime soon, take note of these places when you are in the Pest side.

 

Andrassy Avenue

The Andrassy Avenue is touted as the Champs Elysees of Budapest. Museums, theaters and opera house line up along this grand Avenue. You can also visit the House of Terror which shows the horrors of what Hungary had experienced during the 20th century.

 

Danube Promenade / Danube Bank

The Danube river bank serves as the promenade of many locals and tourists alike. Here, you can find the Memorial of the Shoes. These shoes are bronze replicas of the Jews who were executed by the Arrow Crosses. They were made to remove their shoes by the bank before they were shot, and their bodies fell and drifted along the River Danube. It is a very poignant memorial to honor those who have perished during the ugly face of World War II.

 

Vaci Utca

This is a famous shopping area in Budapest. It is lined with shops and eateries with beautiful, ornate facade. You can stroll here and enjoy the atmosphere or just sit back in one of the coffee shops and people watch.

 

Hungarian National Parliament

©Ria C/riatravelbug.com

Nestled in front of the Danube River, the Hungarian National Parliament is a prominent Neo-Gothic architectural structure in the Pest side of Budapest. It is easy to see this place from various trams plying through the area. Tourists can easily walk to the building from the Chain Bridge and traverse the lovely cobble stone street of Pest.

 

St. Stephen’s Basilica

©Ria C/riatravelbug.com

I was very lucky to have stayed near the Istvan Basilica (St. Stephen’s Basilica) during my vacation in Budapest, Hungary last year. The view from my room was the dome of this beautiful Basilica. Regular mass is still being held in the Basilica. You can also tour the inside of the Basilica for free but take note of the timing as it is not open throughout the day. You can also climb up in the bell tower for a fee for a breath-taking view of Budapest.

The basilica is the largest in the city and can hold around 8,000 plus people. It also houses the relic of St. Stephen’s right hand which is also open for the public to view.

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

 

Széchenyi Baths

This is a huge bath complex in the whole of Europe.  It is relatively cheap to enjoy a good bath in this huge complex that is open until night time.

 

Great Market Hall

This place is located at the end of Szabadsag Bridge. It is also known as the Central Market Hall. It has 3 levels. The market sells a wide variety of goods from the famous paprika spice of Hungary, to the many tasty sausages and salamis, local produce, and other dry goods such as Hungarian embroidery and fabrics, and other arts and crafts. You can also grab some ready to eat food here or sample their local cuisine in the food stalls inside the market.

 

The Chain Bridge

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

The famous beautiful bridge that spans between the Buda and Pest sides of Budapest across the Danube River is called The Chain Bridge. I managed to cross the bridge on foot to reach the Buda side and the view is spectacular! I highly recommend this to visitors in Budapest. There is a pathway on each side of the bridge for pedestrians and bicycle access as well. And once you reach the middle part, take a good look of the beautiful scene in front of you. You get to see Buda and Pest!

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The Great Synagogue

This Synagogue is the largest built in the entire of Europe around 1854-1859 in a Moorish style architecture. Next to it is the Jewish Museum which features their tradition, culture, costumes, and history.

 

Vajdahunyad Castle

Vajdahunyad Castle is located inside the city park near the Széchenyi Baths. It was built during 1896 for the Millennial Exhibition in Hungary, and it also houses the Museum of Agriculture.

 

Let me share this brief video I have taken from the Buda Hill and it shows the marvelous vista of Pest.

Panoramic view of Pest from the Buda Hill

 

There are more to see in the Pest side of Budapest that I haven’t included here. If you have been to Budapest, you can share more places of interest by leaving a comment in this post.

I hope you will consider these places of interest when you plan your vacation to Budapest.

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Enjoy The Beach Holiday Of Your Dreams In The Cayman Islands

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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.

 

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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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