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Travelling On Board The Trans-Siberian

Posted in railway, Siberia, travel, travel ideas, travel info, travel tips
on October 19, 2017

 

The Trans-Siberian Railway covers around 6000 miles, multiple railway networks, and goes through 7 different time zones, as well many different cultures. The railway has connected Moscow to Vladivostok since 1916, and it also provides routes into Mongolia, China, and North Korea. Before planning your trip along this world famous railway, it is worth your time doing plenty of research on travel sites that can give you an insight into all of the destinations to which you will be travelling.

It Is Not Just For Tourists

Although the railway is becoming increasingly popular for tourists to use, the majority of the use is seen by the local population, as well as a lot of freight also being transported along the railway.

A Choice Of Destinations

The main route that you can take along the Trans-Siberian Railway is from Moscow to Vladivostok, but as well as a variety of stops between these two locations, you can also travel a different line to Mongolia, or to China and visit Beijing. There is so much to see and do along this railway that you will have to limit what you plan for your trip, so you have a chance to appreciate it properly and take everything on board.

Lots Of Different Tour Operators

The benefit of using a tour operator to book Moscow to Beijing train tours is that they can advise you on everything from visas to local customs and culture. You can not only book your travel through them but also your accommodation and even excursions. Using the services of a reputable tour company can save you a lot of hassle and help you to plan the trip of a lifetime along the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Different Class Tickets

You can spend a long time travelling on the train, and with so many of the local people using it you can immerse yourself in the local culture and get to know the people. There are three different classes of tickets available which are;

  • First Class – A private cabin which has two berths and shared washroom facilities.
  • Second Class – A cabin which has four berths and shared washroom facilities.
  • Third Class – A open plan dormitory style with 54 bunks per a carriage and shared washroom facilities.

You will also find that some of the trains have service wagons where you can find laundry, internet, and shower facilities. There are only a limited number of first class tickets, so these do sell quickly, so you made need to be flexible hen you book your trip.

The Restaurant Car

Just about all of the trains will have a restaurant car where you can buy inexpensive snacks and light meals, as well as drinks and other refreshments. The standard can vary quite considerably although usually, the food is quite edible but you may wish to take some of your own food on board with you, especially if you are a bit of a fussy eater. Whatever you end up eating, make sure not to miss some of the spectacular scenery outside of the window and enjoy your awesome adventure.

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Experience the Halloween Tours in the US

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

There are various tours you can do when you are in the US. You may have grown accustomed to the timeless drive-by types of tours or the hop-on and hop-off offers of many travel agencies and online tour operators. However, there are other tours out there that will make your hair rise, and let electricity run through your spine, and these are the Halloween tours! Are you brave enough to take some of these tours? Check them out!

 

Visit the Alcatraz Penitentiary Prison

photo credit: imgarcade.com

The Alcatraz is an island off the San Francisco Bay which housed the notorious criminals of the early 30s to the 1960s. Some operators offer a different kind of night tour for the daring. You catch the ferry off Fisherman’s Wharf late in the afternoon and  book tickets and day trips to Alcatraz  or take the night tour which is less crowded the the ones operated during the day. You will be going through areas that are usually not toured during the day.

 

Check out the Golden Stage Inn at Ludlow, Vermont

The Golden Stage Inn was once used as a stagecoach stop but was later converted into an Inn. However, owners would see a ghost in the attic who seem to be attached to the place. Previous owners of the Inn would experience uncanny things like some electrical appliances would go on and off.

 

Take a tour down Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana

The famous Myrtles Plantation was build during the 1700s by General David Bradford and is one of the most well-known haunted places in the US. It is rumored that the house is built over an Indian burial  ground.  Many stories float around this area and one in particular is that of a slave named Chloe whose ear was cut-off by her master for eavesdropping. To revenge her fate, she poisoned the birthday cake that was served to the children of her master and 2 of the kids died. And because of that, she was hung by her fellow slaves. People say she still wanders the place wearing a turban to conceal her severed ear.

 

Visit the Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania

photo credit: scopify.org

If you know the US history then you should also know that the Gettysburg Battle was one of the bloodiest in American history with thousands of young men died over the course of three-days’ conflict. Since many of they brave, young men never received their proper burial, it is said that these soldiers still roam the field, looking for their weapons.

 

Try the Salem Witch Walk in Massachusetts

Salem has been known as the place of witches, and perhaps it is as there are plenty of stories around witchcraft in the area.  Visit enchanted sites and old cemeteries in Salem, and even join modern day rituals, and check out shops for some curious and oddities.

 

You can check out Viator for fun, spooky, educational, thrilling, and entertaining tours this Halloween!

 

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Go Amish For Halloween With These Haunted Lancaster Spots

If you don’t know what to be on Halloween, you might as well decide on where to go instead – namely, to the land of the Amish in Lancaster. If you happen to be in or around the area during the Halloween weekend, you’ll have a ton of options of haunted sites and creepy places to visit.

Some of these places have also been featured on ghost hunter TV, and it should be easy enough to scare yourself senseless while you’re there.

 

Image link: Pexels

 

It’s what the season is all about, after all. Here is a handful of the top places to visit when you’re in Lancaster – and particularly if you’re there in October.

 

Sign up for a ghost tour

We tend to associate old towns and historical places with a sense of creepiness, right? Ghost stories just sound so much better when they’re told during a stormy night in an old house which walls shriek and whisper at regular intervals; Lancaster is one of those houses, just a lot bigger – and not really a house at all.

There are so many ghostly sites to feast your imagination on that you might as well sign yourself up for a ghost tour – just remember to bring someone along you can cling to when it gets too scary.

This ghost tour site lures you with promises of exploring long-forgotten mysteries and over 300 years of haunted history, so it should be well worth the dollars you put into it.

 

Have a beer at Bube’s Brewery

This haunted pub is located within a building that dates back to the 1800’s, which you may visit for a beer and a chat with the staff. They have reported seeing a young woman quite regularly who wanders through the art gallery in a long gown, as well as a young man who pops up at intervals with a strong masculine energy.

You may even have seen the microbrewery on TV as it gained a lot of attention from the media; get there early this Halloween and secure one of their ghost tours. The building is over 150 years old so it should be able to give you the chills even if you don’t spot anything unusual.

 

Watch a play at Fulton Opera House

The fascinating thing about this opera house is that sights of restless spirits were reported even before the theatre was built – and the first reports go all the way back to 1700. It was built partly on the grounds of a jail, the old Lancaster jail, and it all links up with the massacre of the Conestoga Indians.

With so many great places to choose from, it’s a good idea to hunt down best hotels near Lancaster, PA, as soon as possible as it may be booked out during the creepy weekend. That way, you’ll have time to witness the opera house for yourself; audience and performers alike have reported hearing phantom applause when nobody is supposed to be in the building.

Others even claim to have heard the piano playing by itself. It’s the kind of ghost stories we always see in the movies, so get yourself over there and witness it for yourself this Halloween.

 

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Traveling: A Journey Of The Self

For a lot of people, traveling is about discovering something new about the planet they live on, coming across a new town, a new culture, a new language. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that traveling is also a journey of self-discovery. Not only does it give you the best opportunity to leave your worries and fast-paced life behind for the duration of a holiday break, but it also takes you through a journey where you can find your true self and learn more about who you really are or want to be.

Know yourself, Lao Tzu

 

You come back richer from your travels

Traveling gives you a change of scenery and lifestyle. But what you don’t realize is that the transformation is much deeper than that. When you travel you make new experiences that stay with you forever. Whether it’s discovering the wonders of a new place, or learning new skills on the road — you’ll be amazed to know how many people have developed life-changing skills such as a sense of orientation, budgeting, or self-confidence during their travel adventures —, you always bring back more with you than you put in your bag when you left.

 

Pack new experiences in your bag

 

You can recenter yourself

Traveling also gives you more time to think about your life and to relax away from the everyday stress. As a result, it’s not uncommon to use your travel experience as a way to recenter yourself around your primary life element. For those who enjoy the peacefulness of the water element, they know that they can find here a new approach to release their tensions. If you’re an air type, you’ll naturally choose holidays in mountainous regions where you can enjoy fresh air and breath-taking sceneries. Whatever your type, travel helps you to find your balance.

 

You may find your soulmate

As surprising as it might sound, you can find the love of your life during your next trip. Some travelers even report that they’ve been struck by a love at first sight moment when they least expected it, while they were visiting a foreign country. Needless to say that it’s changed their life. What if you don’t find your future love? Valerie Lewis reckons that traveling gives you the opportunity to meet several soulmates. She says that even though there can’t be a powerful love story due to the distance and the back to reality moment at the end of your holiday, the sweet taste of happiness you get is worth the journey. And who knows? You may get luckier next time!

 

Find love away

 

You find inspiration

For Ernest Hemingway, his inspiration came from the time he spent in France and Spain. Mark Twain echoed the thought by considering that travel enhances the mind and destroys narrow-mindedness and prejudice. In a word, traveling inspire you to find new and better ideas and also to become a better person. The discovery of new experiences — sounds, tastes; sights — creates new connections in your brain and sparkles new ways of thinking. The more you travel, the more creative your brain becomes.

 

If you feel lost and don’t know the way, all you need is to book a trip to anywhere to embark on a journey to self-discovery and self-growth. Become a traveler, make yourself a better person.

 

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Things To Do Deep In The Heart Of Texas

The Southern states in America have such a wide range of culture that it is hard to chose where to go. New Mexico has Spanish colonial architecture with a Hispanic culture. California is mostly associated with Hollywood, but it has roots in the cultures of Spain, Asia, Mexico, and the Eastern United States. But the one state you should really try to visit is the Lone Star State. Texas is a big area – about the size of most of Europe – so you’re better off choosing one city to explore during your visit. Here are a few hot destinations to help you narrow down your choices.

 

Austin

Image Source

 

If you’re a fan of music, Austin is a great place to tick off your bucket list as it’s the live music capital of the world; there are roughly 200 live music venues that you can catch a show at pretty much any day at any time, either at popular venues like the Moody Theatre, or downtown in hole-in-the-wall bars like The Continental Club on South Congress. Austin is also home to the largest urban population of bats in North America, estimated at 1.5 million bats. Each night, from mid-March to November, the bats emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk to blanket the sky as they head out to forage for food. Surprisingly, it’s become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Texas.

 

Mt Pleasant & Titus Country

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See the naturally beautiful side of Texas at Mt Pleasant & Titus Country. The pristine lakes, mountains, and preserved nature trails get visitors away from the hustle and bustle of city life that some have come to associate with Texas. Starting your day at magnificent hotels like the Super 8 Mount Pleasant, you could choose to go down to the lakes and indulge in some fishing, sunbathing, swimming, or hiking, or you could book a visit to Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards. Here, you can enjoy even more spectacular views, an extensive Tapas menu, and during the late summer you are welcome to join in the fun of harvesting the grapes. Mt Pleasant is also known for its great fresh produce, which you can buy at the local farmer’s market. It’s just the kind of country retreat that the doctor ordered.

 

Houston

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A vibrant culture scene awaits anyone who makes a stop in Houston; not only is it home to the NASA Johnson Space Center, but so many fascinating museums that you probably won’t see anywhere else. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is the closest you’ll get to visiting Jurassic Park, especially since when you see features like the Stegosaurus and a gigantic T-Rex in the 30,000-square-foot Hall of Paleontology. Houston also caters to even the most eclectic fashion senses, with clothing stores that specialise in authentic, vintage cowboy boots, as well as stores that feature designer labels like Lanvin, Stella McCartney and Valentino.

All the places in Texas offer a unique experience, so try ticking a few off your bucket list.  

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The 2 Sides of Hoover Dam

Hoover_Dam_riatravelbug

 

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.

 

Hoover_Dam_from_Arizona_side_riatravelbug

(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.

riatravelbug_Arizona_side_hoover_dam

 

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.

Hoover_Dam_Arizona_Side_riatravelbug

 

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.

 

spillway_house_at_hoover_dam_riatravelbug

 

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.

 

Hoover_Dam_Entrance_riatravelbug

(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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Make a Trip Abroad As Stress-Free As Possible

Posted in travel, travel ideas, travel tips
on August 22, 2017

When you plan a trip abroad, there are lots of different things to think about. As well as accommodation and places to go, you need to think about possibly speaking a foreign language, as well as what you might be eating and how you will travel around once you’re at your destination. So can you best prepare for your trip abroad? If you are going to be in a country where you know very little of the language, then it can feel quite daunting. So if you plan ahead, it will help things to run much more smoothly, especially if you run into an emergency. So here are some tips and tricks to prepare for a trip abroad, so that it makes things easier when you’re there.

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Get Apps That Will Help

In this day and age, there are so many apps that you can get on your smartphone or tablet to help you when you’re abroad. If you need a currency converter, so you can tell what price something is easily, then get a currency converter app. You could also get something like the Google Translate app, where you can record someone’s voice and it will translate it, or you can hold it over a menu, for example, and it will show you what the words are. It really is a nifty little app. So think about what apps you might need and download them before you go away.

 

Plan For Emergencies

In an ideal world, you will never need to use any emergency items. But it really is best to plan for them. So think about taking a small first aid kit with you, as well as things like aloe vera or after sun cream, because you’ll want to stay protected after sun burn. Otherwise, you’ll be in a lot of pain. If you think you’ll need painkillers for headaches, then take a few with you too. You should also think about making a note of the country’s emergency phone number. Would you know what it is and what to do when you’re there?

 

Get Currency Before You Go

If you’re going abroad, then the chances of needing to change money to a new currency are pretty high. But in order to get the best deal, you should think about getting it before you fly. It also makes sense to have some with you when you arrive, as you might need to get a taxi or buy something from a store. So having some cash to hand is always a good idea. It is a good idea to let your bank know that you’re going to be abroad too. If you try to use your card abroad and they don’t know about it, then they will probably stop the transaction. It only takes a couple of minutes to let them know but will save you some hassle when on your travels.

 

What other tips and tricks would you add to the list? What has helped you to have a stress-free trip?

 

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