Monthly Archives: May 2017

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The Greatest Mountain Getaways All Around the World That You Can Take A Hike At

When you are looking to getaway and you are in search for the best place where you can enjoy yourself more, there are lots of different places that you can actually choose to visit. Beginning from stunning lakes, breathtaking beaches, gorgeous gardens up to those scenic and serene cities that you would surely want to be at. You should know by now that we are gifted with so many natural and man-made resources, making the world a lot to offer and in this article, we are just about to make it peak.

Mountain ranges are known for offering so many things to travelers such as a hiking experience that is both fun and exhausting, climbs that are adrenaline filled, walks that can be relaxing as well as vistas that are breathtaking and views that are panoramic. It has been said that mountains are a once in a lifetime experience that you will have hence, if you can visit it as many times as you can possible, the better the memories and the feeling you will get from it.

Health related concerns may put you off from visiting Mount Everest or K2 however, this thing should not matter as Mount Everest is not the only mountain you can hike at, there are still plenty of places to go in the highlands of the world where your safety is ensured and your enjoyment guaranteed.

The first place that we want to introduce to you for your planned mountain getaway is Italy and the Vigilius Mountain Resort that is located at Tyrol. The Vigilius Mountain Resort is far from the modern city and driving a car is impossible for you since the only way for you to travel to the getaway is by means of using cable cars. One thing that makes the said resort popular from people who love mountain ranges is the fact that it is car free and eco-friendly, not to mention that the place will also help you get away from the stressful life you have in the city.

By heading a bit further out, we will not be able to enjoy the next untouched destination that we will introduce to you. The Wildflower Hall which is located at the Indian section of the Himalayan mountain range is considered as one of the best resorts in the world and mind you, it is up in the mountains. The place does not only look antique, scenic and enchanting like it comes from any fairy tale book but also, it is a haven for adventure and adrenaline junkies who can enjoy trekking, white water rafting and mountain climbing to their heart’s content.

Smart Tips To Uncover Traveling Secrets

Once you’ve been travelling for awhile, it is possible that you are aware about some gadgets that are essential during your travel. The following is the list of the gadgets that you can take into consideration once you are planning for a travel.

It is apparent that camera phones are widely used by numerous individuals when it comes to capturing images at the time of their travel. On the other hand, investing for a good camera is an ideal thing for you to do if you travel a lot. It is beneficial for you to give time in reading the reviews online so as for you to be guided accordingly with the right camera. In terms of looking for a good one, it could help you a lot to consider the quality of capture that you want to acquire. In addition, you have to identify if how much money you want to spend for the investment. It is important for you to do a little investigation regarding the gadget when you are into photography. Having a tripod is another important thing that you have to bear in mind once you are fond of travelling solo. Through this, you can have the best shot of the subject that you want to have. There is indeed a lot of help that can be obtained when you have a selfie stick when you’re travelling alone. When it comes to the spot that you want to have a capture with, it is possible for you to have it without asking for the help of other tourists.

Once you adhere with impulsive travel vacation or it is typical of you to have a nomadic lifestyle, you can take advantage when you invest for high-end smartphone. You have the opportunity of having a communication with your friends and family members by using the social media and video calls. You can download apps in your device so as to book for hotels, look for transportation and read for the reviews. It is also beneficial for you to use the camera of the gadget which can be easily accessed. If you love listening to music, it is good for you to update your playlist as well. You just have to remember bringing with you’re the charger and the adapter.

When travelling, it is undeniable that you will be entertained when there is music. You will not notice the time when you are inside the bus during your travel or you have to wait for the train to come. You won’t find any issue with the long hour travel once there is music. In order for you to have something to use for the music that you want to listen at the time of your vacation, the most significant thing for you to do is to purchase for the best travel headphones.

Surround and see the Contents of the Greatness of Bhutan’s kingdom

Bhutan is a small kingdom wedged between two mighty countries, India and China, in the shadows of the Himalayas. It is a country steeped in Mahayana Buddhism, myths and legends under the sovereign rule of the Wangchuck Dynasty. The magnificent landscape is picture perfect with majestic mountains sweeping down to lush valleys carved by cascading rivers.

Locals still wear their national costumes as their daily attire with pride and success is measured via the Gross National Happiness index because here the welfare of the people is paramount.

Bhutan has never been big on tourism and slow to progress. The internet only arrived here in 1999 and it’s infrastructure is still a work in progress.

Thimphu – the capital of Bhutan

Thimphu the capital city has no skyscrapers or traffic to blot its cityscape. The mini roundabout is a pavilion with statues of goddesses while policemen physically conduct the traffic instead of traffic lights.

There are hints of modernity creeping in slowly with new buildings but this is tightly controlled by the government who insist that they be inkeeping with Bhutanese tradition.

On a hill overlooking the city, the colossal Dordenma Buddha statue of 51.5m high cast in bronze and gilded in gold is like a spiritual beacon to the people. Dzongs (a type of fortress), which are found everywhere in the country, were built in ancient time as fortresses and monasteries. Today they are used as monasteries as well as government administration offices.

Punakha District – the heart of Bhutan

Travelling into Punakha, the old capital, the heart of Bhutan, is on bone-shaking unfinished road hewn out of the mountainside. The scenery is the jaw-dropping natural beauty of the country which unfolds at every turn of the road. Prayer flags are installed everywhere to send prayers to the universe.

Punakha Dzong, also known as Palace of Great Happiness, was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. He was a Tibetan Lama, who unified Bhutan as a nation-state and instilled a unique cultural identity. The mighty fortress has glorious allegorical frescos, intricate artwork and carvings and houses the most sacred relic known as Ranjung Karsapani and the resting place of Zhabdrung’s embalmed body.

The most esoteric temple in the Punakha District is the fertility temple of Chimi Lhakhang where the phallus symbol is worshipped notably by women to beget children. We walked through the village amidst rice fields where every house has a phallus image painted on the walls for good luck. The gift shops sell penis talisman for fertility much to the amusement of tourists.

Valley of Phobijkha – flight of the cranes

The valley of Phobjikha is a breath-taking vista where the wide sweeping valleys are flanked by lofty mountains. It is a vast wetland that welcomes the annual winter migration of the rare and endangered Black-Necked Crane where hundreds flock in from the Tibetan Plateau in late October till mid February for their winter roost.

This natural wonder is celebrated with the Black-Necked Crane Festival in November every year with crane-themed dances, folk songs and drama performances in the Gangtey Monastery. The ancient monastery sits atop a spur overlooking the stunning valley and houses a Buddhist school and prominent religious iconographies. It is said that the cranes circumambulate three times in their flight over the monastery on every arrival before landing on the wetland nearby and do the same on their return flight as if to pay respect to Gangtey Monastery.

Bound for Bumthang

The district of Bumthang in Central Bhutan is the nation’s religious heartland and home to some of the oldest temples and Dzongs in the country. Jakar, a small settlement that sprawls over an expansive valley is home to Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in the country built in the 7th century dedicated to the Maitreya Buddha.

Trek to Tiger’s Nest

The ascent to Taktsang Lhakhang, the Tiger’s Nest, revered as the country’s most sacred site and iconic landmark is the climax of most visitors to Bhutan. Legend has it that their most revered saint Guru Rinpoche, flew to the mountains on the back of a celestial tigress in the 7th century at a time when the area was abound with demons to harm people.

He meditated in the cave for three years, three months and three days to subdue the evil spirits living in the caves. The temple was first built in 1692 to consecrate the sacred site and ever since it has been a place of pilgrimage for Buddhist saints, monks, devotees and a major tourist attraction.

The mountain is over 3,120 metres high and the temple is 900 metres from the car park. The path varies in steepness along the way, hugging the mountain ledge overlooking a picturesque valley of blue pine and rhododendrons. After the cafeteria half way up, a stretch of steep climb reaches the view point where a long flight of steps leads down to an iron bridge by a waterfall and then another tortuous flight of steps take you up to the temple complex. The path is festooned with colourful prayer flags fluttering in the wind. As in all Dzongs and temples, shoes have to be removed before entering and photography is strictly forbidden. Cameras and phones have to be surrendered at the security checkpoint at the entrance of the temples.

A Wonderful Trip to Palm Springs

Crafted out of the desert, Palm Springs still rocks nearly a century after it was created. Just ask Obama. The former US President is a regular visitor and he is just one of a long list of superstars who have holidayed or indeed lived here.

Glitterati of yesteryear would escape to Palm Springs from their gruelling filming schedules to enjoy some rest and relaxation reassured that they were less than 2 hours away from Hollywood should they be called back urgently.

This is the kind of town where you can spend a swell night in Twin Palms, the house where Sinatra threw his legendary cocktail parties or rent the home on Ladera Circle, where Elvis honeymooned with Priscilla. Or take a spin along freeway Bob Hope Drive. Turn up here in January and you could spend your time star spotting when the Palm Springs International Film Festival attracts the Clooneys of the world into town.

This celebrity-imbued region and its nine manicured resorts has in recent years, become thought of as a pensioners paradise; albeit, vitamin-boosted, healthy, wealthy silver-haired city refugees. For many it’s the dry desert climate and guaranteed sunshine for at least 10 months of the year that keeps them coming back. But things are changing with swanky restaurants and funky hotels now filling up to the brim with the next generation of holiday-makers.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Palm Springs is set in a tea-cup shaped valley and is completely surrounded by mountains that rise to nearly 11,000 ft at an angle of 75 degrees. In between the peaks are 54 miles of lush hiking trails, interesting rock formations and lovely waterfalls that nature lovers adore.

You can see it all when you alight onto Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. A rotating gondola rises 8,500 feet across two and a half miles of amazing views on its way up and down. Or stay at the top to explore, as this is the gateway to the cliffs of Chino Canyon.

On ground level there is the designer shopping especially in the palm-lined, highly manicured El Paseo, dubbed the Rodeo Drive of the Desert. In the town centre the art scene is thriving. Antique shops and those selling arty interiors unfold along North Palm Canyon drive.

The Backstreet Art District is easy to miss yet worth seeking out on South Cherokee Way. A community of a dozen or so acclaimed artists have opened up shop offering an opportunity to spend an hour or so milling and perhaps buying unique artwork.

The townsfolk have cleverly turned its last century provenance into a tourist trade. It simply loves to show off its quaintly retro architecture – the largest concentration of mid-20th century architecture in the world.

Get there in December and the boutique hotels and historic inns throw their doors open for public Walk of the Inns tours. Walking from one retro-designed hotel to another gives an interesting peek into the minds of past architects and their creations from 100-year old adobe inns to Mediterranean inspired villas. I particularly loved the motel with a kidney-shaped pool and ornamental pink flamingos. Apparently, Marilyn Monroe did too.

Those with a penchant for history and culture may find the Palm Springs Historical Society of interest. It is housed in an adobe house built by John McCallum who was the first white settler in Palms Springs. It is full of antiques and Indian artifacts, tools and images. Also, check out the Art Museum and the Architecture and Design Center.

If like Obama you love to play golf, there are several to choose such as the championshipIndian Wells golf course looking lovely with its mountain backdrop and water features.

Proof Palm Springs used to be the desert

I had to pinch myself to remember that this land had been desert for more than 11,000 years and by the time I had wined, dined, spa’d and tee’d off with the local trendies it dawned on me that I had no choice; I had to go on a jeep tour to get a glimpse of this region’s true nature. The tour was a fascinating drive to the lands where the Cahuilla people lived 400 years ago.

I could see the San Andreas Fault where the collision of Pacific and North American plates have created a twisted and tormented landscape that would not look out of place at the Tate. Our guide tells us that palms are not trees, they are monocots – “think grass on steroids” she said. The landscape here is phenomenal and this is where you actually get to see the palm springs.

Where to eat in Palm Springs

The town is full of designer-diners such as the amazing and plushly decorated, three-levelledLulu on South Palm Canyon Drive.

In the town centre located on the corner of South Indian Canyon and Arenas Road theJohannes restaurant offers some truly tasty Austrian dining. The menu has a Schnitzel lover’s menu including the classic Weiner or chicken varieties alongside more unusual offerings such as Mama’s with tomato and gruyere and fonina cheese. Traditional deserts include a sumptuous strudel, tiramissu and chocolate mousse.

In El Paseo, the region’s shopping area, a lively joint is the Tommy Bahama shopping and restaurant combo – a retail recipe that seems to be popular in the US and for a little more authenticity I nipped out to the Coachella Valley to dine in the Jackalope Ranch restaurant where meat dishes are served with live entertainment in its wild west style saloon.

When to Go to Palm Springs

From January to May the weather is warm but not too hot and sunny. During the summer months, the weather can be extremely hot, but then again, some like it hot.

Palm Springs – need to know

Where to stay: Ace Hotel – a funky, retro style, motel-cum-hotel with some great mod cons and a pleasant, come-as-you-are vibe. Read our review here.