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Frankenstorm Flusters Travel Plans

by Richa G 31. October 2012 09:39

The Hurricane Sandy has brought to a stand-still every activity related to air travel in East Coast of the US. If you are among the unlucky thousands who was supposed to travel between 29th October and 2nd November, find out what you can do to weather the storm and how best to get yourself on the next flight to your destination.

Find your flight status.
Over 18,100 flights have been cancelled on 29th and 30th October. If your travel date is in the next two days, you should have been informed by now if your flights have been cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Else, you can check with your airlines about the flight status.

Since there are thousands of people who are stranded in airports and hotels just like you, phone lines are very likely to be busy. So check the websites of different airlines for updates or be patient on the phone till you get airline staff on line. Register for mobile updates to get news effortlessly.

Major Airlines Updates.
Delta and United Airlines have cancelled over 2100 and 3700 flights respectively to different airports in US as on 30th October. Customers can request for refunds on cancelled flights or rebook their travel to fly before 7th November without having to pay fees for the modification.

American Airlines had cancelled all its flights to the East Coast; the Hurricane Sandy has resulted in schedule reductions for the entire first half of November. The carrier has offered full refund in case of cancellations, alternative travel arrangements in other available carriers or free one-time flight modification on AA.

While Southwest has restricted travel to and from Baltimore, Washington, Long Island, Newark, New York and Philadelphia; limited flight operations have resumed to airports like Boston, Pittsburgh, Manchester and Buffalo. Passengers were given an option to claim refund on cancellation or reschedule their flights.

Other major airlines like JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have offered passengers the option to claim refunds on cancelled flights or reschedule their travel to a later date without fees.

Are you stranded?
If you were supposed to travel home to the East Coast from other countries or states; chances are it may take up to a week for the situation to get back to normal and even then, getting a ticket may be difficult because of the high demand. Reschedule your flight to the next available date and book a hotel room at the city where you are stranded as soon as you can.

The demand for hotel rooms can go up drastically since there are thousands of travelers in the same situation; so it’s important that you book your room early. Some hotels have come out with special offers for passengers trapped because of Sandy; make use of these offers.

Though airlines are obliged to pay for meals or refreshments if your flight has been delayed by more than two hours, there is no compulsion to pay for your hotel accommodation since the delay were caused due to exceptional circumstances. In any case, keep all meal and hotel receipts since these policies change across countries and carriers.

Even if you have a confirmed travel ticket for travel in the next few days, reconfirm your reservation before traveling and make sure you have a set of essentials in your cabin baggage if you are on a long haul flight.

The Ripple effect
Even if your travel is not to the East Coast or if you have a completely different flight schedule, your flights may be delayed because of the Ripple Effect caused by Hurricane Sandy. For instance, there have been many flight cancellations and significant delays even in Los Angeles though it hasn’t been affected by the Superstorm because these flights either had transit in the East Coast or were dependent on air crew coming in from flights headed from the East.

Though it can be disappointing when your travel plans go astray, understand that these flight cancellations have been made for your safety. Additional expenses for stay and food are unavoidable in you are stranded in a foreign location; but you can try and find out if your travel insurance covers these expenses. So be patient and weather it out.

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Water Ventures in Fort Lauderdale

by Richa G 30. October 2012 05:26

Just two days here, and you will start asking yourself if you are in Fort Lauderdale or Waterdale. With so many water based activities and sights, this city is a haven for people who love to soak, swim, float, surf or sail. So fasten your swimsuits and get ready to be drenched in unique water activities that are typical to this region. Here is a walk-through of what to expect.

  Dragon in the Clouds
Photo by daspader, on Flickr
  • Airboat Everglades Tours: Combine wildlife with waterways when you fly over the Everglades in an airboat from Fort Lauderdale to Sawgrass Recreation Park. Take your cameras along to capture pictures of lovely flora and fauna with water lilies, turtles, birds, panthers and iguana. Don’t miss the experience of holding a baby alligator in your hands.
  • The Ski Rixen in Quiet Waters Park, Deerfield is an excellent cable park with thrilling activities like wakeboarding, wake skating and water skiing. Once you get a hang of these, it’s hard to leave this place. Ride the Rixen, America’s longest standing cable way, and enjoy a completely new water experience.
  • Jungle Queen or Water Taxi: The Venice of America offers lots of options for cruise lovers. The Jungle Queen River cruise is one of the oldest and most beloved with travelers. Enjoy a shrimp dinner on-board and view Fort Lauderdale from the water. Behold sights ranging from rare birds to spectacular mansions and end the tour with an uproarious show. Another option to experience the lovely waters is through the water taxi, a popular mode of transport here.
  • Zainojet: This is a surprise package that makes diving and parasailing seem like mild water games. Become a human submarine, swim underwater and take off out of the blue into the air to a height of 30 ft! Enjoy a scenic boat ride along with this incredible experience.
  • Exclusively for kids: Watch your kids have the time of the day at the Funky Fish Kids Day Out Center where they can learn to snorkel, boogie board or skim board in the ocean. With lots of other activities and educational experiences, this should be an outing that will keep them talking about their holiday in Fort Lauderdale for days. Another experience not to be missed by kids is the Fort Lauderdale Duck Tour on an amphibious vehicle; let the children have their own cruising experience.
  • Deep Sea Fishing: Charter fishing boats for a deep sea expedition and spend a day at fishing or just watching the incredible variety of sea creatures off the coast.
  • Boating: Rent a kayak, a sail boat or a banana boat at hourly rates and take off to the seas on your own. If you want to be driven around, the best experience would be on a glass bottom boat or a water-limousine.
  • Water sports: If you love water sports, make sure your holiday in Fort Lauderdale is a LONG one because it’s impossible to enjoy all the activities this place has to offer in a short time span. Ranging from snorkeling to explore the undersea world and old ship wrecks to scuba diving and parasailing, there are plenty of options for beginners as well as pros. Whether you wish to learn surfing or enjoy one the best surfing experiences in the world; this is the right place.

Make an itinerary of water ventures you wish to take up in Fort Lauderdale to enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

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Favorite Haunts in Atlanta

by Richa G 26. October 2012 07:05

So you’ve seen the splendid city life and the even more spectacular nightlife of Atlanta and you think you know everything there is to know about this city. But no! There is another side to Atlanta that just shouldn’t be missed if you want to see the entire picture; the afterlife. Explore Atlanta’s haunted sites and understand their history through weeping ghosts, phantom soldiers and lingering souls.

Atlanta even has tours covering the dark side of the city. So if you believe in the hereafter, if ghost stories give you a thrill and if your idea of fun is a night in a spooky mansion, these tours are for you. Of course, if you are a non-believer, it’s all the more reason for you to take these tours.

  Southern Ghosts_3943c
A Tour of Southern Ghost
Photo by hoyasmeg, on Flickr

There are many tours like the “Tour of Southern Ghosts” in Stone Mountain, the Roswell Ghost Tour, Ghost Tour Trolleys in Lawrenceville, Norcross Ghost Tours and the Scary Etta Tour in Marietta. While some of these tours sound too fancy to be anything more than a tourist adventure, there are other tours where real experiences are spoken about, where even non-believers are made to accept that there is something happening and where the stories are so spooky that you will lose your sleep.

So where are Atlanta’s ghosts?

  • The Oakland Cemetery with its centuries-long history is said to be a favorite haunt for spirits. Since this is a place where many celebrities were buried, a visit here may give you a chance to meet one of them.
  • Visit St James Episcopal Cemetery; a place where several paranormal sightings have been reported. Among these is the statue of Mary Meinert whose eyes are said to bleed tears. Whether they bleed or not, just seeing those eyes in the dark can be quite scary.
  • When your tour takes you to Masquerade, a historic dance club, it’s not to let you dance to rock; this popular hangout is believed to be haunted! Once a mill where several tragic accidents had happened, this place is said to be alive with ghosts!
  • The Bulloch Hall and the Spooky house in Roswell don’t seem like just tourist gimmicks. If you want creepy, try these places.
  • The Anthony restaurant in Buckhead is yet another favorite haunted mansion in Atlanta; the previous owner of this house, Annabelle makes sudden appearances to see her property. If you think this is normal, maybe you should consider the fact that she is dead.
  • The Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park seems to be a great place for having fun; maybe this is why it is favored by phantom singers and ghosts of young girls too.

These are just a few haunted attractions to see in Atlanta. Book your haunted walk or segway tour in advance and reach the starting point on time to enjoy your tour. Make sure you have comfortable walking shoes, torches, enough water and cameras. These tours may seem scary especially when you think you may be walking with the walking dead; but don’t jump out of your skin each time you meet someone weird. He or she could after all be your tour guide dressed that way to boost your spirits.

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In Tokyo Just For the Sushi

by Richa G 25. October 2012 06:30

Love your sushi? Want to know what authentic sushi tastes like? Then, it’s time you booked your flights to Tokyo to start a fishing expedition to find the best tasting sushi in the world. But be warned; you have to be prepared to spend for the best experience and wait for hours in lines before you can get your hands (and your mouth) at the best sushi.

When you are in Tokyo, you will understand that the city is serious about its Sushi culture. Sushi chefs are trained intensively and they make sure their food looks as good as it tastes; so take your cameras along for your sushi tour. And if you want the best local experience, eat the local way; with your fingers and with just the right touch of soy sauce and wasabi. Use chopsticks for gari, the sweet pickle accompaniment.

Sushi not just a favorite Japanese dish; but a part of the country’s culture
Photo by Kimtaro, on Flickr

Where to eat: This is where the plot gets confusing. Tokyo’s restaurant density is astounding; so the choices you have are incredible. Even if you are on a strict sushi diet, you get to choose from inexpensive sushi bars to “once in a lifetime splurge sushi restaurants”. Here is brief guide of top sushi spots in Tokyo.

Step 1: Every sushi lover in Tokyo starts his or her tour with a visit to the famed Tsukiji fish Market; this 22 hectares of market with the freshest of fish and all kinds of sea creatures, exciting auctions and unbelievable busy stalls is a lovely place to start your sushi expedition.

Make sure you are here by 4.30 AM if you want to see the auctions because entry is restricted to 140 visitors for the early morning shift. Stand in queues to have one of the best sushi experiences in Tokyo at Sushidai; get fresh fish at surprisingly cheap rates. However, you may have to spend over 2 hours in a queue just to get into this place; another option here is the Daiwa Sushi where the queue moves faster and the sushi tastes great.

Conducted tours of the market are also available along with a cooking session in a popular restaurant where you can learn the nuances of making sushi. Make sure you follow the market rules for tourists and don’t disrupt the daily business of the sellers.

Eat sushi any time of the day at any branch of Tokyo’s Sushi Zanmai; get different varieties of Japan’s favorite food at a fraction of the cost you may have to pay at other places.

Other affordable, yet popular sushi establishments in Tokyo are Edogin and Magurobito where the quality is praised by all. If you have a huge appetite, Midori-Zushi’s generous portions are sure to satisfy you along with their modification of the popular dish to suit western palate.

For moderate budgets, Fukuzushi and Sushi Saito suit the bill and your mission; savor heavenly sushi in friendly restaurants where you can select what you want.

Sushi Mizutani, Sukiyabashi Jiro and Kyube are the ultimate destinations for sushi devotees. Unbelievably expensive, but ultimately the best; these restaurants are celebrities in the Tokyo restaurant scene, but make sure you book your table months in advance, maybe even before you book your flight tickets to Tokyo.

Sushi is not just a favorite Japanese dish; it forms part of the culture of the country. You can discover Tokyo by just taking a sushi tour of the city.

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Chinese New Year 2013 in Shanghai

by Richa G 20. October 2012 05:06

Charming Shanghai is a tourist’s delight with its unending energy and enchanting traditional charm. A good time to visit this city would be during the Chinese New Year, also called the Spring festival. Though travel guides may advise you not to travel during this time, what better way is there to experience the true spirit of Shanghai than the Chinese New Year when the city comes alive with a fifteen day long extravaganza?

Yes, the scene will be chaotic with lots of people travelling to their families in Shanghai and lots travelling out of China on one hand and a wave of visitors arriving at Shanghai just to see the New Year celebrations on the other. But if you want to see the real face of Shanghai with its love for culture, this is the best time to be here.

  Chinese New Year at Carrefour
Photo by Augapfel, on Flickr
Chinese New Year 2013 (CNY 2013) will be on February 10th and the festival will be celebrated for 15 days. Since lots of people travel to China to be with their families or just to be a part of this festival, it is important to book your flights to Shanghai for CNY 2013 and your accommodation well in advance.

CNY 2013 in Shanghai- What to do?

  • Shop to your heart’s content. If you are lucky enough to land in Shanghai before the CNY starts, make a trip (or many trips if you are serious about your shopping) to Nanjing road and plunge into the shopping opportunities available here. For locals, this is the best time to purchase household needs, new clothes and gifts. Even if you don’t want to shop, just watching the festive decorations and lighting will be a great experience.
  • Visit Longhua Temple. This temple, built over 1800 years back, has been a symbol of CNY in Shanghai for many decades. On the eve of New Year, people gather at the temple to witness the ringing of the bronze bell here. The bell is struck 108 times; this number is believed to bring luck and drive out evil. Wait till the bell ceremony is over; you may also get a chance to ring the bell.
  • Make a trip to the City God Temple. This is where most locals go to pray for a prosperous New Year. The temple with its colorful decorations, enthusiastic people and happening surroundings is a charming place to visit.
  • Freak out with fireworks. Watch the skies burst into colors at the dawn of the New Year. The loud noise of the crackers is said to drive away evil; to be frank, it can drive us mad too at times. This spectacle is impressive and is sure to make your holiday memorable.
  • Taste Spring Festival specialties. Dumplings called Jiaozi and Tangyuan are Chinese specialties that are must-eats during the CNY. Try the Yang’s Fry dumplings or Wang Jia She Confectionary for authentic specialty dishes. Several restaurants also come out with special offers for CNY. This is your time to indulge.
  • Watch a dazzling lantern parade. The last day of the CNY is celebrated as lantern festival. Make your way to Yu Yuan Old Town Bazaar to watch the grand ceremony done the traditional way.
This marks the finale of the 15 day CNY celebrations, but the memories of this colorful event last a lifetime.


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Diwali in Mumbai

by Richa G 19. October 2012 06:30

Though several festivals are celebrated in India, the Festival of lights, Diwali is everyone’s favorite because of its fun factor and the cheer it brings to people’s lives. Diwali is when India is at its brightest. A trip to India for Diwali can be an incredible experience. Mumbai, with its love for fun, is one of the best cities to be in to experience the best of festive joy during Diwali. In 2012, Diwali will be celebrated on Nov 11th to 14th.

What does Diwali signify?
Diwali marks the victory of good over evil and this triumph is celebrated by lighting lamps, bursting crackers and rejoicing. Different states have different reasons to celebrate this festival, but all Indians are united in the festive spirit with which it is celebrated.

  Diwali 2010 @ Mumbai
Diwali is celebrated by Lighting Lamps, Bursting Crackers and Rejoicing
Photo by AbhijeetRane, on Flickr

The people of Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra celebrate Diwali for 4 days, starting with Vasubaras, the worship of cow and ending with bhaubeej to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on the third day, a no moon day; she is considered Goddess of Wealth and pleasing her on this auspicious day is said to bring wealth to the household.

A Diwali Holiday in Mumbai: What to do?

  • A month before Diwali, markets and shop wear a festive look. Shopkeepers compete with each other in decorating their shops and offering “festival discounts. Buy Indian handicrafts, clothes, jewelry and souvenirs before Diwali. This is a good time to shop in Mumbai if you don’t mind the crowds
  • A little before Diwali, sweet stalls start their festival preparations. The aroma of sweets fried in clarified butter fill the air; just step into a sweetshop and request samples of different sweets before you decide which one to buy.
  • Once the festival starts, houses are decorated with colorful Rangolis; lovely designs drawn on the entrance with colorful powders. People wake up before sunrise for their Diwali oil bath, temples get crowded with devotees and the bursting of fireworks start. Try to book a homestay in Mumbai to experience the festival firsthand with an Indian family. Light diyas and try your hand at bursting crackers.
  • Diwali is a time for family and friends; so lots of Diwali parties and colony get-togethers are hosted for this festival. Stroll across the Marine Drive, one of the most happening places for Diwali celebrations. Lots of people get together and burst crackers.
  • Hotels also offer special packages for Diwali. For instance, you can book a Diwali package in the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai to get a lovely Diwali holiday experience in Mumbai. When you book your flights to Mumbai for Diwali, make sure you also book your hotel because lots of people travel to India to see the festival of lights.
  • Temples in Mumbai can get very crowded on the day of Lakshmi Puja, but a temple visit is a nice experience to capture the spirit of the festival. If you wish to avoid the crowds, visit temples the day before or after Diwali.
  • The holiday mood can be seen in restaurants and pubs in Mumbai too. While special buffets and food carnivals are organized in restaurants, Mumbai’s happening nightlife has its own way of celebrating Diwali with late night parties. Reserve a table for dinner at a rooftop restaurant and watch the crackers light up the city.

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How to Experience Hong Kong

by Richa G 18. October 2012 06:07
A holiday in Hong Kong will convince you that its reputation as the “fragrant harbor” is only an understatement. With fascinating views, busy city life combined with charming Chinese culture, plenty of excitement, frenetic nightlife and terrific shopping, Hong Kong is one holiday destination that seems to have it all.

  Fireworks - A Spectacular Award Winning Music and Laser Show
Photo by focusedcapture, on Flickr
Though not huge in size, Hong Kong has lots of attractions and activities to offer to tourists ranging from colorful festivals to peaceful sunset views. With so much on offer, it’s often difficult to figure out how to schedule your Hong Kong holidays without missing anything important. Here’s a walkthrough of top experiences.

View from Victoria Peak
While every major city has a viewing tower or peak from where you can watch the skyline, few can match the impressive sight offered at the Victoria Peak. Take the funicular to the top; the views are best in the evening when you can watch the city lights illuminate the busy city. The peak is also a great place to hang out with plenty of shopping and dining options.

Visit Lantau Island
Lantau, with its pristine beaches and open countryside is a lovely place to visit with plenty of attractions. Visit the Po Lin Monastery and see the Big Buddha, the world’s largest outdoor statue of Buddha. Relax in beaches or indulge in fishing, mountain biking or hiking at Lantau to experience the real beauty of the island. Take a boat tour from Tai O fishing village to see Hong Kong’s native pink dolphins.

Hong Kong Disneyland

With six Disney Worlds and amazing rides for all age groups, Hong Kong’s Disneyland is a must visit especially if you are travelling with kids. Easily accessible by MRT and with a resort where you can even opt to spend a night if you think the theme park may tire the children out, the Disneyland is thoughtfully planned for maximum satisfaction.

Ocean Park
Don’t think you can skip Ocean Park just because you have visited Disneyland; this theme park is another charm special to Hong Kong. Watch dolphins, sharks, jellyfish and giant pandas and experience mind-blowing rides.

Symphony of Lights
Watch Hong Kong light up every night at 8 PM to the music of the Symphony of Lights show, a spectacular award winning music and laser show. Watch this from onboard a ferry or visit the Avenue of Stars to get a great view of the Symphony of Lights.

Board the Star Ferry
Though it’s just a cheap commuter ferry service to transport people between Hong Kong’s islands, a look at Star Ferry’s history will convince you that there’s more to this service. If that’s not all, the experience and the views from the boat will make you glad you boarded it.

No account of Hong Kong can be complete without a mention of the fabulous shopping options here. From Stanley Market’s souvenir shopping to Tsin Sha Tsui’s serious shopping; Hong Kong is a shopper’s Mecca. Get electronics, gaming equipment, apparel, accessories, jewelry and tea at competitive rates. Make sure you have enough time for all the different shopping districts here. Fancy markets like the Ladies Market, Night Market and Flower Market give a touristy touch to your shopping to enhance your Hong Kong experience.

These are just a few favorite experiences. There’s still a lot more to Hong Kong like its beaches, museums and festivals that make it a destination worth visiting again and again.

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Discovering Delhi’s Food Delights

by Richa G 17. October 2012 03:04
The capital of India is famous for its stately monuments, its ever rushing crowd and its fascinating history. But, there is another face to New Delhi that’s shadowed by these factors; the city is a wonderful foodie destination. With a confluence of cultures from different parts of India combined with its own Mughal history, Delhi has lots to offer to food lovers; in fact, you can visit this city just for its food.
  Karim's : Old Delhi
Best joint to eat meat and NOT go bankrupt in delhi...
Photo by Saad.Akhtar, on Flickr
Whether you are looking for local Indian cuisine or international food, Delhi has some of the best restaurants in the country. Check out the best eating joints in New Delhi before you set out for your vacation here.
Locally Delhi
New Delhi is famous for its street food called Chaat. Try Paani Puri or Paapdi chaat to get a taste of Delhi’s street food; make sure you carry mineral water bottles when you embark on this mission because these snacks can be quite spicy. Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi is a favorite haunt of local chaat lovers. If you don’t want to experiment with street food from the streets, try it out in luxurious restaurant settings at the Legends of India restaurant at Connaught Circus.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the Kuremal Kulfi at Sitaram bazaar, the Karachi halwa at Chaina Ram or Bade Mian kheer shop in Chawri Bazaar Metro. Combine your shopping with a visit to these shops since all these outlets are located near the main shopping markets.
For main course Indian cuisine at affordable prices, check out Karim’s at Jama Masjid, Moti Mahal Deluxe and Nirula’s. For variety, taste pure vegetarian South Indian cuisine at Saravana Bhavan and Sagar Rathna.
For fine dining, Bukhara, Chor Bizarre, Park Balluchi, Varq and Punjabi by Nature are some of the most popular restaurants though not all. New Delhi is home to many star hotels that have excellent restaurants serving cuisines of different places. Make reservations before you go if you don’t want to wait.
International Delights
If you are hungry for your own cuisine or Continental fare in India, Delhi is a great place to be in.
La Piazza, Diva, Satoria and Little Italy are some of the best known hangouts for Italian food. For Chinese, The Yum Yum Tree, Rice Bowl, China Kitchen and Mainland China are the most popular, but you can find Chinese-Indian fusion food everywhere in Delhi, especially in “fast food stalls”. These are worth trying out too.
Shalom is a popular restaurant frequented by tourists and expats; it serves Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine while Sakura and Wasabi by Morimoto are upcoming favorites with the Sushi trend catching on in India.
Le Cirque is for fine French food and Turquoise Cottage with its interesting interiors serves delectable Thai cuisine. Continental food is widely available and most star hotels offer popular dishes.
Some tips
Buy branded and sealed mineral water bottles wherever you go and make sure to drink only from this.
  • Street food in Delhi may taste great, but make sure the food is cooked fresh in front of your eyes.
  • Delhi also has its share of McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Wimpys and Dominos. If you are travelling with kids, this is an important factor to remember.
  • Plush restaurants in star hotels offer sumptuous food, but these places can be unbelievably expensive. Find out mid-range options where you can get cheaper and offer better tasting food for the authentic Delhi experience.

Feeling tempted to try this sumptuous food, then book a flight to Delhi Today!

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Beijing on a Shoestring

by Richa G 16. October 2012 02:43
Bustling Beijing has been a favorite with tourists for decades. Yes, it is unbelievably crowded and very busy; but the city always seems to have time for culture and tradition and it is this charm that attracts people from all over the world. Moreover, Beijing can be a very affordable destination in spite of its eminence as a capital city. Just find out how to explore the city without straining your purses to make your Beijing budget holiday a success.

Getting In
Its importance as a business center makes it easy to get cheap flights to Beijing from all parts of the world. Just make sure you select the right time to get cheap tickets to Beijing. For instance, the city gets very crowded during the Chinese New Year in Jan-Feb and the National Day Holiday in October. Avoid traveling to Beijing in these months; it’s better to book your tickets for April to June or September.

  The Forbidden City
A World Heritage Site as it houses the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world
Photo by Francisco Diez, on Flickr

The hotels scene in Beijing has changed dramatically after the 2008 Olympics; lots of hotels have sprung up and are quite affordable when compared to their western counterparts. Rack rates may seem very high, but when you bargain directly with hotels, it is possible to get rooms at half of those prices or even less with a few perks thrown in like free breakfast or transfers. Hostels are also available with all modern amenities; select a hostel close to subway stations to make it easier for you to travel.

The subway in Beijing is a boon to budget travelers. With clear English directions, the subway is easy to use and very convenient. Alternately, if you stay close to attractions, you can hire a bicycle and explore the city the way the locals do. If you prefer hiring a cab to travel around, get your hotel to book a reliable taxi and make sure the driver turns on the meter. Beware of unofficial taxis near the airport and tourist sites.

Tiananmen Square: The largest public square in the world, the Tiananmen Square is an important place to visit in Beijing. The square is a hub for kite-flying children and this sight is delightful to watch. See the Tiananmen Tower, the Great Hall of The People and the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao. Filled with history and the present, this square shouldn’t be missed.

The Forbidden City: It’s easy to cycle across the Tiananmen Square to visit the magnificent Forbidden City. Pay a small fee to enter and get lost in the sights of the Imperial Palace. The Imperial Garden, the Hall of Supreme Harmony and the Palace Museum are must visits.

The Great Wall: Yet another world-famous attraction of Beijing, The Great Wall of China stretching over 4000 miles is fascinating to visit. Badaling is the closest entrance to the Great Wall from Beijing, but it is also the most crowded. The Mutainyu section can be a better alternative with a toboggan ride downhill that’s exciting. You can combine this trip with a visit to the Ming Tombs.

While these are the main attractions, the Temple of Heaven, the Beihai Park, the Great Bell Temple and the Beijing National Stadium are other attractions that are definitely worth a visit.
Food stalls and restaurants near popular attractions may be touristy and expensive; try dining in local eateries to taste the best of Beijing’s cuisine and get food at much lesser rates. And if you want to shop, brush up on your bargaining skills before you enter any market in Beijing.

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Roaming In Rome With Family

by Richa G 12. October 2012 04:32

Though not your typical family holiday destination, a holiday in Rome can be enriching and even entertaining. Of course, the city may be dominated by its celebrated history; but there’s more to Rome than what you see in travel guides. Though long lines and historic attractions rank low when compared to beaches and Theme Parks, the grandeur of Rome’s attractions can take your family on a cultural roller coaster ride making it a surprisingly memorable holiday even for kids.

Forbidden City, Beijing

Dont forget to take pictures with gladiators in front of the Colosseum.
They will readily pose with you and charge a meager amount in return
Photo by Adam Kahtava, on Flickr

Once the Capital of the World, legendary Rome has lots of attractions for tourists; but when you are traveling with family, it’s better to take in the sights slowly instead of jamming too many sights in a day. Also make sure you know where to get great pizza and yummy gelati wherever you travel in Rome; this can make young whiners forget their complaints.

Top things to do with family in Rome

The Forum: The heart of ancient Rome with grand attractions like the Colosseum and the Capitoline Hill is a fascinating place to visit whether you are a child or adult. Take pictures with gladiators in front of the Colosseum and explore the ruins to find interesting pieces of history.

The Vatican: From Swiss guards to delightful fountains, there are several aspects of the Vatican City that can satisfy the interests of young tourists as well as their parents. The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Saint Peter’s Square are interesting places to visit here. However, be prepared for long lines if you haven’t booked your tours in advance. For older kids, this can be a great educational experience.

The Pantheon: The Temple of all Gods is a breathtaking sight to visit; with its spectacular dome and remarkable history, this is a favorite spot for locals and tourists. The Pantheon is on Piazza Della Rotunda, a bustling square with horse carriage rides, plenty of ice cream shops and cafes.

Time Elevator Roma: Close to the Pantheon is the Time elevator Roma, a 5-D movie theatre that transports you to ancient Rome through a simulator ride. Kids love this experience.

The Explora Museum: This is a hands-on museum especially for young kids; the interactive exhibits here are interesting and informative.

Parks and fountains: The Villa Borghese with its live puppet shows and the Cinema dei Piccoli is another kids-special destination in Rome. Families love the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps; these are bustling tourist places that also offer lots of other activities.

Bocca Della Verita: Be careful about what you say when you let the ancient Mouth of Truth swallow your hand. Though no liar has lost his hand till now, there’s always a first time.

These are not all. Older kids love to explore the Crypts and Catacombs of Rome; get underground to see this face of Rome. Of course, another major attraction for families traveling to Rome is the fabulous Italian food and rich ice creams that you get here. Make sure you don’t miss these fun stuffs when you visit Rome with your family.

So what are you waiting for, book your flights to Rome today and get ready for your next family vacation!

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Tags: family holiday in rome, rome, rome family travel, rome travel, things to do in rome

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