Blog

This is Egypt: a new trend spreading on social media

September 03, 2020

A large number of people and newspapers circulated on social media a new hashtag "This is Egypt", in which some people publish photos of tourist places, resorts, hotels, museums, and historical monuments of Egypt to stimulate and promote tourism again.   In addition to the role of the actors who posted photos of them in attractive tourist places in Egypt, these photos are also circulated through various social media sites (Instagram - Facebook - Twitter) bearing the hashtag This is Egypt.   Egyptian citizens did not stop at this stage, but rather published photos of many world-famous people who had previously visited Egypt, as a kind of promotion for Egyptian tourism such as the Argentine player Lionel Messi and American star Will Smith, in addition to the wife of US President Melania Trump. And the American Danny Glover.   Solidarity with this initiative, let us get to know the most beautiful tourist places in Egypt that contain the treasure of tourism in terms of the rarest natural reserves and unique monuments that attract tourists from everywhere.   This is Egypt: The Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Egypt  Tourism in Egypt varies between religious, historical, pharaonic, and therapeutic, among others. Through this article, we will learn about one of the most important tourist places in Egypt by determining the top of each government.    Cairo and Giza The tourist attractions of the governorates of Cairo and Giza are close in terms of distance, so you can visit them together in one day. The main places that tourists come to are in Cairo and Giza are (The Pyramids, The Egyptian Museum, Salah El Din El Ayoubi Citadel, Khan El Khalili Market). So let’s clarify each of them.   The Pyramids: The pyramids of Giza are classified among the Seven Wonders of the World, and they are among the trips that cannot be ignored in any visit to Egypt. The great pyramids were built in the era of the pharaohs and are tombs of the great, mighty pharaohs guarded by the Sphinx.   The Egyptian Museum: The Egyptian Museum houses the treasure of the ancient Egyptians, as it is one of the largest museums in the world, and contains an impressive amount of valuable exhibits. As for the upper floor, it is the golden glory of King Tutankhamun and the wonderful mummy exhibits. In fact, every corner of the museum highlights a different part of ancient history.   Salah El Din El Ayoubi Citadel: One of the historical monuments that you can not miss on your visit to Cairo is the Citadel of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, one of the most famous tourist attractions that has nothing to do with the Pharaohs, in it is a history of the medieval wars as it is designed with terrible defensive walls and towers, and huge gates. The castle includes the most important archaeological landmarks such as the impressive Muhammad Ali Mosque, a museum of vehicles, a military museum, and the Garden Museum, in addition to that the castle includes the Jawhara Palace, named after the Jawhara of Hanim, Muhammad Ali's last wife.   Khan El Khalili Market: No trip to Cairo would be complete without a visit to Khan Al Khalili. The bazaar is noisy, crowded, colorful, and exciting - filled with all kinds of shiny goods and trinkets. You can find typical tourist trinkets there.    Red Sea Reef  The Red Sea coast is considered one of the most wonderful coasts in the world for diving, it contains thousands of different coral reefs and unique fish, and cities are also distinguished by its wonderful water and rare beaches, among the most famous cities of Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Hurghada.   Luxor and Aswan  Aswan is one of the most beautiful tourist places in Egypt that attracts many tourists from everywhere and is famous for its Nubian houses and their simple, charming designs. Aswan is located near Luxor, so you can visit it after returning from the antiquities and museums in Luxor which contains a third of the world's monuments. You can read this article to learn about the most important tourist attractions in Luxor and Aswan.   Top Attractions to visit in Aswan 1- Philae Temple (Temple of Isis) 2- Aswan High Dam 3- Unfinished Obelisk  4- Nubian Villages (Siou and Koti) 5- Temple of Kalabsha 6- Aswan Botanical Garden 7- Elephantine Island  8- Nubian Museum  9- St. Simeon Monastery  10- Aga Khan Mausoleum (Tomb of Muhammad Shah Aga Khan)   Top Attractions to do in Luxor 1- Temple of Karnak 2- Valley of Kings 3- Luxor Temple 4- Temple of Deir al-Bahri (Queen Hatshepsut's Temple) 5- Luxor Museum  6- Mediant Habu  7- Tombs of the Nobles 8- Colossi of Memnon 9- Ramesseum 10- Valley of Queens    Siwa Oasis  Siwa is charming, located far near Morocco and Libya in the far west of Egypt on the Great Sea of ​​Sands. You will spend a long time on the road but it is worth it because of its attractive and rare scenery. If this is your first visit to the Siwa Oasis, there are some famous places that you should visit, such as a historical tour of the main city in Siwa, Shali, which contains strange and interesting relics, and Lake Cleopatra, in which it is said that the legend Cleopatra used to swim, which was also classified from medical trips For bones and skin because it is sulfur water, and you can visit the Oracle Museum, which Alexander the Great visited himself and the Siwa Museum, the Great Wizard’s House.   Certainly, these are not all tourist places in Egypt, there are many more than those mentioned in Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh, Ain Sokhna, and others. But let me now introduce you to the most luxurious hotels in Egypt.   This is Egypt: Top Resorts and Hotels in Egypt Hotels in Cairo and Giza   1- Sofitel Cairo Nile Al Gezerah  2- Sonesta Hotel  3- Novotel Cairo El Borg   Hotels in Sharm El Sheikh    1- Sultan Gardens Resorts 2- Sunrise Arabian Beach Resort   3- Renaissance Sharm El Sheikh Golden View Beach    Hotels in Hurghada    1- Sunrise Crystal Bay Resort - Grand Select  2- Desert Rose Resort  3- Sheraton Miramar Resort - El Gouna    Hotels in Aswan    1- Sofitel Legend Old Cataract - Aswan  2- Kato Dool Nubian Resort  3- Citymax Hotel - Aswan    Hotels in Luxor   1- Pavillon Winter Luxor 2- Al Hambra Hotel 3- Cleopatra Hotel    Hotels in Siwa   1- Adrere Amellal  2- Palm Trees Hotel 3- Dream Lodge   For more about Egypt Check these: Ancient Egyptian Sports: Best sports in the Pharaonic civilization Tourism in Luxor: Things to do in Luxor  

Destinations

Places to visit in Saudi Arabia: Discover the beauty of Saudi Arabia

July 21, 2020

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country on the Arabian Peninsula, is hiding its secrets in the vast deserts and ancient cities and is waiting to be explored. Travel in places that haven't seen many visitors and discover the varied landscape. It is interesting that Saudi Arabia is the largest country without a permanent river. There are many places to visit in Saudi Arabia, where you can enjoy the breathtaking views from skyscrapers, stand on top of cliffs, and experience the feeling of standing at the edge of the world, or you can explore the beauty of the Red Sea, especially its coral reefs. Jeddah Saudi Arabia boasts many riches - but perhaps nothing is as breathtaking as its commercial capital, Jeddah. It is a center of diversity as a melting pot of different cultures highlighted by attractive and modern malls. But it also places a strong emphasis on local customs and traditions according to Saudi principles. If you are looking for a traditional experience of Islamic culture, look no further than Saudi Arabia and its second-largest city, Jeddah. Jeddah is one of the busiest cities in the Middle East, and a large part of it comes from its proximity to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. There are a huge number of shopping options ranging from modern malls to traditional stores that have been roaming their business for decades and decades. Jeddah is the largest city along the Red Sea and this gives it access to some truly amazing beaches. If you're looking for a sunny day out, you'll find in Jeddah everything you need. You can also pamper your inner architect by touring the city and enjoying impressive buildings just as well as preserving them.   Al-Shallal Theme Park One of the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia especially in Jeddah and that you can enjoy so much is to explore Al Shallal Theme Park. Located on the Red Sea, the waterfall is more than a resort. Attracts many residents and tourists every day. Many man-made lakes and waterfalls are found in the park. Some are scattered on the ground using rotating coasters, while others are spread among them. You can enjoy a stunning sea view because of its location near the Red Sea. Dine-in one of the many restaurants in the garden or stroll around the two-story mall.   Safari Desert Safari is one of the best things you can do in Jeddah. If you want to enjoy the desert safari around Jeddah, you can choose one of the many safaris in Jeddah. There are many desert safari trips like jeep trips with safari tours, camel tours, and sand dune trips in the desert.   Riyadh Riyadh is the most straightforward city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With most forms of entertainment banned, few attractions of interest, and a brutal climate, Riyadh is mostly a commercial destination. Although everyone is bound by the rules of the dress code for men and abayas, many Saudis have come across Western clothes. Riyadh is the capital as well as the most populous city in Saudi Arabia and also is one of the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia, which is located in the central region called Najd, on a sedimentary plateau at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level. It has its own television radio production complex, satellite communication facilities, and the largest and most recent campus in the Kingdom, colleges, schools, hospitals, clinics, and specialized healthcare centers.   National Museum The history of Islam is the main focus of this museum, which consists of 10 galleries, plazas, and a section that includes luxury cars and other property for the founding king of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The museum is huge and very well known to tourists who do not know much about Saudi Arabia, and it is a good place to start discovering it. The surrounding historical area is very ethnic and beautiful and can take half a day to wander around.   Riyadh Zoo The largest zoo in the Kingdom and one of the top places to visit in Saudi Arabia and includes about 40 species of animals. The Riyadh Zoo is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Riyadh where history goes. It was formerly the King's own park for carrying his wild pets, which later became a zoo and is now open to the public. A suitable place for children and adults alike, where you can find many different animals, a beautiful playground.   Madinah Medina - known as one of the beautiful desert cities in Saudi Arabia - it is second only to Makkah Al-Mukarramah, which is of religious importance to the Islamic religion. The city has a lot to offer travelersو from religious monuments to the stunning cultural traditions that truly distinguish the city from the rest. The creation of Medina holds a very interesting story. Medina offers a wonderful blend of old Saudi culture and new business culture that has developed in the Kingdom. This city boasts a vibrant array of shopping malls, restaurants, galleries, and cultural activities as well as many desert activities - all within the city limits. At night, the city's landscape is unparalleled. Surrounded by rolling hills, moonlight is captured in such a way that you truly feel stuck in a magical Arabic fairytale!   Madain Saleh Tombs This is one of the greatest places to visit in Saudi Arabia, and it is also a very historical attraction for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This former capital of the Nabataean Empire is a site to visit on your trip to Al Ula. during your tour, which lasts for about 2.5 hours and stopped at key sites like Lonely Castle.   City Sightseeing on Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour Enjoy Medina to the fullest on a bus tour. Your ticket allows you to see the city the way you want it and quickly jump into any of the eleven stations. Learn what you see with a voiceover with the available headphones. It will also stay cool and connected with free water and Wi-Fi on the bus.   Dammam The capital of the eastern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dammam is the sixth-largest city in the country. Itis the main hub for the Saudi oil industry and is the largest developing city in the entire Arab region. The city, like the rest of the country, enjoys Saudi culture, traditions, and cuisine. The city is well developed and has many interesting places to visit including the beautiful Dammam Corniche area and King Fahd Park. To learn more about the history of the eastern region and Saudi culture, the Dammam Regional Museum is very helpful. The city also has some theme parks like Dolphin Village to see some fun live shows by friendly creatures. Like all major cities in the Gulf region, Dammam also has many major shopping centers where you can find the latest collection of the best brands, as well as many local street restaurants that serve famous authentic Middle Eastern dishes.   Dolphin Village One of the most interesting places to visit in Saudi Arabia is the Dolphin village. It is located at the entrance to the beautiful Al Marjan Island on Dammam Corniche. It includes horseback riding, a huge pool, daily show of dolphins along with seals, circus during special events such as Eid holidays as well as national events.   Al-Marjan Island This island is one of the most magnificent artificial islands in the Middle East. They connect to the Dammam Quay and carry all the attractions that locals, families, and tourists need, such as green spaces, playgrounds, and seating. You can also enjoy a boat ride to and from Al Marjan Island with a free meal. Also, Read: Restaurants in Riyadh: Top nice and affordable restaurants for expats Tourism in the Kingdom: Top things to do in Saudi Arabia

Culture

A historical walk in the Kingdom: Things to do in Bab Al Bahrain

July 09, 2020

Guarding the entrance of the Manama Suq in the capital Manama, Bab Al Bahrain was built in 1949. The formidable building that used to overlook the sea was the seat of the government’s administrative offices in the old days. Now though, it only houses the tourism sector offices and visitor’s center to help visitors learn about the history of the area and find all the amazing things to do in Bab Al Bahrain. Since then, Bab Al Bahrain has experienced many changes and renovations. Recently, the Ministry of Culture initiated a project to preserve Bab al Bahrain as a cultural landmark. Now the building shines in all of its historical glory and its magnificent architecture really stands out. Bab al Bahrain history Due to its long history of pearling, Bahrain started to adopt a pattern of urbanization in the course of the 19th century.  The modern cosmopolitan outlook of the city is largely due to Bahrain being the region’s first modern state and the rise of Manama as the first regional metropolis. History remembers the city is as passage-way for Modernity in the region. Pearl diving and trade started to take the form of an organized bureaucracy early on, as a result, the Kingdom was the first in the region to have a centralized government that led to the opening of Bahrain, Manama in specific, to the rest of the world. The most outstanding metropolitan project to take place in Manama at the time was Bab Al Bahrain. The Government renewed the waterfront through land reclamation and part of that development was the building. The project was designed in 1945, by late Amir Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa's adviser Sir Charles Belgrave, as the seat of the government. The architectural design features some modern elements as well as some indigenous features, which added a unique centerpiece to the City Center at the time. As a result of additional land reclamation projects, Bab Al Bahrain is now ten minutes away from the sea after being just across it.    The renovation of Bab Al Bahrain Following a comprehensive renovation in the 80s, in which the building was altered somewhat, Bab Al Bahrain was restored and revamped again in 2012 to bring it back to its former state with limited alterations.  These included the reopening of the road leading to Manama Suq, which passes under the archways of the Bab Al Bahrain, to revive the fact that the building has always been meant as a gateway to the City.  In addition to renovating the building, the Ministry of Culture in Bahrain launched a contest for architectures from around the world to come up with new innovative designs for the square around Bab Al Bahrain under the name “Open Ideas Competition – Bab Al Bahrain”. The competition stated that applicants should take into consideration refreshing the memory of the sea that used to be adjacent to the site, as well as offering a metropolitan urban square that allows pedestrians to room an enjoy the area   Things to do in Bab Al Bahrain Bab Al-Bahrain suq Located in the heart of Manama, Bab Al-Bahrain suq houses more than 30 shops lining its main façade and walkway offering patrons a wide variety of goods, from Arabic perfumes and Bahraini sweets to local handicrafts and traditional antiques. There is also a post office and a travel agency among the Suq stores. In addition to shopping, the Suq allows shoppers to try Bahraini coffee and delicacies, it is home to several famous coffee shops, such as Bahrain’s first ice cream shop, Café Naseef, which opened in 1920, and Café Saffron which is a restaurant and cafe that serves traditional Bahraini cuisine.   Bab Al Bahrain Mall With beautiful architecture that mixes the old and traditional with the modern and the future, this mall is a beautiful place to visit even if you are not in the mood for shopping. However, if you are looking for great Bahraini jewelry and valuable handmade carpets this is the place to go.   Saturday Market One of the most fun things to do at Bab Al Bahrain is attending the Saturday Market. Usually held every Saturday, this market allows a place for artists to show their crafts such as including basket weaving, hand embroidery, carpets, and henna design. It also features live music, traditional Bahraini food vendors, and play areas for children. The market is often open for the days of major events such as during the Bahrain Grand Prix.   Manama Suq Through the passageway of Bab Al Bahrain, you can reach the old Manama Suq. The suq offers everything and more, all displayed in a lively array of shops. Goods there vary from textiles, spices, incense, perfumes, handicrafts, and souvenirs, all the way to modern products and trinkets from all over the world.  The suq offers a unique shopping experience that brings to mind the style of commerce from days long past. The Manama Suq is a must-visit while in Bahrain that visitors will be sure to enjoy.   Manama Post Office Right behind Bab Al Bahrain, you can find The original post office of Manama, which has been renovated to host a museum documenting the history of postal services of Bahrain through the history. In addition to its outstanding archive of photographs from the postal service since its inception, a complete catalog of Bahraini stamps as well as stamps from all over the world, and a collection of vintage cancellations, scales, and franking machines, all of which were positions of the Ministry of Transport and the Philatelic Bureau, the museum also comprises a philatelic bureau counter where people can purchase new and collectible stamps and a café with a great terrace that overlooks Bab Al Bahrain.

Culture

Bahrain Fort: Ancient Castle and Capital of Dilmun

July 08, 2020

 One of the most important tourist attractions and best landmarks in Bahrain is the Bahrain Fort (Qal'at al-Bahrain) or the Portuguese Fort as it is called, and the castle’s history dates back to the fourteenth century AD, but the castle was provided with other buildings during different eras such as the Portuguese rule of Bahrain.   It is located in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, in the Seef district on the seashore, and it is one of the best places that tourists like to visit for its historical and architectural importance, and it is worth noting that the castle was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage.   Located only a 10-minute drive west of Manama, on an ancient hill (hills created by centuries of urban reconstruction), the majestic Bahrain Fort overlooks the bay. Built by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, as well as that it is believed to be the capital of the ancient Dilmun Empire. As you wander through the air fossils of residential, commercial, public, military, and religious buildings, don’t forget that humans have inhabited this site continuously since 2300 BC.   This is where the most important discoveries of Dilmun were found in Bahrain, and it provides an outstanding example not only of the strength of Dilmun but also of its successors during the Tylos and Islamic periods. The castle is backed by an elegant and modern visitor center and an excellent museum, where you can pick up a free audio guide. When you're done wandering through the ruins, be sure to enjoy wonderful sea views with a drink in the Museum Café. What is the Bahrain Fort? Bahrain's rich commercial history, known as Dilmun in ancient times, is reflected in many archaeological sites, the most prominent of which is the Qal'at al-Bahrain site registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort is located on top of an artificial hill covering an area of ​​17.5 hectares which was built over more than 4000 years of continuous occupation. It is the site of the former capital Dilmun and one of the most archaeological sites in the Arabian Gulf. Excavations over the past fifty years have revealed residential, public, commercial, and military structures that attest to the importance of the site over the centuries. These results are brought to life through an audio guide available in the site museum. The museum’s display area has been open to the public since 2008, and it consists of 5 exhibition halls organized around a huge mound wall. With a display of 500 artifacts, the site's long settlement history is displayed to the unique background of the wall, which recreates the various exposed artifacts on the site. The museum café facing the sea offers stunning views of the fort and the surrounding palm groves.   How old is Bahrain fort? The area is believed to have been occupied for about 5,000 years and contains valuable insight into the copper and bronze ages of Bahrain. The first Fort was built about three thousand years ago, in the northeastern peak of Bahrain Island. The history of the current fortress dates back to the sixth century AD.   Bahrain Fort Description Bahrain’s Fort has great historical importance due to its use as the capital of the Delmon civilization, Portuguese garrison, commercial port, apartment building, and religious center. It was built from an artificial hill of 12 meters (40 feet) high, formed by human settlers from 2300 BC. to the eighteenth century, it was later rebuilt using the Greco-Roman style. This square-shaped structure consists of high-quality stones and turrets on the four corners (two of which form the main entrance), weapons, artifacts, and holes in the strategic sites used to shoot arrows, red Hellenistic tiles, coins, and a trench.   Things to do at Bahrain Fort: You can walk around the castle and see the buildings and forts left by previous civilizations, all made of stone and occupying a castle measuring 16 square meters, and includes the archeology remaining from different times in Bahraini history.  Your visit should also include archaeological excavations documenting the presence of people in this area during the BC period, especially 2300 BC, and you should also visit the original forms with a distinctive shape suitable to take some great memorial photos, especially at night.  Don’t forget to visit the museum, which was created inside the castle area, which is a wall with a height of 8 meters, and this wall contains archaeological layers from different eras, and inside this wall, there are 5 graded halls, all of them ascending request.  Because Qal'at al-Bahrain is located right next to the seashore, you must go across the beach and witness the beauty and tranquility of the waters of the Arabian Gulf sea. Also, you can take pictures of the sea and the castle together. Museum Café Enjoy a fabulous evening with the best sea views from any terrace on the island, this cafe is the perfect place to end the afternoon to explore Bahrain Fort. Sip your locally grounded aromatic coffee, drink divine cakes from local bakeries, and watch the mudflats come to life with birds.   What hotels are near Qal'at al-Bahrain? This marvelous fort offers plenty of hotels near it, for example, you will find InterContinental Regency Bahrain hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, and Downtown Rotana hotel, in addition to Elite Grande hotel and Le Méridien City Centre Bahrain.   Restaurants near Qal'at al-Bahrain: If you are looking for great restaurants near the fort you will find many of them such as Le Chocolat, Maya La Chocolaterie, Elevation Burger, and Paul Bakery and Kunefeci‎.   What attractions are near Qal'at al-Bahrain? When you visit Bahrain Fort, you can also enjoy seeing other attractions located near it such as The Raven's Nest, The Sultan Center, Al-Fatih Mosque (Great Mosque), Saar Mall, and Sitra Mall. Also, Read: Dilmun Civilization: The ancient civilization of the Gulf Famous Castles Around the World: Discover the best world’s castles

Destinations

Virtual Travel: Bring The World To Your Home Right Now!

July 08, 2020

While regular travel may be out of the plan in the meantime, virtual escapism is open to everyone with an internet connection. From east to west, you can experience the world's most epic landmarks without the epic crowds and fellow tourists. Some of the world’s leading landscapes out there are all just a few clicks away. We bring you a selection of the best virtual travel experiences to keep you sane during the lockdown. Spend a night under the northern lights The aurora borealis is a dazzling natural phenomenon caused by Earth’s magnetic field interacting with electrically charged particles from the sun. The lights are visible from countries at high northern latitudes, such as those of Scandinavia, Russia, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. The Norwegian Lights over Lapland project takes travellers on a five-minute journey through a series of 360-degree videos. The virtual travel trip starts in the Icehotel in Abisko national park, northern Sweden, heads into the wilderness on a reindeer sleigh, passing Lake Torneträsk and an Arctic birch forest on the way to a cosy wooden Sami hut at the base of Mount Noulja. A series of time-lapse videos then show the lights dancing overhead in vibrant streaks and arcs of rippling green. Get into the active Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu Ambrym volcano is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. This virtual travel tour ventures down into it just a few metres from a churning 1,200C lava lake. It follows adventurers Ulla Lohmann and Sebastian Hoffmann, a couple who make documentary films, along with volcanologist Thomas Boyer, who descend together to the third terrace of Benbow, one of the main vents of the Ambrym volcano, on the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. The short interactive film joins the team as they prepare for the expedition, travel to base camp, up to the rim beyond the jungle, into the ash plain, and abseil down into the crevice, sitting just 60m away from the lava. The documentary, Spitting Distance – The Descent Into a Raging Volcano, is also available online.   Go up to Mount Everest Known in Nepali as Sagarmatha and Tibetan as Chomolungma, the world’s highest peak sits on the border between Nepal and China. Explore Everest’s south base camp in Nepal, at an altitude of 5,380 metres, with interactive 360-degree views of snowy peaks and colourful prayer flags. Via an interactive map, and a 3D rotating viewer, you can gaze at the 8,848-metre summit, plus other Himalayan peaks stretching west into Pakistan and east to Bhutan. Clicking the human-shaped icon on this page highlights all the points around the mountain range that can be explored further at ground level. Views from other peaks, including over the Imja River and mountain villages, are visible in these 360-degree images. There’s also shot of a busier south base camp – it sees about 35,000 visitors a year, after all.   Discover the natural wonders of Chile Chile 360, a free app you can now download that will help you virtually explore wonders from the Torres del Paine to the Atacama Desert to Easter Island. The National Historic Museum of Chile is offering virtual tours, too. And in very excellent news, you can enjoy the European Southern Observatory’s virtual tour of the famed astronomical observatory in Santiago. There’s a whole other world of experience open to you if you have a VR headset, but those of us doing this from our cell phones should jump to this link and choose from the VR options that follow.   Explore The Grand Canyon in the USA At 277 miles in length, 18 miles across at its widest, and a maximum 1,857 metres deep, this vast Arizona landmark is grand in nature as well as name. Around 40 sedimentary layers are visible in its steep cliffs, with the oldest basement rocks formed around two billion years ago. Hike the canyon’s Bright Angel Trail via a Google Street View Trek. One of the most popular long-distance routes in the national park (9.3 miles), it zigzags up from the Colorado River to the south rim. Like with other entries in the list, wider exploration is on offer with Google Earth view, which lets users zoom in and out and click into points of interest.   See the fascinating Hang Sơn Đoòng, Vietnam The world’s largest cave, Hang Sơn Đoòng in central Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park, was explored by scientists for the first time in 2009, after a local man, Ho Khanh, discovered it in 1991, but did not locate it again until many years later. Sơn Đoòng 360 is a project by National Geographic aiming to preserve the cave in digital form before it becomes subject to extensive tourism development. It's simply a trek – created from 360-degree images and atmospheric sound effects – heads through light-filled caverns, passing a 70 metre-tall stalagmite called Hand of Dog, and huge sinkhole jungles.   Take a tour in Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland This fantastical section of County Antrim’s Atlantic coastline is made up of more than 40,000 interlocking, geometric (mostly hexagonal) basalt columns. Legend has it that the unusual rock formations are the remains of a stepping-stone causeway path to Scotland, built by giants. Scientists believe they were in fact formed by lava flowing into the sea, as molten basalt erupted through chalk beds 50 to 60 million years ago. The National Trust has created a series of virtual travel tours, with views from Aird Snout headland and by the water’s edge in the bay of Port Noffer at different times of the day. There are also sweeping views from above to explore elsewhere, including the Carrick A Rede trail and the rope bridge. Watch the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a spring celebration in Washington, D.C., commemorating the March 27, 1912, gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City to the city of Washington, D.C.  Festival organizers are making this year’s festival a virtual one. Through April 12, you can take a virtual tour of the blossoms with a park ranger as your guide, watch videos of what the artists booked for the festival had intended to perform live, and, of course, calm your nerves via a 24/7 cherry blossom cam. Also Read: Coronavirus Quarantine: How to Travel without Leaving Home?

Best Hotels

Best hotels in India: Enjoy luxury accommodation in India

June 22, 2020

Add spices to your holiday by visiting India, where you can stay in luxury hotels that invite you to experience a fascinating blend of Indian friendliness and contemporary amenities. If you want to experience the royal Indian lifestyles that once lived by yesterday's kings and queens, then you must travel to India and lose yourself in your hands. Served with high living spaces, a royal spa, great conference facilities, and international dishes. Here is a list of the best hotels in India that you could stay at. Taj Lake Palace Udaipur The Lake Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur offers unparalleled hospitality, award-winning restaurants, and impeccable services. The hotel has 66 well-designed rooms and 17 suites that contain modern and essential amenities such as an LCD TV, electronic safe, minibar, tea/coffee maker and attached bathroom. The hotel has a conference room for formal and informal gatherings. Visitors can also enjoy a boat on the scenic lake surrounding the palace. A variety of Indian and international dishes are served at restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating facilities. All these features make it one of the best hotels in India.   The Leela Palace Udaipur Indulge in luxury and comfort in Leela Palace, Udaipur. There are 80 rooms overlooking Lake Pichola or the City Palace. Decorated with luxurious Indian rugs, it provides the perfect stay experience with incredible opportunities for travellers. While staying at Leela Palace, visitors can explore the city's sights and enjoy the famous Rajasthani dishes. Whether it comes in boats or cars, it gives its visitors a calm atmosphere to explore the rich cultural heritage in style and comfort.   The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai The Taj Mahal Palace is one of the most luxurious and best hotels in India. Also, it is a magnificent 21-year-old building in the Colaba district of Mumbai, a perfect blend of luxury, comfort, and entertainment. It has 560 rooms and 44 suites designed keeping in mind the taste of today's travellers. The hotel is located 20 miles from the international airport and has been visited by many famous people from India as well as foreign countries such as Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, and many others. The palace offers a wide range of Indian, Chinese, Italian and continental cuisine to satisfy the hunger of visitors.   The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra The Oberoi Amarvillas is one of the most important resorts in the world and offers comfortable and elegant rooms amid green beauty, just 600 meters from the Taj Mahal in the heart of Agra. It offers a range of activities to pamper guests. Moreover, the royal interior decorates you back to the time of kings and queens. Guests can also enjoy a range of spa treatments or take yoga lessons to find themselves indoors. It gives a wide range of leisure activities that guests can enjoy during their stay.   Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur Umaid Bhawan, which was created for H.H Maharaja Umaid Singh Ji from 1928-1943 in the desert capital of Jodhpur, was built for visitors to enjoy the dark beauty and antique collections of antiquity displayed. It is 1.6 km from the railway station and 4 miles from major city attractions such as Jaswant Thada, Mehrangarh Fort and many more. The hotel provides guests with traditional spa and beauty treatments. Yoga center, fitness club, and tennis courts are offered. Besides, visitors can enjoy Indian, Rajasthani and Continental dishes at the restaurant. Indian and international drinks can also be enjoyed at Trophy Bar.   The Leela Palace New Delhi The Leela Palace is located in the luxurious Chanakyapuri district of New Delhi, it is one of the best hotels in India. It is just 1.6 km from the famous Sarojini Nagar Market and 3 miles from India Gate. It is famous for providing luxurious accommodations and hospitality. Located in the vicinity of major shopping and business centers, it is indeed the best place to spend a relaxing time with loved ones. Moreover, the refreshing spa treatments available here are worth a try. Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at Le Cirque, Japanese cuisine at Megu and Indian dishes at Jamavar. One can also enjoy refreshing drinks and a variety of international alcoholic drinks in the indoor bar.   The Oberoi Mumbai Located in Nariman Point near shopping and shopping centers in South Mumbai, The Oberoi combines luxury with comfort and a variety of delicacies. It provides a variety of spa treatments to relax your mind, body, and soul. All elegantly appointed rooms overlook the charming scenery and provide guests with an unforgettable experience to cherish forever. Guests can also enjoy Indian, Chinese, Italian and Japanese dishes in the restaurants. The sea view bar serves a range of Indian and international drinks.   The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur Located on the banks of Lake Pichola in the romantic city of Udaipur, The Oberoi Udaivilas Hotel is a luxurious property that exudes the lifestyle of kings and queens from ancient times. It is only two miles from the city center and 19 miles from the airport. There are 87 well-furnished rooms equipped with flat-screen satellite TVs, electronic safe, tea and coffee maker, minibar and connected bathroom. One can also enjoy a boat ride with a sip of wine or any of his favorite drink. The restaurants at The Oberoi Udaivilas will satisfy the tastes of the guests by offering a variety of Indian, Chinese, Rajasthani and European dishes.   The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambore The Oberoi Vanyavilas Hotel is located on the edge of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, just 5 km from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station. The resort boasts a charming location with luxurious tents featuring parquet floors, a walled private garden, and a luxurious bathroom. One can also be happy to energize a message or yoga lessons in picturesque settings. The restaurant offers its guests the taste of the world. Whether it is Indian, Chinese, Continental or European. Experience a holiday of a lifetime scouting wildlife and spend some good time with loved ones in the luxury tents of this resort. As a result, it is considered one of the most luxurious and best hotels in India.   Taj Rambagh Palace Jaipur An architectural masterpiece located in the vicinity of Rambagh Polo Ground, Taj Rambagh Palace is one of the recommended hotels in Jaipur. It has two meeting rooms and five social and business meeting rooms. The hotel has 79 rooms and suites with a wide range of facilities, making visitors an opportunity to experience royal living. The palace also offers many leisure facilities such as an outdoor pool, spa, mini-golf and fitness center to make guests happy. The restaurant offers a variety of Indian, Chinese and continental delights to satisfy visitors' taste. Also, read: India: Best tourism places to visit Floating Hotels: Different Holiday with a new Adventure Experience

Adventure plan

How to travel without leaving home? Part II

July 08, 2020

Traveling is something we all love doing and has become the lifestyle of many. But because of the current situation, this is now a passion we all have to put aside for a while to make sure we can come back to it as soon as possible. But if we try to be a bit creative we can still enjoy being able to travel without leaving home. Here are our suggestions that will still make it possible to explore different cultures, meet international travel enthusiasts, try food from all around the world, learn languages and discover travel destinations from your home sweet home.     Travel virtually to a park, zoo or aquarium   Elephants, monkeys and penguins can be viewed through webcams, virtual tours and “home safaris.” Visit Georgia Aquarium to keep an eye on Sea-dwellers like African penguins and Beluga Whales which are the stars of this aquarium's live cam. The San Diego Zoo is live-streaming a number of animals on its website and lets you switch between koalas, polar bears, and tigers in one sitting. You can also bring exotic animals like snow leopards into your living room with a selection of live video streams from Australian zoos. Discover the beaches of Pacific Rim National Park and the magnificent peaks of Banff National Park via Google Earth, watch a live view of Algonquin Provincial Park and let a guide take you on a video tour of Gros Morne National Park.     Learn your favourite foreign language   We all have at least one language we've always wanted to learn but we keep procrastinating it anyway. But don't you see that it's the perfect time to start diving into this lovely language you admire? Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going. There are plenty of resources available such as language lessons on Udemy, books on Amazon, Youtube videos, language learning podcasts, and even practice groups on Facebook and Telegram in most large cities.     Read travel blogs   Some of the best travel stories and travel tips can be found on (no surprise!) travel blogs. Add in interesting writing, gorgeous photos, hilarious stories, and you’ve got hours of entertainment. You can find new blogs to read by scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram, or doing a good Google search for your next destination. Additionally, *cough cough* Ootlah's blog articles are a good place to start; it's just two steps far from here ;)     Dive deeply into Travelporn on Pinterest   If you are a visual person, you defiantly love Pinterest as it's the ultimate in inspiration. It also goes hand in hand with reading travel blogs. Follow all your favourite travel blogs on Pinterest and that way, you can see at a glance if there are any articles you just have to read and you can save anything interesting to your own boards. Follow as much as you like of travel blogs so you’ll never be lacking for visual goodness. You'll learn about so many new places this way. Sort all your boards by destination, so when you do have the opportunity to travel again you can go back to the board for the country you're heading to and read through all of the pins you’ve saved.     Listen to travel podcasts   Travel podcasts are one of the best ways to pass the time, especially if you are doing something monotonous like cleaning or exercising. Listen to your favourite travel podcasts to learn something new or just get inspired. Bonus points if the hosts are funny and interesting, which they all are in Amateur Traveler, Women Who Travel, Indie Travel and much more.     Watch movies that fuel your wanderlust   Watching movies is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to travel without leaving home . Just pop in a movie, grab some popcorn, and get your fill of wanderlust from the comfort of your own couch! Watching movies about travel or movies from different countries will put you in a better mood, give you so many new ideas for your next vacation, and shows how people live around the world. Pick a country or region and gather all of the movies or TV shows you could find either about or set in this place. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some of the all-time favorite travel movies: Hector and the Search for Happiness The trio: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight The Secret Life of Water Mitty Midnight in Paris Eat, Pray, Love   Put on some foreign music   “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” Music is and has always been a great source of inspiration and entertainment for many. For a quick and easy mood booster, Put on songs from other countries you didn't listen to their music before. Open Spotify or Youtube and search for whatever strikes your fancy. Feeling tropical? Put on Caribbean steel drum music. Want to be the epitome of chic and classical? Put on some French Brigitte Bardot songs. Want to be transported to a cafe in Korea? They have that as well! Just search Youtube for “Korean Cafe Music”!     Plan your next trip   Just because you've had to stay home and shelve all your travel plans doesn't mean you can't look forward to a future trip. Often the happiest part of travel takes place before you ever pack your bag! Read about destinations, search for hotels and decide on what to do once you get there. If nothing else, it will tide you over during this lockdown period and give you something fun to look forward to when this is all over. Check out Ootlah's Instagram and Facebook feeds for some amazing ideas. You can also get inspired by our vacations and flexible trips— all designed to let you book with peace of mind.   Last things last, Remember that we are all in this together and we are not missing out on anything. Soon we will travel again and enjoy it even more because we will appreciate it more. Be creative and make the most out of your around the world from home trip! Don't miss reading part one here. Enjoy what travelling brings to our life without having to move from the couch!

Restaurants in Riyadh: Top nice and affordable restaurants for expats

July 16, 2020

  Living in Saudi Arabia for expats Saudi Arabia is a country where Arab tradition meets imported western culture. It has more than 10 million expats working and living in it. You can afford to live in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia remains one of the few places in the world that offer expat packages that include accommodation or an allowance in lieu, as well as transport and education payments. Expats have generally enjoyed a lifestyle closer to their home countries. Life in Saudi Arabia is full of facilities, such as shopping malls, fitness centers, hospitals, schools, universities, hotels, cafes, and restaurants. If you live in Riyadh city, find out restaurants in Riyadh at a reasonable price and good taste, especially for expats.   Foods & drinks in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is a large country with many locals and a lot of expats, it produces all of its own dairy products and most of its vegetables. However, due to the presence of many foreigners and expatriates in Saudi Arabia, it brings a cultural fusion that results in the most delectable cuisine and restaurants ever. However, it is mostly the foreigners who eat those foods; most Saudis prefer traditional fare.    Staple Foods Rice is the staple food of Saudi Arabia. It is the base dish for Saudis. Also wheat, yogurt, dates, and chicken are staple foods for all Saudis. Different types of bread are popular in the country, including sweet and spiced flavors. Kapsa is another national dish consisting of rice and chicken with vegetables. Traditional drinks in Saudi Arabia are tea and coffee, and both frequently offered to guests. Coffee comes in various styles Arabian and Turkish. Due to that Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country, alcohol is illegal to drink.    Restaurants in Riyadh Riyadh city is home to a vibrant dining scene. There are many restaurants in Riyadh serving dishes from all over the world, this city boasts the best restaurants, international food chains and startups inspired by global trends. Eating a delicious and affordable meal is something that everyone seeks, especially expatriates and travelers with a limited budget. Now you can enjoy your favorite meal without bankruptcy. If you are a food lover, here are the best restaurants in Riyadh with an affordable price that are well worth a visit:   - Mama Noura  “Fast Food, Mediterranean, Turkish, Middle Eastern” This restaurant specializes in fast food and fresh juices, it was established in 1991. You will find in Mama Noura the best Shawarma in the city. The food is delicious and priced very well. Definitely, a place you must hit for a quick lunch.   Features: Takeout, Seating, Accepts Credit Cards. Location: Abdul Aziz Bin Museod Bin Julowi Street | District Al-Rahmaniyah, Riyadh.   - Hummus House (Bayt Al Hummus) Hummus House is a family-owned and operated restaurant that specializes in Turkish style kabobs, gourmet hummus, and freshly baked Baklava. The restaurant offers you the best and the most delicious types of Shami hummus. They focus on fresh tasty food and friendly service.   Location: Fahad Ibn Muammar, Al Muruj, Riyadh.      - Maestro Pizza “Italian, Pizza, Fast food” With the generous amount of toppings, the perfect mixture of mozzarella cheese, different sauces, and great appetizers, Maestro Pizza is considered one of the most high-grade restaurants in Riyadh and one of the great choices that brighten up our days when wanting a good pizza at reasonable prices. Maestro pizza serves all types of crusts, that suit every taste and the thin crust is one of the most delicious pizzas ever.    Features: Delivery, Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Accepts Credit Cards Location: Abdullah Ibn al Hasan al Qurtubi Al Hamra, Riyadh   - Shawarma House “Fast food, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean” Shawarma House serves the best Shawarma in the city. It's delicious, clean at a reasonable price. Pay only 15 SR, and you can have a delicious juicy large shawarma sandwich with french fries and a soft drink. The place is always crowded but you'll not stay for more than 10 mins waiting. Shawarma House menu also offers salads, falafel, burgers, pizzas, and grilled sandwiches.  Just go for Shawarma, you will love it.    Features: Delivery, Takeout, Seating Location: Prince Mamduh Bin Abdulaziz St, As Sulimaniyah, Riyadh.   - La casa pasta “Italian” What would happen if there were no Pasta in the world? Don’t imagine, because you have La casa pasta, one of the best Italian restaurants in Riyadh with a menu that serves varieties of pasta, every single pasta dish boasts a combination of flavors that take your taste buds to another world. When the doors open to La Casa Pasta, your senses will be stimulated. You can smell the fresh pasta, the baked bread, and the finely crafted sauces that fill the air.     La casa pasta is budget-friendly, for 28SR you can order their Pasta with a sort of protein and veggies topped with a sauce of your choosing. It also has a family sitting area with children play area.   Features: Delivery, seating, private events. Location: Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz Rd, Riyadh.   - Fit Way “healthy food” Great news for health-addicts and count calories lovers. Fit way restaurant is served healthy food and the calories are listed under every item. They also care about vegetarian people, you can eat the best vegan burger in Fit way. They serve a delicious breakfast, launch, and dinner. It’s open every day from 12 pm until midnight, so if you are looking for healthy food at midnight, this is a great choice for you.    Features: Delivery, Takeout, Seating. Location: Al Malqa, Riyadh.   - Burgerizzr Burgerizzr has grown to be one of the best-loved ‘Fresh Burger Restaurant Chains’ in Saudi Arabia. They offer quality food at an affordable price. You can pay only 20SR for a delicious burger sandwich. You will find the burger fresh, juicy, and tasty.   Location: Othman Bin Affan Road, Riyadh. - The Najd village “Middle Eastern” If you are excited to taste Saudi traditional cuisine, this is the perfect place. Najd village is one of the most visited restaurants in Riyadh. It is a traditional Saudi Arabian restaurant where everything is traditional from the food, decor which goes back to hundreds of years and dining style. It offers the best popular meals in Riyadh city for both vegetarians and meat lovers. You can enjoy the warm atmospheres, friendly hospitality, and high-quality food. Take your time, sample the food, coffee, and relax.   Features: Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Parking Available. Location: King Abdul-Aziz Branch Road, Alyasmin Riyadh, Riyadh  - Zaatar W Zeit (Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian Friendly) It is a Lebanese restaurant. It serves authentic Lebanese foods. You will find a variety of fresh and healthy food on the menu which contains several salad dishes, wraps sandwiches, pizza, and manakish. The food is always prepared with care and attention, the staff is decent, the service is quick, and the price is very reasonable.   Features: Takeout, Seating, Highchairs Available, Table Service. Location: King Abdul Aziz Road Al Ghadeer, Riyadh.       Read More: Tourism in the Kingdom: Top things to do in Saudi Arabia Food in Dubai: Dine in the Fancy Restaurants in Dubai  

Adventure plan

Coronavirus Quarantine: How to Travel without Leaving Home?

April 01, 2020

In terms of entertainment, going into a home self-quarantine probably means you’re in for a lot of boredom, a lot of Netflix, and a lot of browsing the internet. While travel may be out of the question for the present, we're still dreaming of our next adventure and all the places we hope to get to soon. Until then, we've made a list of "Ways to travel without leaving home" so you can color the time during coronavirus quarantine. Discover museums around the world The digital age has made it easy to visit some of the world’s most famous museums from the comfort of your own couch. Google Arts & Culture brings you virtual tours in over 2500 museums and galleries around the world. The collection includes the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Louvre in Paris, the Guggenheim in New York City, and literally hundreds of more places where you can gain knowledge about art, history, and science. Take a look at just some of Google’s top museums and galleries that are offering online tours and exhibits all for free. While it’s hard to beat the experience of seeing a seminal piece of fine art or important historical artifact with your own two eyes, you could easily spend a lifetime traveling the world in search of all of them. Cook meals from different countries What about a two-weeks challenge of cooking a new meal every one or two days that belongs to the list of your favourite world kitchens? Spice it up with an Instagram story for each meal and let your highlighted stories section welcomes a new member. You can take online cooking classes such as Nonna Live, where you'll learn to make classics from an Italian grandma. Free lessons have cropped up during this downtime, including daily Delish.com cooking videos for parents and children, and Kitchen Quarantine, Instagram lessons from Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura to help you cook during coronavirus quarantine. Try to make yourself that Italian pasta dough, the Indian curry or the Mexican fajitas. And remember that the harder the recipe, the better.. We have a lot of time in this coronavirus quarantine! Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites There is a list of 1,121 locations on the prestigious list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, a collection of places considered to be of “outstanding universal value”, whether for cultural, historical or natural reasons. The list includes everything from European towns to tropical islands, American national parks to African churches, and endangered wonders at risk of disappearing. And obviously there has never been a better time to explore the greatest sites on the planet like these days. It’s not quite the same as being there, but it's still cool being able to visit some of the world’s most celebrated heritage sites without leaving home. Many of these cultural sites, such as India's Taj Mahal, England's Stonehenge and Peru's Machu Picchu, have their own virtual tours that enable you to see detailed panoramic images while reading all about these fascinating places to appreciate why they are so important. Watch travel vlogs Travel videos have gained a lot of popularity in recent years and they are a wonderful diversion during a boring coronavirus quarantine time at home. Forget the typical stuff you always find on TV and tune regularly to watch some funny & inspiring YouTube travel channels! YouTube is full of passionate travellers that share their adventures in entertainment videos that make you feel like you joined them on that trip. This is also a great way to make a list of places you want to actually visit once that is again safe and possible. By watching these videos you get to know what to do, what to expect, and everything else you need to know while traveling. Make photo books out of your old vacation photos Whether traveling alone or with a group of friends, we all want those memories to last forever. Digital photography means no long waits to have your film developed, and you don’t pay for wasted frames on those lousy images. However, it also often means that your precious travel pictures get stuck on SD cards, hard drives and computers, and not out in the world where you or anyone else can enjoy them. A travel book is an easy way to keep all of your favorite travel photos in one place. Just pick it up and flip through the pages. No need to turn anything on or wait for it to load, it’s a more intimate, tactile experience than looking at photos on a screen. Photo books can be more than just pictures. You can include notes, scanned ticket stubs, and excerpts from your travel journal to accompany your images. They also make a beautiful addition to a coffee table, and visitors love to look through them. Read travel books This coronavirus quarantine has made us all run back to pick some books and start reading even more. You can read books about travel or books from another country depending on your interests. It’s especially interesting to see how writing is different across cultures and how writers build up their story using visuals, symbols, words, and so on. There are so many options for books that narrate a story through traveling or tell you about a country, its culture and history in many different ways just like travelling itself. Check out the travel genre list of recommended books by the Goodreads to get inspired and pick a favourite for you. There are also a few excellent travel magazines, but even fiction can offer a look at a completely different way of life in another part of the world. List all of your favourite travel-related books so you will just keep it to the books you read at the end of the year. Follow travel influencers on Instagram There are thousands of travel influencers on Instagram so it’s easy to travel vicariously anywhere in the world, with any age, gender, and style of travel. It not only gives you inspiration but also motivation to continue to save and practical tips for what to do once you got on the road. You will have the opportunity to walk through the life of genuine, passionate people who simply love to share the world with others. Pick a few favourites and travel vicariously while you can’t travel yourself. There are indeed several travel influencers you admire for their amazing creativity, talent, and sense of adventure. Cyber-stalk your favourite travel influencers as they will influence you to start planning for your next go. Whether it was through their writing or creative media, they'll inspire you to travel the world. Also Read: Food adventure: a tour around the world kitchens

Destinations

Here are the top places to visit in Lebanon

April 27, 2020

Lebanon is a thriving hotspot for shopping, socializing and sightseeing. Although very few travel bloggers have traveled there or written about it because of unrest, Lebanon is much safer than people think it is. Lebanon is one of the most beautiful countries in the Middle East which wears many identities at once; Lebanon is very Middle Eastern in parts, and very European in other parts. Almost everywhere in Lebanon can be reached within 2.5 hours of driving from Beirut and you can do so many activities there from sightseeing to hiking, skiing, and rock climbing. Not to forget that Lebanon is often said to have the best food in the region. Keep reading to find out more about the best places to visit in Lebanon! Baalbek Baalbeck is a historical town located in Lebanon and it was known as Helipolis during ancient times. The town has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site as the area contains a lot of historical buildings which were built by the Phoenicians, the Romans, and other civilizations that had occupied the area over the last few millennia. The temples of Baalbek are also termed as the city of the sun. You can easily find a good number of Roman archeological monuments in this location. Additionally, the temple of Jupiter and the temple of Bacchus are some of the best things to see there. Chekka Chekka is a coastal town located in the North of Lebanon and it is famous for its beautiful beaches! Chekka is an all-in-one summer destination that enjoys the golden sand, blue sea, and crystal-clear water. Having endless adventures of caves exploring and cliff jumping, Chekka must be on your must-visit destinations in Lebanon! From the amazing view and relaxing environment to golden beaches, pools, and great food, they are all legacies of this region! As for food, Chekka is full of seafood restaurants where you can satisfy your cravings! Zaarour Zaarour is the main winter destination and one of the top places to visit in Lebanon where you can take in some breathtaking mountain views and do some off-roading activities. In the winter you can hit the slopes and easily enjoy the snow with skiing and snowboarding. Zaarour offers you other options to make sure you have some fun in the snow! For example, you can go biking, snow tubing, skiing, snowboarding, and more! Jeita Grotto Being an area of cultural and historical significance, the Jeita Grotto was found first in 1836 by Reverend William Thomson. It was ruined during the Lebanese Civil War in 1978 and was opened again in 1995. Is spite of this, the Jeita Grotto maintained its natural rock development which is left unharmed. Jeita Grotto is also termed as the fascinating destination of Lebanon. The place also comprises a number of caves that will surely attract you in many ways. Jeita Grotto is on top of each tourist's list when visiting Lebanon so that you cannot tell you were in Lebanon unless you have traveled this grotto in Jeita, a city right outside of Lebanon’s epicenter town, Beirut. Deir al Qamar Deir el Qamar is a true gem of the region and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village was the capital of Mount Lebanon from the 16th to 18th centuries and a regional stronghold for the Ottoman Emirs. With red-tiled roofs, winding streets, and stone houses, the village epitomizes idyllic mountain charm and small-town life at its finest. It also highlights the religious diversity in Lebanon, with a mosque, a church and a synagogue all taking residence in its main square. The best way to enjoy Deir El Qamar is by heading out for a stroll in its alleyways and old streets. Tripoli Tripoli is Lebanon's second-largest city that is considered one of the best places to visit in Lebanon trip. The rich culture, historic landmarks along with amazing cuisine attracts people from all over the world towards it. The unique architecture International Fair complex is a must-see attraction in Tripoli. Moreover, you should also head straight towards Al Mina, as this place offers its visitors the magical view of the beaches, where you can enjoy the warmth of the sun while sipping drinks and enjoying the delicious Tripolitan Ka’ak. Tannourine Tannourine is a picturesque town containing lots of cedar trees and has the largest cedar reserve in the country. Situated a few minutes' drive from the capital city of Beirut, there are many fun and interesting activities and things to do in that you can experience once you visit this town. Nahar Al-Jose is an attractive tourist spot located near Tannourine that contains lots of restaurants serving Lebanese dishes. The village of Balaa is another interesting tourist spot that is famous for a deep natural sinkhole. Among the rocky terrain of Al-Tahta in Tannourine there is a 500-year-old house that is a unique example of 16th-century Lebanese architecture. And for the outdoor enthusiasts, Tannourine offers an excellent location for hiking, camping, picnicking and even more adventurous activities like rock climbing. Nahr Ibrahim Nahr Ibrahim is the most relaxing place that is found in Lebanon. Enjoy rafting lazily with the current and maybe even make it a weekend affair by bringing your camping gear along. You will simply be relaxed by performing river rafting. Nahr Ibrahim valley is one of the most underrated parts of Lebanon’s mountainous interior, an area that is otherwise teeming with activity. Another concealed treasure in Lebanon, the Chowan Waterfall in Nahr Ibrahim is a must-see for travelers. The transparent natural waters of the Chowan Waterfall will reinvigorate you after a lengthy road tour and a hike. Chowan Waterfall is heaven to satisfy one’s thirst for uncommon natural charm. Tyre Tyre is a little city initially established on stone base formations that reflect the old remains of a wonderful business center. With some of the most pristine beaches Lebanon has to offer, sea turtles and vibrant city culture, Tyre is on the top list of best places to visit in Lebanon and an ideal place to spend your summer days. The place is frequented by thousands of tourists every year who visit the city to enjoy various wonderful attractions available there. From sites of historical importance to sophisticated cafes and eateries, you can find it all in the Lebanese city of Tyre. In addition to visiting historical monuments, you can find many other interesting things to do in Tyre. Also Read: Food adventure: a tour around the world kitchens Explore the beauty of cedar country from travel packages to Lebanon

Adventure plan

Places to visit in Indonesia with a detailed plan of the places you shouldn’t miss

May 06, 2020

You will find that many tourists love coming to Indonesia and enjoy incredible days there, because of how beautiful and adorable this country is. Known to many as Wonderful Indonesia, where it brings you the second-largest tropical forest and numerous virgin beaches with great diving sites and surfing waves. As well as the amazing hiking to active volcanoes and wildlife. There are plenty of places to visit in Indonesia that you can enjoy.   Indonesia may not be the first place that many people think to go to, but it is a real hidden gem in Southeast Asia although it is large in size, with more than 17,000 islands with 240 million people!   In this large country with all these diverse cultures that cover many time zones, you can find many places to visit in Indonesia from the mysterious island of Bali to the magnificent Dragon Komodo. Indonesia is still far from the radar of the travel map, with the exception of Bali, where its infrastructure is still lacking in development and faces major challenges. Backpackers can enjoy the pleasure of exploring undefeated paths while luxury seekers may find they already have many options as well.   When is the best time to visit Indonesia? Indonesia's Weather The weather in Indonesia differs from season to another, known as the two seasons - wet and dry - with warm tropical temperatures averaging 28 ° C throughout the day, throughout the year. In most regions, the dry season runs from May to September, with precipitation between October and April.   Generally, the best time of year to visit and enjoy Indonesia tourist places is between May and September when the weather is beautiful and the days are dry and sunny.   However, the temperatures remain high during the rainy season, and the precipitation comes in the form of intense tropical rain for a few hours and you do not need to spoil your flight.   Indonesia's best areas In some areas, the difference between the two seasons is not extreme: for example, Bali and Kalimantan are not relatively affected by season change, but the contrast usually increases as you travel east to the Nusa Tenggara region (to Lombok Islands, Flores and beyond) where there is more chance of flooding during the rainy and dry season in the dry areas.   It really depends on your travel plans: Muddy back roads can be a problem during the rainy season if you intend to explore more outside the hammered track sites and harsh seas can make some islands inaccessible.   The best months to dive off the coast of Bali, Lombok or Komodo National Park are April to September, with harsh seas especially in January and February.   If you are planning to climb one of the many volcanoes in Indonesia, such as Mount Bromo or Mount Rinjani, a dry season is recommended. Expect the temperature to cool while going up and pack some warmer layers.   Kind People of Indonesia With people of diverse origins and religions, Indonesia has a good mix of Indonesian cultures and festivals, creating a unique kind of melting of species. But one thing that is similar in people is that they are generally nice for travellers. Indonesia vacation is an ideal holiday for families, as Indonesians respect family gatherings and offer many places to visit in Indonesia as well as activities for children.   Diverse cultures bring great food from varieties and flair. Try all of the delicious Indonesian foods like Nasi Padang, Nasi Temple, Nasi Uduk, Pakmi, Kuwaiti, Pako, Soto Ayam, Ayam Bakkar, Gado Gado, Sambal, Koi, and fresh local fruits just to name a few.   Festival and Indonesian Food   From street food to home (the restaurant) to fine dining, you can be sure to satisfy your appetite in Indonesia.   Indonesia is a good option for holidays as it has plenty of Indonesia tourist spots. Also, it has a lot to offer for travellers even for those who travel on a budget, but they are willing to take advantage of their time and effort to reach some places that are nice to know that they deserve it.   In short, you must go to Indonesia to discover the beautiful nature of beaches, and the marvellous tropical forests, as well as the active volcanoes and wildlife.   Also, don’t forget to learn about the impressive history of monuments, and experience the great diving and surfing. But most of all, you must go to Indonesia to experience all that you offer people to culture and food, which ultimately concludes with what we might call an unforgettable and satisfying journey.   Accommodation and Hotels   Indonesia is a cheap country, it has plenty of hostels and hotels that range from 1-star hotel up to 5-star luxury hotels.   Hostels could cost you 10 American Dollars The price of a 1-star hotel starts from 26 USD The average price of a 5-star hotel could be around 357 USD.   Itinerary and activities in Indonesia vacation   It is important to know from where to start your trip to Indonesia vacation, to make sure that you will have fun and enjoy it to the max. For that, we recommend you to begin with Bali, where you will enjoy the best attraction in Indonesia.   After that, Lombok will be your next destination where you can enjoy a quiet and beautiful city. In the end, you can have fun in Jakarta while you are strolling in the most luxurious malls.   Bali (4-5 Nights)   You can begin your tour with Bali, as it has many attractions and different types of activities. Exploring Bali will need about 4 to 5 nights in this fabulous city.   Bali is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and the most popular destination for Indonesia vacation, and with good reason, this island of gods is one of the most beautiful places on earth.   Surrounded by the azure sea and golden beaches, Bali is considered a paradise for the surfing lover, and if you are looking for a beach vacation, there is no better place to find it than this gorgeous island located in central Indonesia.   Besides the sea and sand, Bali has many other attractions to enjoy such as temples, museums, and caves, as well as waterfalls and markets.   If you are a history lover and like culture, you can spend hours learning local and Balinese myths. Also, you can learn about the traditions in places like Ubud.   If you like adventure activities, you will not be disappointed on a trip here, and you can expect an impressive array of water sports, water diving and snorkeling, and the opportunity to travel through a forest canopy like Tarzan.   Here is a list of the most popular activities that you can enjoy at Bali:   1- Explore the paddy fields of Tabanan   Those looking for something a little different in Bali can head to the Tabanan area covered with lush rice sparkling with emerald colors in the sun, which is one of the best places to visit in Indonesia.   The big lot here is that in addition to examining the scenery, you can also share and learn how to grow and harvest rice in Bali. If you're feeling adventurous, you can sweep mud in the paddy field and choose some of it.   2- Spend time with the monkeys at Monkey Forest     One of the stunning places to visit in Indonesia is Monkey Forest. Monkey Forest is a Hindu temple complex in Ubud and also one of its main landmarks. The complex is filled with more than 500 monkeys and the three temples that remain here dating back to the fourteenth century.   The whole area is a nature reserve and you can walk around and wander around the landscape as well as take pictures of monkeys.   You can buy bananas to feed primates from the main entrance, but beware if you have anything else you want such as sunglasses or water bottles that the monkeys have been known to take over as many visitors as you can.   3- Get back to nature at Bali Zoo   Bali Zoo is located in Gianyar Regency, and if you want to check out some Southeast Asian animals this is one of the best places to visit in Indonesia and to do it.   The zoo consists of outdoor containers instead of cages designed to mimic the natural habitats of the species here. Some of these include tigers, elephants, rhinoceroses, and a group of colorful birds, and you can either visit during the day or choose the perfect night safari if you want to see some of the nocturnal animals that summon the zoo home.   4- Strap on a jetpack in Tanjung Benoa     Tanjung Benoa is the place to come to Bali if you want to try watersports and you can find a range of different activities on offer.   However, one of the most exciting is the water jet link, which allows you to fly up to the sky at a height of 10 meters and sessions usually last about 20 minutes.   One of the big draws of using jetpacking is the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Bali island from the air, even if you haven't done something like this before our professional coaches teach you how to fly in a safe and controlled environment.   5- Go snorkeling in Amed     If you're looking for a quieter corner in Bali without the hassle of crowds pouring in tourists here, Amed is a great choice.   This part of the island is still relatively far from radar and not quite a city, but rather a group of villages lying near the sea. Forming one of the most adorable places to visit in Indonesia.   The reason many people come here is snorkeling and diving because the visibility is excellent and you can dive at a relatively cheap price compared to other parts of Bali.   6- Turtle Island Bali Tanjung Benoa     One of the family activities you can do in Tanjung Benoa during your vacation, along with water sports is Turtle Island Bali Tour with a glass-bottom boat.   This creates an opportunity for a water sports operator in Tanjungbenoa, to provide boat trips while visiting Turtle Island and to maintain the marine park abroad.   While you are on a glass-bottom boat, the boat driver will accompany you. From the glass-bottom boat, you can enjoy beautiful underwater scenery without having to join scuba diving.   You also can see the beautiful coral reefs, a variety of ornamental fish, and marine plants as well as other marine animals. Do not forget to bring bread so that children can feed the fish while they are on the boat.   Lombok (3-4 Nights)   After Bali, you can visit Lombok, where you can find peace and quietness. Exploring Lombok only needs from 3 to 4 nights to allow yourself to enjoy the best beaches ever.    Lombok offers many beaches of empty and often isolated beaches. It is a great place to have an unforgettable Indonesia vacation, as it is quieter than Bali.   It also has a friendly and interesting people, as well as delicious food and wonderful nature.   Transportation to Lombok To reach Lombok, there are only two options, the plane, and the boat.   You can take flights from many cities in Indonesia to Lombok, which is more recommended than taking a boat, however, you can take a boat to Lombok from eg Bali, Gili Islands or Sumbawa.   Here is a list of the best and top activities that you can do in Lombok:   1- Pusuk Monkey Forest     The second option to reach Bangsal is to winding along a scenic mountain landscape. In it, you will find a forest of monkeys, named after many wild monkeys, in the forest, and near the street. Feed the little bastards hungry and annoying at the views if you like.   2- Pink Beach     It's no longer just a tip, but it's still worth a visit! If you get there, you will be rewarded with a quiet, deserted beach. It is called after the pink sand that consists of coral.   The view from the nearby viewpoint is also great, and the slopes worth seeing in Tanjung Ringgit are close to the hotel. It’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in Indonesia.   3- Mosques and Hindu temples     Unlike Bali, Lombok and the rest of Indonesia are mainly Muslim. This is why you can see mosques, especially hearing them everywhere.   Also, the Balinese minority in Lombok acquired its temples such as Pura Meru, Pura Lingsar, Pura Narmada, or Pura Patu Bolong. Most of them are located in the western part of the island and around Mataram / Cakranegara or Senggigi. It is one of the worthy places to visit in Indonesia, especially for history lovers.    Jakarta (2-3 Nights) Jakarta has the most luxurious malls in the country, for that we recommend to visit it at the end of your trip so that you can travel freely all over the country without being annoyed by your belongings. It only needs from 2 to 3 nights to explore it and have fun while strolling through the city and its leisure malls.   Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia for now but nowadays they are looking to make Java the capital. Jakarta is a sprawling megacity, with more than 10 million people of diverse ethnic backgrounds from all over Indonesia. During the day, the number increases as passengers arrive to work in the city and flock again in the evening.   Jakarta Pusat or Central Jakarta is the place where you can find the most famous landmarks such as Monas, Independence Mosque, Merdeka Palace, National Museum, Jakarta Cathedral, Monumen Selamat Datang or the welcoming monument widely known as Pondiran Hai.   Some prestigious malls and upscale hotels are located in the heart of Central Jakarta. Here you can enjoy the excitement 24 hours a day in Jakarta!   Also, Read: Sri Lanka Tour: Beauty, adventure and impossible greenery Hidden gems: Explore the marvelous beauty of Saint Kitts

Best hotels in Istanbul: The 8 best hotels in Istanbul for your stay

April 26, 2020

Istanbul is a magical city, which is split between two continents. Istanbul, where east meets west, is considered one of the most populous cities in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center, and it has the best hotels. The strategic location of the city and its situation at the heart of the Silk Road has made it a prize for many over the centuries and the city was influenced by many ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, the Romans, and the Ottomans. Due to Istanbul city's location near the sea, which means the summer is hot and winter is extremely cold with snow being a common point. Spring and autumn from April to May and from September to November are great times to visit this beautiful city when temperatures are more bearable. If you decide to visit Turkey and you are looking for a perfect stay in Istanbul, this is a list of the best hotels in Istanbul to enjoy your stay in the Turkish city.   History As we said, Istanbul is described as a crossroad linking east and west. It is essential to geography because it has a long history that spans the rise and fall of the world's most famous empires. Its old city reflects the cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled. Istanbul ruled by Greeks, and Romans, many of whom left their stamp on the city's built heritage. The city was renamed Istanbul and became the capital city of the Ottoman Empire. The city under the Ottoman rule saw a population increase with immigrants, who enjoyed religious freedom and social rights. Mehmet the Conqueror began rebuilt the town with a new palace and mosque (Fatih Camii) and tried to inject new life into the economy.   Best hotels in Istanbul Istanbul is one of Europe's great cities, as well as its largest. So you easily find a variety of hotels there which vary according to their classification, location, level of service, and prices. We know that choosing the best hotel for a tourist is rather difficult. So if you want to know more about the best hotels in Istanbul, this is the most luxurious hotels in this magical city:   Four seasons Four seasons is a luxury hotel and one of the best hotels in Istanbul. It has a prime location on the Bosphorus, one of the best neighborhoods in the city, in addition to excellent restaurants, great service, a beautiful swimming pool, a luxury spa, and perfect suites. This hotel was transformed from a 19th-century palace to one of the most luxurious places you can stay when vacationing in Istanbul. This location allows visitors to watch the romantic sunset from a waterfront position. The hotel has 170 guest rooms, and these include 25 suites. Sari Konak This hotel is a perfect location in the old city and walking distance to all the top sights. It is beautifully furnished with a warm atmosphere and fantastic views over the city and sea from the rooftop terrace. It is ideal for groups or families.   Karakoy This hotel is considered one of the best hotels in Istanbul. It found in a landmark, renovated neo-classical building, this luxury boutique property is filled with art galleries, and striking design. The rooftop bars have spectacular views of the water and the city. Expect style, glamour, and luxury at these beautifully decorated 71-rooms.   The Ritz Carlton Istanbul If you are looking for luxury, then this hotel is the best one for you. This hotel is near Taksim Square, and that puts visitors within walking distance of many tourist attractions in the city. This is one of the best hotels in Istanbul to stay, the rooms are spacious and give you a perfect view of the Bosphorus. It also provides visitors with luxurious stay with many services such as spa, massage sessions, indoor and outdoor swimming pool.   W Istanbul This hotel is one of the most stylish and one of the best hotels in Istanbul, it is suitable for new couples. The location is in the central part of Istanbul. It features classy modern architecture, and it offers many facilities, including free Wi-Fi, a spa, parking, fitness center, an excellent restaurant, and a stylish terrace.   Grand Hyatt Istanbul Grand Hyatt Istanbul is located in Taksim Square, a central position in the city. It blends an exciting city life in Istanbul. The hotel has four different types of rooms: standard rooms, deluxe rooms, grand club rooms, and suites, it also has a Fitness Centre & Spa, swimming pool, and a restaurant. You can easily visit historic landmarks like the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Hagia Sophia during your stay in Grand Hyatt Istanbul.   Hotel Raffles Istanbul This hotel is designed with a Turkish look, unlike many of the surrounding hotels. It has many services including, restaurant, sauna, steam room, massage, Turkish bath, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pool, laundry and room service. It also has free WI-FI. As well as the rooms are beautifully designed with works of art inspired by the Blue Mosque. Raffles Istanbul also has two restaurants to enjoy your meals with your families and friends. It is near everything you need and located at the intersection point of the bus and metro stations, so we considered it one of the best hotels in Istanbul.   Ciragan Palace Kempinski Ciragan Palace Kempinski offers a resort ambiance in the city and reflects the ultimate luxury of a genuine Ottoman Palace. The location is on the European side of Bosphorus. Visitors to the hotel enjoy 24h services, a luxury lounge, a private entrance, and spacious suites. The pool is large and overlooking the Bosphorus, and you shouldn't miss the Turkish bath in the spa. This luxury hotel has three restaurants, and the dining area provides a high-quality and classic Turkish cuisine.   Top attractions to visit in Istanbul Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, is considered one of the most famous tourist areas and cultural cities in the world, as it combines geographical charm and historical fragrantness. Tourism in Istanbul also includes several historical, religious and recreational landmarks comparable to those in the largest cities in the world. This is the attraction places in Istanbul that the city is famous for, and we advise you not to miss it:   Sultan Ahmed The Sultan Ahmed area is considered one of the first tourist areas in Istanbul that tourists from all over the world seek, it has long been famous for its many landmarks such as luxury mosques, famous museums, and luxury palaces, in addition to several popular and upscale markets, which made it stand out from other tourist areas of Istanbul, especially It includes the Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace, and Sultan Ahmed Mosque. This Mosque is one of the most famous tourist places in this area of ​​Istanbul, and it is also called the Blue Mosque.   Galata tower Galata Tower is an ancient historical tower. It was built in the 14th century, and it is one of the best attraction places in Istanbul, with its restaurant and coffee shop at a high level of luxury, as it provides a panoramic view over the city from the top balcony where you can take great photos.   Istanbul Archaeology Museum The Istanbul archaeological museum is one of the most important museums in Turkey, which established in the 19th century. There are three museums: The archaeological museum, the Ancient Orient Museum, and the Tiled Kiosk Museum. These three museums contain about a million artifacts from civilizations around the world. Don't miss visiting the charming Istanbul and this Archaeology museum. ** Finally, after we showed you the best hotels in Istanbul overlooking the sea and the Bosphorus, it is now your turn to choose the right hotel for you and your family.     Read more Hotels in Turkey: Enjoy your fancy accommodation in the best hotels in Turkey Turkish food: The best restaurants in Istanbul  Travel Packages in Turkey   

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