Monday, October 31, 2005

Set Sail To The Azores Islands

Being excellent navegators and having a deep desire to expland its territories, The Azores Islands were founded by the Portuguese in 1317. This is a clump of nine islands in the rough Atlantic Ocean about 1,400 kilometers west of Lisbon, Portugal. As a curious traveller, I always make it a habit of finding out how a city, town or in this case an island got its name. The name Azores comes from the name of a bird similar to a goshawk which is what the first settlers thought they saw, but it turned out that what they were seeing in abundance was just a type of eagle.

The nine islands that make up the Azores are called Santa Maria, Sao Miguel, Terceira, Graciosa, Pico, Faial, Sao Jorge, Corvo and Flores. As far as we know, they are all from a volcanic eruptions and still seem to be active as far as registering seismic movements. Culture, tradition and religion have always been closely linked and therefore there is a tight tie between the festive celebrations held all over the islands in the small chapels from the 26th of August until the 31st. This celebration is to honour the Holy Spirit which the islanders feel will protect them from any natural disaster, especially the ones related to its volcanoes.

Of all territories that Portugal once possessed, only Macao, the Azores Islands and Madeira still remain. Under the command of Henry the Navegator, these islands became a very important stop over for ships sailing in the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, they received visitors from all over the world who not only brought riches and stories but also fruits, spices and plants. In 1420, Henry sent settlers to the island of Madeira with plants that he thought would grow well in the volcanic ground and in the mild year round climate typical there; the grapevine and sugar cane being the best product up until now, both heavily used in the Portuguese cuisine and well as other spices like the black pepper and cinnamon. But nowadays, the Azores have changed their tea, tabacco and fruit fields for livestock and tourism.

Azores Islands and Its Third-Terceira

As its name well announces, Terceira was the third island discovered by the Portuguese around 1450 having had as its original name that of Island of Jesus Christ. At the beginning Praia was the capital, being the first beach were the Flemish colonizer Jacome de Bruges first settled. But as we all know, improvements were made and they decided to use the town of Angra do Heroismo as the new capital, probably because it was well protected by the bay ( angro ) and the Brasil Mountain standing strong against the ocean. Here, there is a 17th century castle called Saint John the Baptist. All over the islands there are lagoons which look like big cauldrons which offer a breathtaking view of its natural surroundings. If I had to recommend one or two outstanding features, I would probably describe the beautiful Se or Cathedral with its bell tower decorated in blue, green and white tiles. Or even more so are the curious windows that the houses still have, made from stones in an arched formation with gaily painted frames such as green, blue and yellow. And the glass in these windows look like its cracked or iced.

Easy Come and Easy Go to Azores Islands

But as all practical traveller, the question of getting there and accomodations is always an important aspect to look into when planning a comfortable holiday. On all the islands, tourism is very well cared for and the hotels are tops. You can choose between sea front four star hotels to quaint rural house in the mountains or simple campings. And in the location of Lajes on the Terceira island and in Ponta Delgada in Sao Miguel island, there are airports which have daily flights between them and to Lisbon on mainland Portugal.

Rob Carlton: Robert Carlton revealed a lot of articles for an website on Lisbon. Amongst his works he is publishing about Portugal and the Azores Islands and other areas in this field.

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Rural Tourism in Mallorca: where to go

Rural tourism has become quite popular on the last years and Mallorca (Majorca) is a good destination for those looking to escape from massified areas and resorts.

There are many rural hotels in Mallorca, some of them offering luxury accommodation with all the facilities for the modern and smart traveller, which is looking for a place to escape and relax, and others are somewhat more agriculture oriented, perfect for those that want to try what living in community is and learn a little more about farms and its kind of life.

In Pollensa places such as the Son Brull Hotel and Spa that mixes both relax and farmhouse-community style. The guest is here given the option to choose which of these fits more its holidays.

Next to the world famous sandy beach of Es Trenc, in the Campos area, a good and cheap (or at least affordable) option for a rural finca is Finca Sa Casanova which offers activities such as trekking, horse riding and mountain bike, among others.

More in Campos: the Finca Es Palmer, which as been awarded by many traveller guides and offers 10 superb rooms, swimming pool and solarium. It is also really near to the beach as well as to the Golf Sa Rapita.

In Fornalutx, a small village with less than 600 inhabitants the Fornalutx Petit Hotel offers interesting rates for accommodation in this small and unspoilt village. Unfortunately this small charming hotel seems to offer only its pool and sauna as pluses. However, be pretty sure that in familiar hotel like this their staff will help you in organizing your activities.

At Alaro, the rural hotel S'Olivaret also offers activities such as trekking, hiking, tennis and the like. S'Olivaret perfectly conjugates history and tradition with comfort.

More in the north of the island, in Soller, the Rural Finca Ca's Sant offers peace, tranquillity and calmness surrounded by more than 30.000 sq. metres of enviable beauty.

And in Llucmajor, the Finca Son Guardiola offers authentic Mallorca accommodation in an old by completely refurbished area with more than 50.000 square metres of its own property.

The finca Sa Torre is situated in Santa Eugenia, next to the Santa Maria villa and could be a good choice if you plan to visit Palma during your holidays, as it is only 15 minutes driving from Palma de Mallorca. This village is still really small and keeps it mallorcan character. Every body still greets you while walking although they do not know you. Also, on Sunday you can visit the Santa Maria market, which in my humble opinion is one of the best to be found around the island.

Mallorca is not only sun, beaches and sangria, but the smart destination to escape from major cities. And rural tourism the way to find the real Mallorca.

O. Riera work in Mallroca on the travel industery and is also on charge of the Best of Mallorca Guide.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ahlan wa Sahlan: DUBAI

Ever been Dubai, no then your missing a lot. Dubai is a beautiful place to be for fun, enjoyment, laugh, recreation or honeymoon, everything goes there.

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city with a population over 1 million that offers a wonderful taste of Arabia, seamlessly combining some of the world’s most exciting tourists developments in a distinctive blend of modern city and desert.

Dubai is considered by many as the ‘Pearl of the Arabian Gulf’ and is the second largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai is mainly split in three parts, east of Dubai is called Deira, centrally located is Bur Dubai and the far west of Dubai is Jumeirah Beach. The best thing is you won’t get lost because Al Khaleej Road runs from Deira all the way through Bur Dubai and joins Jumeirah Beach Road, and the Jumeirah Beach Road is parallel to the Jumeirah Beach itself. How can you get lost, you can’t even if you try.

Dubai's central business district is divided into two parts: Diera on the north side of the Creek and Bur Dubai to the south. They are connected by a tunnel and two bridges. But no matter which side you find yourself on, a stroll along its banks will remind you of the city's centuries-old trading traditions. And each side has everything you might want, from great hotels and stores to mosques and bustling markets (souks.)You cannot get bored when your in Dubai, because there is just too much to do i.e. water sports, tennis, golf, fishing, adventures, diving, culture and finally shopping.

Where else can you spend a vacation that combines sand dunes and Middle East culture with stunning high rise hotels overlooking pristine beaches and the warm turqouise waters of the Arabian Gulf (also known as the Persian Gulf)? If that's not enough, Dubai is a shopper's paradise. The tiny emirate is a duty-free zone and during its March Shopping Festival, two million visitors arrive looking for discounts on gold, electronics, clothing, and Persian carpets.

Dubai is competing to be one among the 7 wonders of the world. With its God given oil money, the Dubai Tourism have utilised the land and now they have moved into the sea. They are building what the Arab world has never done before, they are developing The Palm Islands and The Worlds which involves construction of the world’s three largest man-made islands The Palm – Jumeirah, The Palm – Jebel Ali and The Palm – Deira.

The World is an exclusive residential development on a mega scale covering 300 exclusive man-made islands that are currently rising from the waters of the Arabian Gulf. The expected date for completion is 2010. The Islands, which will be visible from the moon with the naked eye, are expected to contribute to Dubai’s position as a premier global tourist destination and have been hailed as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.

In our next issue of Dubai we will discuss the new rise of developments in Dubai.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Diwali Offer By Desiya’s India Hotels

Tourism in India peaks during the festive season. For some people, Diwali is just the perfect time for home coming. For others it is the ideal time to tour a country that has fascinating diversity. Tourists from across the world travel to India to participate in the festivity and celebration. Hotels in India too have found that Diwali is a bankable opportunity. Tourists in India are flooded with Diwali offers by hotels across the country. This time around, get ready for a cracker of a Diwali vacation and enjoy the Indian hospitality in a luxury hotel. Book a hotel through and avail of special Diwali offers and discounts.

Hotel booking in India during Diwali can be a harrowing experience. This is the peak tourist season and availability of hotel rooms can be a problem. Desiya’s online hotels booking facility can help tourists to India overcome hotel reservation problems. Tourists can now book hotels through a user friendly interface. Desiya is the only travel site that provides the facility of real time booking and instant confirmation for hotels in every part of India. This effectively means that travelers will not have to lose sleep over the status of their hotel reservation.

There is more happy news for tourists who are planning to spend Diwali in India. Hotels in India are offering fabulous Diwali discounts. Grab these lucrative offers by booking a hotel through Desiya. Tourists prefer a trouble free Diwali vacation. Desiya has some of the best hotels in India that excel in hospitality. Desiya’s booking engine gives the freedom to tour the length and breadth of the country without worrying about hotel room availability. You have the luxury to choose from more than 300 hotels spread over 150 cities across the country. Where ever you wish to travel, there is always a hotel room that you can book through Desiya.

Avail of the Diwali offers provided by some of the premier hotels in India through Desiya’s hotel booking engine. Diwali is a celebration of light. This is just the perfect time to tour this wonderful country.

For More Information Contact:
Mr. Amit Taneja,
MM-18, DLF City – 2,
GURGAON 122 002,
Phone No.
US Toll Free:
While In India: (0) 9899011047.

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Content writer in Travel and Tourism sites.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

What you need to know about – Bahamas vacations

Bahamas is one of the favorite, hot and evergreen tourist spot. The charisma and the aura of the place are spell- binding. It seems that nature has given it all to this place with its 15 superb and exclusive islands, beaches, and the lovely Bahamians. The location of the place is such that it brings it nearest of al the Caribbean islands. Situated a few miles away from the tip of Florida, Bahamas has everything to mesmerize its visitors.
The two well known islands of this place are–The Out Island and the Nassau or Paradise Island. The Nassau is also the capital of Bahamas. The Out islands are a bunch of several islands like- the Abacos, the Acklins also known as the Crooked Island, the Andros, etc. then there are also breathtaking Brry islands, Bimni, Cat Island with the amazing landscapes, the Exumas famous for scuba dive, fish and the like. The rare West Indian Flamingos can be a treat to the eyes at the Inagua islands; the pulse of romance can be aggravated at the calm, quiet yet beautiful Mayaguana islands. Last but not the least the San Salvador Island that take to a journey into the past when Christopher Columbus first stepped there.

Besides the islands there are horde of soft and sandy beaches with turquoise blue water that make you experience paradise on earth. The most vibrant, active and lively beach is the Cable beach Nassau where you and your kids can take up any activity from snorkeling, scuba diving to bouncing banana boats. The Guana Beach at the Abaco islands has eye catching corals in waters while the Pink Sands beach of Harbour islands are endowed with mystifying pink sand. Along with these there are fine Beach at the Cat Islands, Taino Beach with outstanding oceans, water slides, restaurants at the Freeport. The Stocking Island Beach facilitates you with a rented scooter or bike to explore the beach differently.

Apart from the scenic splendor, Bahamas is also admired for its ecstatic nightlife. The casinos, discos, bars, restaurants all are meant to keep up your spirits even at night. The casinos on the islands of Nassau and Freeport like Atlantis Resort, Marriott Crystal Palace Resort or the Bahamas Princess casino offer you all types of gambling games. Be it slots, Caribbean stud poker, slot machines, roulette etc. the casinos have them all. There are games for kids too at the Atlantis casino situated at the Paradise Island.
The means to Reach Bahamas, the people, the culture and some do’s and don’s-
There are two ways to reach this land of water. You can take either take a plane or the sea route. You can choose amongst a private jet or a relaxing Mailboat, which takes just $35 a trip. Cruise liners are also a pleasant idea to reach Bahamas.

Once you reach the place you might not have problems in interacting for the language spoken there is English. You will start having the wonderful fragrance of the place the moment you step there for Bahamians are too keen to warmly and whole heartedly welcome their guests. The perfect time to go to Bahamas is between September and May when the temperature of the place is around 70 to 75 degrees. Bahamas has something different to offer like its dress codes which is a little strict in the capital but benign at the Out Islands. Most of the Bahamians are West Africans. They are amiable, gentle and generous people who are too social and fun loving.

While heading for this ravishing place, do not forget to bring a photo identification proof besides your passport. It can be your license, Identity card or any such proof. There is an immigration form to be filled before stepping in Bahamas. Your luggage will be carefully checked before you move out of the island. There are several taxes like $15 departure tax, 10% tax for commodities over $600 (the duty free granted merchandise). The currency that runs is Bahamian dollars but US dollars are readily accepted.

So pack your bags and explore the allure of the land of islands and crystal blue beaches---Bahamas.

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Mansi gupta writes about bahamas vacations topics. Learn more at

Friday, October 21, 2005

Kauai Vacation on a Budget

By Stephanie Coburn

When you are planning your Kauai, Hawaii, vacation it would do you good to consider the best times of year to travel, and these are not the best times of year regarding the weather or local festivals, but the best times to travel that are the least expensive. Many individuals are dreaming of vacationing in Hawaii, and while the location of the islands makes it a beautiful destination year round, there are some times of the year to travel that are considerably less expensive than others. If you know when to travel and other ways to save money you will be able to have an amazing Kauai vacation on your budget.

For example, the fall month when school is in session and the summer has just ended is a good time to travel because hotels and airfare will be cheaper. Generally, the low and shoulder seasons in Kauai are mid September through mid December and January through May. The summer months are the most expensive in regard to airfare and hotels and frequently everything is booked up many months in advance. As a result, you should travel in low season where you will get a better deal, not have to share the island with so many visitors, and simply enjoy the beauty of Kauai. Also, while the low season might be a bit cooler than the summer, it is not exceptionally so and the sun still shines and the ocean is still warm for swimming and other activities. Since Hawaii is great for sunshine and tourist activities year round there is really no reason why you should not travel in the off season.

Beyond saving significantly on your accommodations and airfare when you travel in the off and shoulder seasons, there are other ways you can save on your Kauai vacation as well.

Other Ways to Save in Kauai

Rent a Vacation Rental Condo or Home: Many individuals book hotel rooms in Kauai to enjoy during their vacation. However, hotel rooms are expensive and do not offer the same type of comfort and privacy that a home or condo could offer. Also, hotels in Kauai are very expensive, significantly more expensive than the equivalent cost of renting a condo or home for a week, month, or the duration of your vacation. There are many homes, cottages, and condos that are available for rent on the island of Kauai. In addition, many of them have ocean front views, extras like TV, DVD, Internet, kitchen, luxury linens, as well as a variety of other options you can choose from. Additionally, there are condos and homes you can rent with one bedroom and others with significantly more. The size home you need depends on the amount of travelers needing accommodation.

If you are interested in renting a Kauai vacation rental home, cottage, or condo then you should look online for the variety of options that are available. You can find something that is just the right size to meet your travel party needs and in the right price range to meet your budget. Remember, when you travel in the off season your accommodations will be less expensive than if you decide to travel in high season. Not to mention you will have more options and be able to choose the best location to meet your needs.

Cook Some Meals: Many individuals go on vacation in Kauai and end up spending more money on food than other diversions. This should not be the case and if you are staying in a hotel or condo then there is no reason for you not to cook some meals from local ingredients while on vacation. You will save hundreds of dollars by simply eating in at least once or twice each day. Plus, if you have any dietary requirements it will be easier to meet these as well by cooking in. All of the money you save can be used on more exciting activities available on the island!

Look for Internet Discounts: The Internet has it all, even discounts for accommodations, water sports, spas, and any other activity you might want to engage in on Kauai. All you have to do is put forth some effort to search the web and find a variety of options with discounts. Sometimes the discount applies to a certain day or timeframe, or a certain number of people, however by searching the web you will find discounts that will save you lots of money. The easiest way is to simply visit a search engine, type in “Kauai Discounts” and wait for the results to be returned. You will find so many things to look through that you will be surprised of all the discounts really available. Take advantage of them, enjoy the island, and save money.

By choosing to travel to Kauai in the off season and stay in a condo or home rental, cook some of your own meals, and look for discounts you will end up saving yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your Kauai vacation. This is a significant amount of money and will allow you to engage in some of the Kauai activities and tours that are not to be missed. You might think that despite these recommendations a Kauai vacation will cost more than you can ever afford, however this is not necessarily the case and you should do some research and will find that sometimes Kauai really is an affordable destination and a great place for a family vacation, honeymoon, or even Spring Break. Don't miss traveling to this amazing destination simply because you believe it is out of your price range. Instead, take advantage of all of the money saving opportunities and book your once in a lifetime trip to Kauai, Hawaii, and enjoy the island life.

Stephanie Coburn is the marketing director for wailua bay view, an oceanfront kauai vacation rental. She has personally researched and experienced many of the activities and destinations graced with Hawaiian culture.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Diving in Tanzania and the Zanzibar Archipelago

By Ian Williamson

The warm clear waters along the Tanzanian coast offer superb and varied diving; with, some of the most spectacular sites in the gulf between Zanzibar and Pemba. Here the rough waters and strong currents are home to manta rays, white sharks, hammerheads and an abundance of pelagic life.

The best diving on Zanzibar Island is at Mnemba Atoll. The reef around this tiny East Africa Island offers a range of good inner and outer wall dives, as well as some beautiful coral gardens. Being located on the deepwater side of Zanzibar, this site is also a good place to catch sight of both whale-sharks and humpbacks during the migration. If you are going to restrict diving to Zanzibar Island only, then the most part of your trip should be centered around Matemwe and Mnemba Island.

The cluster of islands around Mafia island, which is south of Zanzibar, offers excellent locations for diving, holidays. The main island of Mafia has a hotel that offers diving trips within the marine park. Not many divers visit these sites yet, even though they are sheltered, relatively shallow and teaming with life. You can also dive in the unsheltered Indian Ocean side of Mafia which promises classic reef formation, walls, pinnacles, an abundance of tiger sharks and coral gardens, However, diving here is more difficult due to the swells, even when the waters are calm.

The warm Indian Ocean waters surrounding Pemba Island are home to thousands of species of tropical fish and exotic marine life. The shallows around the numerous islands of Pemba offer stunning, snorkeling in aquamarine waters, lush coral gardens which stretch far ahead and then suddenly plunge into the dark blue depths of Pemba's incredible drop offs.

The small villages in this out of the way Island of Pemba have had little impact on the surrounding reefs; Pemba is relatively unknown and tourism is limited. These factors have helped to preserve the reefs and they remain in pristine condition. These exciting reefs stretch out as far as the eye can see. Large pelagic fish swim and hunt amongst the thousands of small, brightly colored reef fish that play around the plunging drop-offs and in the turquoise waters of the shallows - an underwater naturalist's dream. Pemba is renowned for its pristine and un-spoilt coral reefs but also for its vertical coral cliffs which plummet to depths of more than eight hundred meters. Underwater visibility often reaches forty meters or more. Looking over the precipice of some of the outer walls can be a moving experience.

Pemba also has a stunning wreck dive in the South of Pemba Island at Panza populated by large groupers and Napoleon wrasse. Mesali Island is famous as Pemba's only marine sanctuary. A visit to this beautiful reef is a must for all - beach lovers, snorkellers and divers alike. A perfect spot for a picnic and with delightful walks through the interior bush, you can spend the day relaxing on the white beach or snorkeling and diving on the numerous reefs around the island. The Mesali beaches are especially important as sea turtle nesting beaches.

Diving in Tanzania and in the islands off the coast offers some of the best diving the world has to offer. A driving vacation after a safari makes for a holiday of a life time. When you book please try to ensure you use operators, lodges that pay fair wages and help the communities on which they rely.

For further information contact Bethel Community Initiatives work from Arusha in Northern Tanzania. uses tourism to fund community initiatives focused on the education of the young and the medical care for the whole family.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Ko Chang, Thailand - Water Festival of Loi Kathong

by Rick Chapo

Thailand is a land of enchanting and exotic tastes for foreign visitors as I was to learn when I experienced the Water Festival of Loi Kathong on the island of Ko Chang.

Ko Chang

In October 2003, the travel bug seriously bit me. The symptoms led me to sell my business, pack a small backpack with necessary items and roll into Los Angeles International Airport with a major credit card and an attitude. A few days later, I was in Thailand and headed for the island of Ko Chang, located close to the border with Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand.

Ko Chang is a heavily forested island with little towns full of beach huts. This is what I was exactly what I was after. Spending days lounging in the sun and contemplating my navel. Unfortunately, I soon experienced the local bacteria, which was not what I was after.

Since I had rented my beach hut for a week with payment in advance, the family running the place looked me upon favorably. They took pity on me and I was soon growing fat on Tom Yom Kung and other soups and curries. After four days, I had finally kicked the bug and felt halfway human. This was good news as it was the night of the full moon water festival.

I had heard of full moon festivals in Thailand. For hard partying tourists, this was apparently the night the big beach parties happened. In Ko Chang, it was a little different as the night was tailored to the actual Thais, not tourist.

The Loi Kathong Festival happens every full moon. Offerings are given to appease the water spirits. These offerings come in the form of banana leaf bowls with flowers, fruit, candles and incense. The candles and incense are lit and everyone heads down the beach and starts putting them in the water. It is one of the more amazing light shows you will ever see and beats Las Vegas hands down. Thousands, and I mean thousands, of little lights bobbing on the surface of the smooth ocean.

After the bowls comes one of the most visually amazing things I've ever seen. Everyone is familiar with the paper lanterns used in Asia. Typically, they come in the form of a rectangle form with a bamboo or light wire frame. Very popular with college students since they are cheap and look better than a bare light bulb.

For the festival, Thais would take these paper lanterns and close off the top. They would then affix a small this paper plate to the bottom with a candle on it. Light the candle, wait for the heat to do its work and they had an instant hot air balloon. Once the lanterns could float, you simply let go and off the slowly went over the ocean. It was a sight to see as there were thousands of them floating over the water.

As the festival wound down, the ocean had been transformed. The air was full of gracefully floating lanterns while the water itself was dotted with slowly bobbing points of light.

If you intend to travel to Thailand, make sure you schedule your trip around a full moon. It is a scene you'll never forget

About the Author: Rick Chapo is with - makers of travel journals. Writing journals are great travel accessories and travel gifts for him or her. Visit for more travel articles.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Planning a kauai hawaii wedding

by Stephanie Coburn

Planning a Kauai wedding, especially if you do not live in the area will take a lot of patience and time. However, with the following tips it can certainly be done and done well.

Kauai Wedding Tip #1 Mail Make a detailed list before you begin packing that outlines every possible thing you might need or want for your vacation and your wedding. Don't forget anything that cannot be purchased on Kauai or in an airport because although it is said there is overnight mail, there really is not, so don't forget your wedding dress, rings, or anything of that nature because it will take at least two days to get to you. However, if you make a detailed list then packing will be easy and you will remember everything. Having everything with you will make your wedding go much smoother and reduce your stress level and you won't have to worry about the mail.

Kauai Wedding Tip #2 Pre-Trip Fitting Before you hop on the plane with all of your wedding wares, make sure you stop one last time at the bridal shop for a very last fitting. You want to make sure your dress is perfect, and fits perfect as well, so stopping by and having any last alterations done just before you travel to the beautiful island of Kauai will reduce the risk of the dress being too big, too small, too long, or any other number of problems that could potentially arise. Knowing your dress is perfect will make you anticipate the wedding with even more excitement as well.

Kauai Wedding Tip #3 Accessories Remember the tips about not forgetting anything and having an additional fitting? Well, while you are on the remembering kick and at the fitting appointment you should pick up some additional pairs of stockings, garter belts, any extras that you might possibly need. The truth of the matter is that stockings frequently rip when the nervous bride is trying to put them on, so having an extra pair in the right size and color is a great option and will save any additional stress. Additional pairs of everything is not realistic, but those little things that have a high potential of breaking, ripping, or causing a last minute stress situation should be considered and planned for.

Kauai Wedding Tip #4 The Details When booking a wedding location in Kauai make sure you ask more questions than if the location is available and how much it charges. The reason for this is you could arrive and plan on your entire wedding being pink themed and the location is a bright red. Nobody wants their wedding location to clash with their colors, so ask about the details of every location you inquire about. Then, when making your decisions you will be informed and know what to expect. Also, consider ministers, size of the location, and the like. You will be glad you paid attention to the details.

Kauai Wedding Tip #5 Tuxedos The groom and his attendants should all rent their tuxedos in their hometown where they can be fitted and order the desired tuxedos in the right sizes with the right accessories. By taking care of this the groom and his attendants can arrive in Kauai and enjoy the pre-wedding activities knowing their tuxedo fits, has all the accessories, and is waiting for the wedding day.

Kauai Wedding Tip #6 Jet Lag Many individuals do not allow enough time between their arrival and the actual wedding day and end up jet lagged, exhausted, and completely unable to enjoy the beauty of the island, it's many offerings, not to mention the wedding day. Weddings are stressful and busy events and jet lag only increases these elements. So, plan your arrival several days before the wedding so you can settle in, enjoy the island, handle any last minute details and rest up before the big day.

Kauai Wedding Tip #7 Relax! The island is absolutely beautiful and a very relaxing place to be. Since the wedding day is so busy and stressful it is important for the bride and groom to slip away the day before the wedding for several hours to simply relax and enjoy being in such a fabulous location to exchange vows. The bride and groom can relax, take pleasure in the island, and really benefit from some relaxation before the big day!

Kauai Wedding Tip #8 Talk to the Minister Before the wedding day the bride and groom should meet with the minister to make sure the minister's vows are appropriate for the wedding and convey the sentiments the bride and groom wish to convey on their wedding day. Additionally, if the bride and groom have written their own vows this is a good time to make the minister aware and go over any last details. Also, meeting the minister before the wedding will make everyone more comfortable and the ceremony more sincere.

Kauai Wedding Tip #9 Date Remember before planning your wedding date and mailing invitations with that particular date for your Kauai wedding to have the minister, location, hotels and everything booked so you know 100% that your wedding has all the elements necessary and all are available. During the summer months, which are popular wedding months, hotels and event locations are booked up solid, so if you don't plan ahead by many months you may find yourself with a wedding planned for a specific date, but no chapel, hotel room, or anything else to accommodate the wedding or guests.

Kauai Wedding Tip #10 Packing After you make the list of things to pack, revise the list again, and again. This way you will remember anything that might have been forgotten and will give you time to buy any of the necessities and pack them. Also, when packing, check the items off your list so you know you have them and they have been packed. This will eliminate confusion as well as the event where you unpack everything to see if you did indeed remember to pack your garter belt or not. Make a list and check it off.

There are many Kauai wedding tips, but these are just a few that will help you plan your Kauai wedding and thoroughly enjoying becoming man and wife in one of the world's most beautiful locations.

About the Author: Stephanie Coburn is the marketing director for wailua bay view, an oceanfront kauai vacation rental. She has personally researched and experienced many of the activities and destinations graced with Hawaiian culture.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Guide To The Serengeti Safari

By Ian Williamson

The Northern Game Parks in Tanzania is famous wildlife migration which continues its annual cycle through the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara in Kenya is without doubt one of the most exhilarating natural spectacles on the planet. The awesome beauty of the Ngorongoro caldera literally takes your breath away and there can be no finer view to awake to than from one of the lodges on the crater rim. The wild landscapes of Tarangire with its huge baobab trees contrast with the wide open plains of Serengeti. Lake Manyara offers the rare chance to spot tree climbing lions and a variety of adventure activities from the escarpment overlooking the lake.

Tanzania is becoming increasingly visited and deservedly so, however there is so much more to Tanzania than the Northern Circuit of parks. Most safaris want to incorporate the Great Migration as it is so spectacular and is the world’s last surviving great migration. There is a problem that the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Kilimanjaro have become so popular that drastic steps are being taken to divert people elsewhere in Tanzania. The numbers of lodes are restricted with the result that high season in August and September needs to be booked one year in advance to guarantee a safari.

Park fees from January 2006 will double for these parks to US$60 per person per day. Normally, when returning by road from the Serengeti, one passes through the Ngorongoro Conservation area in transit to Lake Manyara or even Tarangire for the last night of the safari. This results in US$120 in park fees for each person in the vehicle for one day, US$60 for the Serengeti and US$60 for the Ngorongoro.

Tanzania has so much more to offer. In the remote and almost inaccessible Western Tanzania is the fantastic Katavi National Park. There is one lodge here at the moment and visitors have one million hectares to themselves. This park is wonderful, remote and spectacular. There are huge herds of buffalo here – up to three thousand strong and lions prefer to dine on buffalo, so there are lion in abundance. If you really want to feel you are in Africa proper like the early explorers [with the exception of a luxury tented Lodge] then this is your park. See my article Katavi National Park.

There is the Selous in the South and this game reserve is huge and remote, although more accessible than Katavi. The game in this park is truly wild as they have not had chance to become habituated to humans and vehicles. The lodges here are few very good, and offer a game safari along the majestic Rufiji River. From here fly to Mafia Island which offers a secluded Island holiday with fantastic diving and secure white beaches.

For the energetic there is the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, this is a park without roads, with pristine rain forests. This park was created primarily for the protection of Flora rather than fauna. See my article The Lumemo Trail - Hiking in the Rainforests of Africa

There are West and East Usambara Mountains where the worlds favorite flower the African Violet was discovered. See my article Visiting The West Usambara Mountains of Tanzania and Bird Watching in the East Usambara Mountains of Tanzania. Saadani is where the bush meets the sea, elephants and lions have been spotted on the beach. See my article Saadani - Where the Bush Meets the Sea.

The list could go on. Tanzania is so much you could spend a life time exploring this one corner of East Africa. This country is macaque of mysteries and contradictions. To discover it, to drink in the rich culture and diverse landscapes involves moving around the country, not racing from one location to the next; this results in safari fatigue. Chose wisely and take your time to discover, slowly slowly is the only way to savor and come to know, just a little, the magic that is Tanzania.

About the Author: For further information on Kilimanjaro, Tanzania and Zanzibar see using tourism to fund community initiatives focused on the education of the young and the medical care for the whole family. Using tourism to change lives.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Experience Paradise With Your Bahamas Getaway

By John Morris

Are you planning to experience your honeymoon on an island where romance is in the air? Are you arranging a family reunion where you could spend quality time with your loved ones? Are you searching for an island to escape with your friends during the summer vacation?

Here’s a great way to spend your precious occasions. Try the Bahamas getaway and you’ll be able to experience the time of your life.

Everyone deserves a Bahamas getaway. And here’s the proof:

* Geographical: Bahamas is a country where there are 700 different islands. Plus, each of these islands has something unique to offer your island vacation. There are islands which would make you think you’re in Las Vegas with the bright lights and the line of casinos. There are islands with white sand that stretches to the southeast of the Florida coast. There are islands for the pleasure of the fisherman alone. There are islands with a club setting where you can enjoy golfing and relaxing by the pool. There are islands that could provide you with all your city needs – the shopping mall, night clubs, and restaurants. It is the third largest barrier reef in the world.

*Historical: For you to taste the culture of the Bahamians, you should attend the Junkanoo Festival. During the days when they were enslaved by the West Indies, the Bahamian slaves were given a day to celebrate. From there, the festival became a yearly event in honor of their freedom. This festival is a parade of at least a thousand locals dressed in colorful costumes dancing to the beat of the drums and whistles.

On the 65th year of their Queen Victoria’s reign, the slaves were forced to use axes to make a 102 feet staircase. This is the most visited attraction in the Bahamas is the Queen’s Staircase. With what the name says, you have to climb 65 limestone steps to reach Bennett’s hill.

There are many forts located at the Bahamas, but the Fort Charlotte is the most visited of all. The visitors are take interest in this fort because it is the largest in the country. It has dungeons and battle marks all around the fort, although it has been said that there was no shot fired in this fort.

Surely, history buffs would consider these islands as an ideal getaway.

* Environmental: The Bahamas is surrounded with pine trees and flourishing plantations. The country has limestone caves located in all of its 700 islands. There are fishing flats available to ensure the laws in fishing are abided. And lastly, the Bahamas ranks third in the world’s largest barrier reef. The Bahamas is a getaway for people who want to enjoy the nature surrounding the island.

* Cultural: Bahamians are people who handle their money by doing business. They are born nature-lovers. Because of this, many of the Bahamians contribute in making their country a place to for visitors to getaway.

The food in the Bahamas is simply irresistible. The famous foods in the Bahamas are seafood. Majority of the local restaurants in the cities serve boiled, baked stewed fish of all kinds. The Bahamian cuisine is a perfect getaway for people who love spicy foods and maintain a fish diet.

In 1942, when the sponge industry fell, the Bahamian women started designing dried palms in making baskets, dolls, and baskets. These became the most sought out souvenir visitors buy from the vendors.

* Adventure: You could choose with a number of sports provided in the island. These sports include fishing on the shoreline, kayaking on an environment full of fishes and birds, surfing through the undiscovered parts of the islands, beachcombing a large collection of seashells, snorkeling through the clear reefs, discovering the caves and ruins; and hiking through spectacular cliffs.

The Bahamas getaway is perfect for people who are celebrating their honeymoon. It is also an amazing place to mark their vows as a married couple. It could be also spent with friends and family who wish to experience an island getaway.

It’s easy to get into the Bahamas paradise. A U.S. citizen should just be able to provide a passport, their official birth certificate, a citizenship certificate, and their two-way ticket. After presenting this, you could now start and explore the wonders of the country and enjoy your Bahamas getaway.

About the Author: For more great getaway tips and ideas check out: ©Copyright 2005 John Morris This article may be republished as long as this section is included and all links are left live.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Spiced Islands of Zanzibar

by Ian Williamson

The spice islands of Zanzibar refer to an archipelago of fifty or so islands with Unquia and Pemba being the largest. The main island is more commonly referred to simply as Zanzibar and to all intents and purposes Unquia is Zanzibar.

Stone Town is the capital, the port and entrance to this spiced island. Entering this small port by ferry from Dar es Salaam is certainly an unforgettable experience, never failing to make the most worn-out traveler eager to explore this ancient port.

As you step onto the wharf the smell of cloves is carried on the breeze to greet you; immediately you are aware Stone Town is out of the ordinary. Arab dhows white-sails shaped like the crescent moon, sail gently out of the harbor and pass along the miles of palm fringed beaches. Stone Town transports you into the past. The whole atmosphere is of medieval times, veiled women, their hands and feet hennaed with elaborate patterns, haggle in the markets and small shops which cluster the peripheries of the town.

Take time exploring the interweaving narrow streets, taking care not to become disorientated, passing intricately-carved wooden doors heavy with brass studs and beneath ornate balconies; allow the imagination to transport you back in time to the dark days of the lucrative slave trade and spice industry. Visit the immense House of Wonders and then the heartrending ruins of the Old Slave Market, which is dominated by the old church of Christ Anglican Cathedral, its altar on the site of the old whipping block.

Spice tours are a specialty of Zanzibar and best taken from Stone Town. On the Spice tour you will learn about fifty different spices and fruit that grow on the island, from cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cloves, to jackfruit and sugarcane. The spices together with the Indian and Arabic influences have produced a unique 'Swahili' cuisine.

Zanzibar is a seafood lover's paradise. The freshest catch from game fish to giant lobster and crayfish are on offer. Dinner at the nightly fish market in the Forodhani Gardens on Stone Town's waterfront where a collection of stalls serve up freshly cooked seafood is not to be missed. It is a giant seafood barbeque where you can eat out in the open and mix and chat with the locals.

The rest of the island is characterized by beautiful sandy beaches, coral reefs, warm clear blue waters and idyllic islands. The reefs are excellent for snorkeling and diving and further out fantastic deep sea fishing is offered. There are many resorts on Zanzibar from budget beach huts to five-star resorts.

Many see the beaches around Zanzibar as split into the North and the East. This is a false dichotomy and there are excellent beaches on many areas of the Island. Tour operators have their favorite parts of the island and although many say one side is superior to the other this is not true.

Breezes Resort is on the east side of Zanzibar and is a wonderful romantic resort, especially suited to honeymooners. Matembe Bungalows in on the north-east side of the island is as first rate lodge perched on low cliffs and is close to the best diving areas. Some claim the beach here is the most beautiful and it is the most isolated beach. I normally settle in Nungwe Village on the northern most tip of the island - it is famed for its tradition of boat building and one of the most popular locations. The secret is in finding the right resort on the right beach for your particular needs; a resort for the family or maybe close to the best diving, or maybe a resort enjoying a vibrant night life; it all depends on what you prefer.

Religious and cultural traditions make the matter of dress code an important consideration. Men and women should dress appropriately when away from the beach, covering shoulders, women with sleeves preferably to the elbow and legs covered to below the knees. Try to wear loose-fitting, non-transparent clothing when in public. Zanzibar people are very warm, open and hospitable. It is considered polite and respectful to ask for permission before taking photographs or filming local people. You may see tourists dressed inappropriately in Stone Town and this can and does cause offence.

On the coast beachwear is fine, in the resort, however in the villages it is better to dress more modestly. When offering or accepting things, try and remember to offer and receive with your right hand. This is the hand which should also be used for eating.

Having said this Zanziabrian's are warm hospitable people. Enjoy this island and remember to venture out of your resort to do some exploring and make the most of your time on this very exotic island.

About the Author
For further information on Zanzibar and Tanzania see using tourism to fund community initiatives focused on the education of the young and the medical care for the whole family. Ensure your safari is using profits to help the community.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Christmas Vacations On Tropical Islands

By Aimee C. Barnard

It’s 3 months before Christmas and if you want to get away from home during this holiday season, it’s time to make plans to ensure a stress-free Christmas vacation!

Some people may traditionally prefer to go where the snow is, where it’s freezing, and where Santa has no problems wearing ultra-thick clothes.

I recommend going where the sun shines the whole day, where you can frolic on white sand beaches and swim in the warm sea, where you can go shopping in exotic stores wearing only a pair of sandals and Bermuda shorts and a Hawaiian shirt.

Already excited? Well, read on and find out more about these 5 islands that you’re bound to want to visit during the Yuletide season.

Solitude In Fiji

Explore one of The Pacific’s beautiful and more popular islands, Fiji. Be right on a tropical island and not miss Christmas at all! You can easily go to Christmas-focused community activities if you really miss the yuletide season and experience Christmas with a Fijian twist. And if you really want to get away from it all, just go to the beach or laze in your very own bure ( thatched hut )

Activities: diving, beach, spa, snorkeling, island cruise, wildlife exploration

Ave. temperature during Christmas: 23°F -29°F

Exotic Seychelles

Seychelles was once referred to by British General Charles Gordon as the site of the Garden Of Eden and it’s difficult to disagree with him. Its pristine white sand beaches, turquoise blue water, and exotic blend of flora and fauna can easily make you think that this is the garden the Bible refers to.

Activities: beach, diving and snorkeling, sailing, honeymoon, wedding, island hopping

Ave. temperature during Christmas: 24°C-31°C

Tenerife Spain – Cultural & Wildlife Vacations

Who says the whole of Europe is a winter wonderland during Christmas? Go to Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands and you’re in for a big surprise. Dubbed as Europe’s winter playground, Tenerife, is referred to as the island of eternal spring. It is home to Spain’s 2nd highest peak, the Volcano Teide, has a flourishing national park, and of course some of the archipelago’s best beach hideaways.

Activities: Visits to archaeological sites, art and natural history museums, explore the Guimar Pyramids, nudist beaches, visit the national park

Ave. temperature during Christmas: 19°C-23°C

Holidays Down Under – Fraser Island Australia

If you want to be just a stone throw away from the Great Barrier Reef, be ensconced in wildlife, explore tropical rainforests and laze on pristine beaches, Fraser Island is the place to be. This World Heritage Site is rich in flora and fauna and is the world’s largest sand island.

Activities: wilderness safari, rainforest treks, dolphin watching, camping, fishing

Ave. temperature during Christmas: 20°C-29°C

The Caribbean Beat In Barbados

It’s the Caribbean island where dignitaries such as Tony Blair and Bill Clinton indulge in holiday pleasures. And you too can go this Christmas and see what the island has to offer. Bask in the beauty of this delightful Caribbean island; experience its very unique culture which was formed by the distinct and unique influences of the British and the Africans. And laze on its 95 kilometers of unspoiled white sand beach.

Activities: beach, water sports, underwater exploration by submarine, golf, cave exploration, island safari

Ave. temperature during Christmas: 24°C-28°C

Aimee C. Barnard lives for tropical holidays under the sun. To read more about her travel experiences and island getaway tips, go to

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