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A Short Guide to Dali, Yunnan Province in China

Dali Yunnan Province China

If you have the chance to travel to China, consider making a stop in beautiful Yunnan, one of China’s southwestern provinces filled with ethnic and geographic diversity. One of Yunnan’s best travel destinations is the ancient city of Dali, located south and west of Erhai Lake in the center of the province.

A fertile plateau with the Cangshan mountains to the west and Erhai Lake to its east, Dali is known as a place with perfect Feng Shui. It is home to Bai and Yi minorities, and is a popular stop over with foreign backpackers and Chinese tourists alike. Read more

How to get a visa for China in Hong Kong

When traveling to China, a visa is always required. The easiest option is to apply for a visa in your home country before you leave. But there is an alternative available: you can get your China visa in Hong Kong. This is very handy when you make the decision to visit China while already traveling abroad.

Getting a visa for China is actually very easy in Hong Kong. There are two ways to get your visa: apply yourself at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or have a visa service agent do if for you.Read more

A Week on the Road in Cuba

One of the most interesting countries I’ve ever visited has to be Cuba. After spending a week relaxing in a resort in Varadero, I decided it was time to see the real Cuba. I rented a car and took off. My route would take me to three cities in central Cuba: Santa Clara, Trinidad and the capital Havana.

This trip took place in 2005, in the pre-iPhone and car navigation era. I used a paper map to find my way around! It was a challenge, but after consulting a few locals I managed to drive off in the right direction. Read more

A visit to Vanuatu: The Espiritu Santo Dive Getaway

Espiritu Santo Diving

One of the things that I love most about traveling and an independent lifestyle is that it enables me to jump on adventurous options when they present themselves. During my stay in Australia’s Gold Coast, a friend told me about an island group in the South Pacific called Vanuatu.

He informed me about a special four-day dive getaway to one of the islands, Espirito Santo, that was on offer. It was organized by Air Vanuatu, dive shop Aquamarine, and The Espiritu Hotel. Read more

Trakai Castle – A Medieval Stronghold in Lithuania

Trakai Castle Thumb

When in Lithuania, a visit to Trakai Castle is mandatory. The castle is located in the city of Trakai, about 20 km from Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital. It’s situated in the Trakai Historic National Park.

The park consists mainly of forests and lakes, well over 200. The castle itself is located in the middle of the biggest lake, lake Galvė. The castle was of great strategic importance during the days of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and it has seen many wars. Read more

Queen’s Day turns King’s Day

Queen's Day

Today, April 30th 2013, is just an ordinary day in most parts of the world. But in The Netherlands, it’s a very special day. Today is the last time Queen’s Day will be celebrated. That is, for the foreseeable future at least.

After reigning the country for 33 years, Queen Beatrix has decided to resign and her son, Willem-Alexander, will be inaugurated today. Starting next year, the national holiday will be held on April 27th, the birthday of the new King. It will be known as “King’s Day.” Read more

Waya Island: A Week In Paradise

Waya Island

Since I started traveling abroad I’ve always wanted to visit the South Pacific Islands, in particular Fiji. This island group is so isolated, it almost seems unrealistic to travel there, especially with a home base in Europe.

Fiji is an archipelago of over 300 islands. About 110 are inhabited, most very scarcely with a few small villages. The main island is Viti Levu, home to the biggest city, Suva, and the main airport, Nadi.Read more

Palawan Underground River

Palawan Underground River

My main reason to head down to Palawan, an island in the Philippines, was to visit the Palawan underground river, located in the Puerto Princessa Subterranean River National Park, about 50 kilometers north of Puerto Princessa. The river was known as the world’s longest underground river until the discovery of a even longer river in Mexico. Still, the visit proved to be more than worth it! Read more

Kava Ceremony in Fiji

Kava Drinking

During a Kava ceremony the traditional Kava drink, which originated in Fiji, is consumed. It is made from the ground Kava root and water and served lukewarm in traditional wooden bowls.

In Fiji, Kava drinking is a daily ritual and an important social event during which stories and jokes are told and conflicts are resolved. The drink has an interesting side effect…Read more

Similan Islands: A Diving Adventure

Similand Islands Diving

I was traveling in Asia when I met up with Christophe, a former colleague and good friend. He had taken three weeks off to join me for a trip to Thailand and Malaysia.

Christophe shares my deep passion for scuba diving. Accordingly, the question wasn’t if we would go diving, but (1) where and (2) for how long. I had heard enchanting stories about a group of islands in the Andaman Sea, just a few hours off the western coast of Thailand: The Similan Islands. Read more

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