Japan’s Greatest Tourist Attractions

Posted by on Sep 25, 2019 in Adventure Travel, Travel and Leisure | Comments Off on Japan’s Greatest Tourist Attractions

When most people visit Japan for the first time, they are surprised to learn that it boasts of such a fascinating and rich history dating back to many centuries. For instance, many cathedrals were constructed in Japan long before those found in Europe. But, this is not all. Japan has many tourist attractions that draw people from different parts of the world to this Asian country every year. Here are some of Japan’s greatest tourist attractions.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

You probably know about the horrors of the Hiroshima atomic bombing of August 1945. However, this vibrant city has made incredible efforts in commemorating the victims of this first nuclear attack in the world. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park probably symbolizes a lasting peace. Every year, over one million tourists from overseas visit this attraction.

The park is located at the atomic blast’s epicenter. This point was once the bustling part of this city and it includes important memorials, museums, and monuments that relate to the fateful day’s events. What’s more, the gardens and grounds have a colorful blossoming, cherry that highlights the Peace Memorial Museum, the Memorial Cenotaph, the Flame of Peace, and the Atom Bomb Dome.

The Historic Kyoto

Kyoto is one of the most visited cities in Japan. It’s among the cities that WWII’s devastation spared in this country. Over 10 million people visit this attraction every year to explore its old architecture and streets. Because the imperial families were residing here, much of the architecture of this city has remained unchanged for years.

Nevertheless, Kyoto has remained one of the most crucial cultural centers in Japan. It has many art galleries and museums with important paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art. Its Buddhist-influenced architecture includes the well-preserved temples. Some of these are still used to-date. There are also structures like the 14th Century Golden Pavilion and the Nijo Castle. The Kyoto Imperial Palace and the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove are also beautiful tourist attractions in Japan.

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is undoubtedly the most recognizable of Japan’s landmarks. It’s also the highest mountain peak in the country towering 3,776 meters over the east and south landscapes. The height of this mountain makes it easy to spot from Tokyo, over 100 kilometers away.

This mountain has been celebrated in literature and art for centuries. Currently, Mount Fuji is considered an important icon in Japan. It’s recognized by UNESCO for having cultural significance globally. Mount Fuji forms a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Over a million people climb Fuji every summer as a pilgrimage that culminates in enjoying the sunrise from its summit.

Imperial Tokyo

The Imperial Palace is a famous landmark in Japan due to the 17th Century parks that are surrounded by moats and walls. This is a must-see attraction for visitors in Japan. But, some parts of the palace are not open to the public. However, there is so much to see by simply taking a stroll in the area. You can also have fine views of the Imperial Palace from different points in the nearby parkland.

Most historical sites in Japan are still serving their original purposes. They are also open to the members of the public. What’s more, Japan’s beauty can be enjoyed throughout the year. So, if you plan to travel to this Asian country, consider visiting some of these tourist attractions.

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Travel Tips on Learning another Language

Posted by on Apr 10, 2018 in Adventure Travel, Travel Planning | Comments Off on Travel Tips on Learning another Language

There is no better excuse for learning another language than travel. Fortunately, you can easily learn another language while traveling without taking a linguistic course. And learning another language makes communicating and interacting with the people that you meet while traveling easier.

Here are travel tips that make learning another language easier:

  1. Practice Active Listening
  2. Go to Travel Destinations Where People Speak a Different Language
  3. Practice the Language
  4. Interact with the Locals
  5. Take Lessons.

Active listening is not easy. It requires careful concentration and sustained listening. Nevertheless, active listening is important to learning a new, foreign language. Listening closely enables you to learn the basics of phrases, vocabulary, and repeated speaking patterns. On recognizing familiar words, trying them out becomes easier.

The need to communicate with people that speak a different language necessitates learning it. For instance, when you stay in a hostel where everybody speaks a different language, learning it becomes necessary. Necessity becomes your motivator to learn how to communicate in that language. Therefore, choose a destination where people speak a different language and you will definitely learn to speak it.

Try to speak the language that you are learning. For instance, listen to music in that language or conversations and mimic singers or speakers. You can also talk to people that speak that language in online meet up groups. This will enable you to practice the language even before you travel.

To speak a new language like its native speakers, you must mimic how they speak. Therefore, hang out with the locals whenever you travel and hold conversations with them. For instance, have a drink at a local joint and talk to the locals. This will limit self-consciousness that may arise from making mistakes. It will also make you more outgoing and even help you make new friends.

Taking a few lessons of the language that you want to learn is a form of formal study. It gives you a basic appreciation of the grammar, structure, pronunciation, and verbs rules that build the language that you want to learn. You can take lessons at a local school or take an online course.

Alternatively, download audio programs or podcasts to attune your ears to hearing the foreign language. This will ensure that the language that you want to learn doesn’t sound foreign once you hear it for the first time.

Regardless of your travel destination, it’s wise to learn the language of the locals that you meet and interact with. When people realize that you can or want to speak their language, they will be more welcoming and friendly.

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Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations

Posted by on Mar 11, 2018 in Adventure Travel, Travel and Leisure, Travel Planning | Comments Off on Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations

When you know the top 5 honeymoon destinations, selecting the place to go after tying the knot becomes easier. Honeymoons come in varying sizes and shapes. But, everybody wants to leave everything behind and soak up in the company of their partner and celebrate love after a wedding. After all, the hassles of wedding planning are stressful enough. And the last thing you want to worry about is finding a perfect honeymoon destination.

Here are the top five honeymoon destinations that every wedding couple should consider:

  1. Mauritius

Many people see this honeymoon destination as an earthly heaven. It is characterized by beautiful beaches that extend into a long expanse of the serene blue ocean. Mauritius is tucked away into the Mascarene Islands. Thisis definitely a paradise slice and its name alone evokes the beautiful images of luxury hotels, pristine beaches, balmy weather, and blue seas. This is a perfect destination for celebrating and rekindling love after a tiresome wedding spell.

  1. Bali

This is a tropical paradise. It provides an awesome getaway for newlyweds. Explore the beautiful environment of Bali while cycling with your partner through the roads in the villages. These villages are flanked by naturally beautiful greenery. This honeymoon destination has amazing relaxing beaches that are sprinkled with spirituality, adventure, and culture. You can also laze around or ask a shaman to predict your future. Rest assured that your trip to Bali will provide a unique experience that you will truly love.

  1. Puket and Krabi

Puket and Krabi provide a perfect honeymoon destination for young couples. Located in Southern Thailand, this destination provides many things to do and explore during honeymoon. For instance, you can enjoy an eclectic nightlife of Thailand or go on a kayaking tour through the mangrove forests in Krabi. You can also enjoy the views of exotic marine, snorkel, scuba dive, or dance at the Bangla Road.

  1. Paris and Lucerne

True love is incomplete without a trip to the beautiful Switzerland. And, to ensure that your honeymoon spells ultimate classic romance, head to Paris, the city of eternal love. Honeymoon is generally perfect when it’s accompanied by the best chocolate, cheese and wine to set a perfect mood.

This is the experience that you get when you go to Lucerne. Head to Paris to make the experience complete and come back with perfect pictures. Rest assured that people will envy your honeymoon when you show them gorgeous pictures.

  1. Maldives

This is a perfect honeymoon destination for partners that love going all out. Surprise your partner with a trip to this honeymoon destination and you will sweep her off her feet. Many people think about huts that are suspended over azure water of the ocean. But, this destination provides a truly epic and luxurious experience. Explore the vibrant, amazing coral reefs and dive deep into the ocean. You can also surf or enjoy the amazing views of the Maldives water in complete peace at a never crowded destination.

If you’re planning a wedding, consider any of these top 5 honeymoon destinations and you will enjoy the most unforgettable experience.

A special thanks goes to Tim, a painting contractor (visit his company here sandmanpaintingwinnipeg.com if you’re looking to re-decorate with your new spouse after you get home from your vacation) who shared this article with us who recently came back from his honeymoon to Bali and decided to include a few additional locations to check out.

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Buying Property in Mexico

Posted by on Feb 12, 2018 in Adventure Travel, Travel and Leisure, Travel Planning | Comments Off on Buying Property in Mexico

If you plan to buy property in Mexico it is very important you receive as much information as possible to be well informed in making your decision. Below are some introductory guidelines that can be useful:

  • Property in Mexico
  • Financing your Mexican Property
  • Mexican Law: Property ownership
  • Ejido (Agricultural) Lands
  • The Role of the Notary Public in Mexico
  • Costs and Taxes

Important! The information in this section is provided for outline guidance only. Information, figures and rates change without notice. For updated information please contact us through our Contact Page.

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Property in Mexico

This introductory guide assumes that you are considering the purchase of land or property in Mexico.

Buying property in Mexico, whether it is land, a serviced apartment or a house, can offer good value for money in comparison to prices in the US and Europe. Although, prices in some areas have increased dramatically in recent years, care should be taken in assessing a property’s true value; Mexico’s land costs can be lower, building and maintenance is cheaper and cost of ownership (taxes, utilities) is very low.

The reasons to buy property in Mexico come down to a personal choice, and depend on your individual circumstances. Perhaps you will be living in Mexico for some years and you see long term rental as ‘wasted’ money, or perhaps you’re looking for an overseas property investment that will surrender a rental income, while providing you with a place to stay on a holiday visit…

Property value in México increases year-to-year, as they do in most places. And as with all property, the relative value and appeal of land or property in Mexico comes down to the “Location, Location, Location” factor.

Another important factor to consider when buying property in Mexico is the developed state of local and surrounding infrastructure in the location you are looking at. Not all areas are well developed, and property prices will be cheaper in those that are not. However if, for example, a high speed road is built connecting a previously ‘remote’ location to other, better developed places, you may see a property investment in that area increase substantially. México is a vast country – at nearly 2 million square kilometers – and not all of it is easily accessible. Road infrastructure is improving every year, with most major places now adequately connected, and work continues to connect the more remote areas, but this will take time.

If you’re considering the purchase of property in Baja California, sir you have come to the right professionals. Thousands and thousands of foreigners have successfully purchased land and property in Mexico, there is no reason why you should not become one of them if you want to.

Financing Your Mexican Property Investment

Historically and in many cases today, most property/real-estate deals in México are cash only. Mexican Banks are now beginning to offer mortgage products for the purchase of real-estate in Mexico, although 30-40% deposits are required and interest rates are not as attractive as those in the US, Canada and Europe.

There are some banks in the US, who are now offering mortgages on Mexican Property, but they are usually offered on the back of equity built up in a property in the USA and the rates are higher on the additional loan amount, to reflect the additional risk. Many Americans have mortgaged a house in México using this financial vehicle so it is possible.

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7 Great Spots for a BC Vacation Home

Posted by on Feb 4, 2018 in Adventure Travel, Travel and Leisure, Travel Planning | Comments Off on 7 Great Spots for a BC Vacation Home

Now more than ever, the dream of owning a vacation home in British Columbia is more attainable. With low interest rates and declining house prices, this is truly a buyer’s market. In fact, the most difficult part of taking this step, is deciding where to buy your second home. With so many gorgeous locations available to you, it can be hard to choose. Here is a sampling of a few B.C. vacation home spots and why they are special.

1. Big White

For those looking for an exceptional ski-getaway, Big White is an excellent choice. Great for families and singles, this is the largest ski-in/ski-out resort village in Canada. The resort boasts 15 lifts to access 2,765 acres of prime skiing, with the longest run being 7.2 km.

Big White is located 56 km south east of Kelowna, just off Highway 33 in the Okanagan Valley.

2. Golden

A home in this town will likely boast views of the snowy peaks of the Purcell and Rocky Mountains. In the summer, hiking in this fresh mountain air is sure rejuvenating you on weekend stays. Stroll downtown in the evening and grab a quick bite, or take in free street entertainment at the Fountain Plaza. The nearby Kicking Horse Resort offers world-class skiing, cross-country, and snowboarding in the winter, and mountain biking and hiking in the summer. The Kicking Horse River boasts some of the world’s best whitewater rafting and fly-fishing.

Golden is located at Highway 95 and Highway 1, 281 km north east of Cranbrook.

3. Kelowna

For relaxing lake country living in the heart of the Okanagan, Kelowna is the choice for many. In fact, this place is so hard to leave that many who started out with a vacation home have become permanent residents. Built around Lake Okanagan, it’s easy to find a place with a gorgeous view. For those who enjoy water sports, this is the place. Kelowna is known for its wakeboarding, boating, swimming and fishing. The town is full of charming shops and restaurants and free summer entertainment is available in City Park and Waterfront Park.

Kelowna is located at the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 33 – 395 km northeast of Vancouver.

4. Radium Hot Springs

Tucked between the Purcell and the Rocky Mountain ranges, Radium Hot Springs is the perfect vacation home location especially for the outdoor enthusiast. Hiking, rock climbing, birding, and of course relaxing in warm, mineral hot springs after a long day are popular activities in this scenic area.

Radium Hot Springs is located 143 km north of Cranbrook, at the junction of Highway 93 and 95.

5. Revelstoke

Revelstoke is being hailed as the next “Whistler”. Real estate opportunities here range from scenic properties bordering meadows and forest to Lake Front and mountainside villages. Located between the Monashee and Selkirk Mountains, this is considered the “Gateway to Mountain Adventure and National Parks”. Local attractions include Revelstoke Glacier National Park (home to over 400 glaciers), BC Hydro Revelstoke Dam and Generation Station, world class skiing, hiking and opportunities for wilderness photography.

Revelstoke sits at the junction of Highway 1 and Highway 23; 565 km northeast of Vancouver, and 192 km northeast of Kelowna.

6. Salmon Beach, Tofino

The lots at Salmon Beach offer seasonal cottage living in a remote area on the west coast, bordering Barkley Sound. Residents have access to a community beach and provide a perfect water access for endless hours of kayaking, fishing or prawning. Visit this area on a warm sunny day and you’ll never want to leave.

Salmon Beach is located halfway between Ucluelet and Toquart Bay, off of Highway 4.

7. Ucluelet

For those looking for the rugged shoreline of the west coast, but with more amenities than can be had at Salmon Beach, a vacation home in Ucluelet could fit the bill. With stunning ocean views and access to hiking on the Wild Pacific Trail, luxury resorts such as Oceanwest or Black Rock provide year round getaways with gourmet restaurants, lounges, and spa and fitness facilities. A Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course is currently under construction and located minutes away.

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Basic Travel Information for Panama City

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Adventure Travel, Travel and Leisure, Travel Planning | Comments Off on Basic Travel Information for Panama City

I’ve travelled to Panama at least a dozen times and stayed at countless beach hotels in Panama on my travels. You’re probably going to need a little background information when you first travel to Panama before you go and even before you start looking for hotels in Panama City. I believe Panama is one of those undiscovered tourist destinations which is only just now opening up to visitors. So it’s one of those undiscovered secrets that will rapidly change as more and more people from North America search for another sunny vacation spot apart from the traditional Caribbean islands such as Cuba, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Jamaica etc.

Location of Panama

Panama is officially known as the Republic of Panama. It is most southern country in Central America on an isthmus which connects North and South America. It lies between two great seas, the Pacific Ocean in the and the Caribbean Sea in the North. The total population of Panama is about 3.1 million people but this number is expanding with the increasing number of retirees who are selecting Panama as a home.

The Economy of Panama

As far as the economy goes, Panama is the third biggest economy in Central America. It is the largest consumer of resources in Central America. The unemployment rate is about 7.2% and has a poverty rate of about 20%. However, its infrastructure and economy is solid and growing. For many tourists, it’s becoming a new vacation destination for travelers from North America who search for a place to escape the bad winter weather. Its industries are centered on the commerce, banking, tourism, private industry and trading benefitting from its privileged geographic situation. In Panama City, there is lots of construction going on and real estate is booming. Retirees are heading south to check out Panama as a retirement destination. All this will come as a surprise for those who don’t know much about Panama.

Currency of Panama

American dollars are used here mostly. The national currency is the balboa.

What to See in Panama

The tourist to Panama will find there are lots of delights to discover in Panama as well as the famous Panama Canal. Although Panama is most famous because of the Panama Canal, the country is famous for snorkeling, bird watching and hiking. The miles and miles of white sand beaches of the coastline are splendid and unspoiled.

Security Warning for Some Areas of Panama

You must avoid certain areas in Panama because of smugglers, bandits, Colombian guerrillas and paramilitary forces in Darién Province from the Columbian border along the Tuira River to Yaviza because they target tourists. Much of Darién National Park is okay, but be advised to take a travel guide with you or stay away from it altogether. Another area to avoid is the Madden Dam in Chagre National Park for the same reasons.

The Weather in Panama

When is the best time of the year to vacation in Panama? There are actually two different seasons, a dry season which starts mid-December and lasts to mid-April and a rainy season which starts from mid-April to December. On the Caribbean coast of Panama, it seems to rain all the time, but less so in February to March, September to October. Days are generally hot throughout the year, with an average of 32 degrees Celsius, (90 degrees Fahrenheit to approximately 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit in the evenings. During the rainy season, the humidity is quite high. If you are traveling to the mountains, it is cooler with a temperature ranging from about 10 – 18 degrees Celsius (50 – 64 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.

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