Preparing to Travel Abroad

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Traveling abroad is an exciting adventure that many people don’t get a chance to experience. However, your dream vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare if you don’t properly prepare for your international trip. Thankfully, the following tips will help ensure your travel goes as smoothly as possible.

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• Ensure your passport is up-to-date and not expired. Most countries will not allow you in if your passport is expired. Since a passport can take months to renew, take care of it as soon as possible or your trip aboard my need to be postponed.

• Choose reputable and trusted accommodation, such as PPA villa holiday properties. Make sure to read reviews from previous customers. This will help you determine which place you should stay as well as ge a good idea of what to expect during your stay.

• Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date. Some countries will refuse entry if you don’t have proof of proper immunization against various diseases like malaria and yellow fever. It’s a good idea to verify which vaccinations are necessary for the location you are traveling too. If you are not sure about what shots you have received, consult with your doctor.

• Contact your credit card company and bank. Some financial institutes become suspicious when credit or debit cards are used overseas and will freeze your account. And nothing can ruin your vacation worse than not having access to your funds. That is why it is important that you notify your financial institutes of where and when you will be traveling.

• Make copies of important documents, especially your passport. This is simply a precaution in case something happens to your identification and passport. That way you’ll have some documentation that identifies yourself. Keep the copies in your suitcase.

• Create an itinerary and share it with your family back home. This will give them a good idea of when and where you are. That way, if there is an emergency they can more easily get a hold of you. Also, if a catastrophe happens at the destination you are traveling to, it can ease the minds of your family knowing that you are not in the middle of the devastation.

• Take and protect your photos. Photos is a great way to document your adventure and will allow you to look back on them fondly for years to come. However, things can happen — such as a lost camera or damaged memory card — that could result in complete loss of the irreplaceable photos. If, however, you get a free or paid account with a online photo gallery, you can periodically transfer your photos there where they will be safe until you can retrieve them.

Why to visit Austria?

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The unique thing that you can hear here is yodeling. It is unique form of singing that everyone finds interesting. The earliest yodel was recorded in the middle of 16th century and this tradition continues to this day. If you are interested in Mozart, Schubert, Strauss or Beethoven, then you can learn a lot more about them in this country. If you are big fan of classical music, then you already know that the best orchestra in the entire world is the Vienna Philharmonic.

You cannot miss the Alps if you ever visit this country. The Austrian Alps are the country’s most popular tourist destination and the main reason why tourists come here. That is why there are more visitors during the winter.

The Austrian food is something you have to taste if you ever visit this country. It is a lot more than just wiener schnitzels and apple strudels, even they are both delicious. There are many delicacies that you should try and if you like eating sweets, then you should try the delicious type of chocolate cake – Sarchertorte. Austrians are making wine and brewing beer for a very long time and some of the traditional coffee houses in Vienna are some of the oldest in the world. Viennese coffee is something very delicious, made of two shots of espresso, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.

Top places to visit in America

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America is one of the richest continents and probably the most developed compared to all others since most of the technology is made there. But besides that, America has a lot of nice places that traveler addicts should visit. The Americans have heard of all these, but the other people probably not. Here is a list of some great places that everyone should visit whenever there is a chance to do so.

  1. Yosemite National Park, California. It is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. This park was originally protected by President Abraham Lincoln’s signing in 1864. It became a national park in 1890.
  2. Jersey Shore. The Sandy Castle project started as an idea in February to help Point Pleasant Beach and the greater Jersey Shore community recovers from the effects of Superstorm Sandy.
  3. Las Vegas. A city built on gambling and entertainment. It is expanding into other activities designed to attract visitors. Though it may not be ideal for those seeking an enriching cultural experience, Sin City is a great getaway if you’re looking to escape the real world — however innocently or as excessively as you choose.
  4. New York City. Museum-strolling, opera-watching, bar-hopping — the sheer number of things to do in the Big Apple puts most of its U.S. peers to shame.
  5. Jackson Hole. It is perfect place for the nature-lovers. Whether you’re skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort or snapping photos of the residents at the National Elk Refuge, you’ll be in awe of what this destination has to offer.

The Great London

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London is considered as one of the greatest cities in the world! But that is why it also costs a lot more money to stay longer time here and not everyone can afford it.

This city offers many different kinds of food and vegetarians have plenty of choice as-well. Tea is the drink that most of the people drinking London and in whole England. Apart from the food, there are a lot of attractions that are very beautiful and they are worth wasting time to visit them. National Gallery, Science Museum, Tower of London, London Eye are just some of the attractions that are very popular and recommended to visit if you ever go to London .If you like green space then you do not have to travel far to find a part or a garden. There are eight beautiful Royal parks, Hampstead Heath and many different gardens and parks that will help you relax and enjoy being there. London has many famous sport clubs such as Chelsea and Arsenal. Many of the visitors are coming for seeing their favorite team playing. You can enjoy wonderful views using the river bus services and river tours. The Thames flows through Central London and it provides you stunning backdrop to a lot of London’s top tourist attractions.

Fun fact: There are more French people that live in London than in Bordeaux, Strasbourg or Nantes. Brits call their cross-channel neighbors “frogs”.

Georgetown Streets, Malaysia

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On arrival, visitors are usually intrigued by the narrow, congested streets of Georgetown and its pulsating waterfront. It is here, on the waterfront, that Penang is linked to the 20th century by the flotilla of freighters and streamers anchored in the harbor, which cause the ferryboats from Butterworth to zigzag a 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) winding course to reach the landing at Weld Quay.

Penang is a Far East warehouse for everything imaginable, from electronic gadgets to plastic toys. There are silks from Thailand and India, fabric from England, cameras from Germany and Japan, textiles from America and from Malaysia, brocade and sarongs. Jalan Pinang (Penang Road) is the main shopping market. Shops open in the early morning and do not close until the bars are empty and the late moviegoers have cleared the streets.

Lebuh Campbell, just off Penang Road is the main “Chinese” shopping center where Nepalese street vendors sell nylon shirts, fake alligator-skin shoes, laughing jack-in-the-boxes, and precious stones, guaranteed to cut glass.

Perhaps the most exciting shopping in Penang is in the many junk shop along Rope Walk. Here, shoppers must literally climb over mounds of discarded gear. Those who do not mind getting their hands dirty are certain to discover a dusty thing or two. One London boutique saleswomen found a luxurious Chinese emperor’s robe salvaged from the local opera stage. So, why don’t you give a try and you might find something more interesting that you expected.

Central Market, Malaysia

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The Central Market, stand where the original building, according to Swettenham “a very insecure shed” , once the house market seller from out of town, displaying fruits and vegetable, as well as household products and handicraft. The present building, completed in 1936, initially served as a produce market, was recently spruced up with its artistic décor feature and high ceilings renovated and repainted in pastel pink and baby blues, and how now became a “handicraft central”. Insides, there is a good selection of handicraft at a fairly reasonable price, though bargaining is still advisable. Besides housing various shops, stall and restaurant, the Central Market also has a programme of live shows. Pick up a brochure here or at the tourist information office and you might be lucky enough to catch music, dance or a shadow puppet performance.

At the end of the Central Market is the business center. This juxtaposition of the old and new creates an interesting alleyway. There is a shop house complete with a tree growing out of its wall on one side, small food stalls in the middle and the stark wall of a high rise building on the other.

After a walk in Central Market, you may want to visit the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, once the colonial secretariat head quarter and the house of the Supreme Court. It just takes you 10 minutes walking distance from Central Market.

Batu Ferringhi

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The road to Penang’s north coast follows the curve of the land, twisting up and around a hill or skirting the fringe of the sea. Rocky headlands jutting out into the sea divide the shoreline into small bays and coves, each with a different character and charm. Although the waters are not as clear as on the East Coast, the beaches are still popular for swimming and sunbathing.

Most activities are centered around Batu Ferringhi, one of the most popular beaches in Southeast Asia. Batu Ferringhi is locates about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from Penang city. The large luxury hotels and resort of Shangri – La’s Rasa Sayang Resort, Golden Sand Resort, Parkroyal Penang Resort, Lone Pine Hotel, Hydro Hotel, Holiday Inn Resort, The Bayview Beach Resort, Hard Rock Hotel and more can be found. Their facilities include water-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, water scooters and horse riding. Smaller and older, but comfortable and reasonable price, are Palm Beach Resort and Sri Sayang Resort. Small inns and motels as well as many villagers in this area also offer accommodation.

As the sun set, Batu Ferringhi comes alive with a carnival-like atmosphere with an open-air bazaar selling anything from ornate curios to enticing souvenir items. Anyway, water sports and beach activities are the main entertainment during daytime. Besides, tourists are advised to beware of jellyfish, in case you get stung, apply vinegar (get from any restaurant nearby) and get to the nearest clinic. When the moon rises, night market and restaurant are the best place to go.

Kuan Yin Temple

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Of all the Chinese temples in Penang, the oldest Kuan Yin Temple is Lebuh Pitt. As is fitting, it is also the most humble and most crowded. This temple belongs to the people in the street – the noodle hawkers, the trishaw riders, and the housewives doing the daily shop in the market, the old shopkeepers calculating cupboards, repairing bicycles or selling sundries. Kuan Yin, a Buddhist god that shows the most mercy.

She is ever-present on Chinese altars, whether the worshippers be Taoist, Buddhist or Confucian. Throughout the day, people visit her temple to burden her with problems they cannot solve or to thank her for the blessing which ended their worries. The clicking of “divining sticks” ricochets throughout the halls as devotees ask her advice for the coming week, men and women of Georgetown know that Kuan Yin will reply. She is perhaps the most beloved divinity of all the Chinese altars in Penang. The worshipping of Kuan Yin is a meeting ground between traditional Chinese belief and Buddhism.

Kuan Yin Temple has a well-worn look. The halls are heavily laden with scented smoke. The floors are littered with joss sticks wrappers and discarded shopping bags. The altars look like a banquet table with roasted chickens, sweet cakes, oranges, pineapples and cookies neatly placed as humble offerings to the goddess. If you are not a Buddhist, you may just want to walk by and take a photo of this oldest temple in Penang.

Night-time Niceties in Georgetown

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The streets of Georgetown, Penang are made for nightlife. The Chinese, in particular, never seem to go to bed. Their open-front restaurants are noisy gathering places where waiters shout your order to someone in a back room. A jukebox, if there is one, is turned on full volume. Hawker stalls on Gurney Drive and the Esplanade do a thriving business, while brightly lit stores cater to late-night shoppers. At the fashionable hotels, latecomers wait in line at the discotheques. There are roof top restaurants where dinners look down over the city light, hills and harbor, and dark cellar cabarets with no view at all.

Those who prefer to seek entertainment in bars can find a few around Georgetown and on the northern outskirts of the city. Some small and friendly establishments, like Hong Kong Bar, keep a “family album” of snapshots showing just about every traveler who has walked in and bought a drink. They provide jukeboxes for dancing, game machines for entertainment and barmaids for conversation. If you prefer a light music and comfortable surroundings, I would like to recommend the Penang Bar Street, along the stretch of Penang Road from Cititel Hotel and to where it intersects with Lebuh Farquhar. Others are more consciously sophisticated, like the Farquhar Bar in the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, which only operate until midnight.

At the Heart of History

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Penang Museum and Art Gallery, located is Georgetown, Penang, a 15 minutes walking distance from the Fort Cornwallis. Walk into the compound of the Penang State Museum and Art Gallery, and you will first be greeted by a regal bronze statue of Captain Sir Francis Light, the founder of the Penang Straits Settlement, gazing down upon you. In Penang Museum, on the other side of the street, visitors can peer into a Chinese bridal chamber created in the lavish style of the 19th century, when Malaysian Chinese girls took great pride in the quality beadwork on their slippers. One room, dedicated to a glimpse of yesteryear, is hung with old paintings and etching from the days when Fort Cornwallis was the center of town. Another is an opulent showcase of bejeweled krisses, the dragger-like weapons Malay used for protection and for prestige.

On the first floor where the Art Gallery is located, display batik painting, oils, graphics and Chinese ink drawings. Most of the techniques are new but the solemn, moody sea scenes and village portraits recapture a way of life that is little changed from the pioneer days.

The Penang Museum & Art Gallery open from 9am to 5pm daily except Friday and Public Holiday. Admission Fees for Art Gallery Art Gallery is free. RM 1 for adult and RM 0.50 for children will be charged for visiting the Museum.