Luoyang – Discover the Birthplace of Chinese Civilization

The reason I came here was to see the city that is said to have cradled the birth of Chinese civilization. Today you can easily reach the modern city from Shanghai or Beijing by train. An old friend, Mark with http://www.ujsinc.com has mentioned Luoyang in the past & had highly recommended I check it out.  This interior city has a rich history and there are several historic sites to see that you and your family would find educational.

I came here during springtime. Luoyang is known to have mild weather and even summer days are not too hot. It has been the place of religious studies and Taoism has originated here.

You can check out the historic sites here which is a long list. That is also because it has been the birthplace of over 13 different kingdoms including the first which was the Xia dynasty. I had a short stay here so I focused on the main places for sightseeing.

First Stop – Longmen Grottoes

This was my first stop. It lies by the southern outskirts and is a site that has survived over 1400 years; here you can see about 2100 grottoes where tens and thousands of Buddha statues can be found. The grottoes here are comparable to Mogao caves and Yungang Grottoes in other parts of China to form one of the main cave clusters of the country.

Explore the White Horse Temple

This was my next stop. It is a Buddhist temple that is worth visiting when you are here. Located in the eastern part of the city, it is over 2000 years of age and also honored as the cradle or the birthplace of Buddhism in the country.

Stop by the Shaolin Temple

This temple needs no introduction. If you wish to come here you would be climbing the slopes of Songshan Mountain which is in between Zhengzhou and Luoyang. It is famous for the martial arts that it originated and that spread across the world.

I stayed back to witness the Zen Music Ritual that is performed at night and is an outdoor performance against the mountains that is worth witnessing.

I did not have more than a day here but I would advise you to spend a few days here as the different relics have extensive history behind them that you would need time to hear about and explore.

Love Beaches! Then Head to Montañita

Image result for Montañita

Montañita is a very small town in Ecuador that is quite inviting and attractive for all the travelers who love to spend time with family on beaches. This beach town has everything that a beach lover is looking for from crystal clear waters and fine sands to surfing and water activities as well as nightclubs.

Things to do in Montañita

 

  • Surfing

 

This town is known for its surfing activities. It is the most frequent place by beginners as well as seasoned surfers. I was a novice surfer and enjoyed the time I spent here. The beginners can try out surfing here during the May to November period. You can easily get surfboards for rent along with surfing coaching classes.

 

  • Cruise Trip to Isla De La Plata

 

If you do not have the budget to take a trip to Galapagos, then why not take a cruise to Isla de la Plata, which is a look and feel alike place to the Galapagos. You can get a glimpse of dolphins, wide varieties of birds, turtles, and manta rays during the trip to this island.

 

  • Souvenir Shopping

 

My trip to Montañita felt incomplete until I visited the shops that are spread around the beaches. This is where you get to buy a lot of the souvenirs of this place that will help you remember this wonderful beach town for many years. Some of the mementos on sale include t-shirts, magnets, pottery, bracelets, etc.

 

  • Montañita Spanish School

 

If you would like to brush up your Spanish knowledge, then this school is worth visiting. There are Spanish classes held in this school amend the best part is that you can learn the language on the beach.

 

  • Night Out Bars

 

If you are a party person like me, then you will not be disappointed with what is on offer in this beach town. There are a lot of bars and cocktails bars that offer cheap drinks and an excellent party atmosphere.

Moscow – Exploring the Vibrant Capital of Russia

Moscow is the powerful city with history and tad edginess. This summer I decided to visit this capital city of Russia. It is filled with world famous attractions. The city has been in existence for over 800 years. I kept me busy all throughout the day. In case you are visiting Moscow for the first time and do not know what to do, check out the list given below.

Red Square

This is at the center of the capital. No doubt, it is the most visited area. Beautiful architectures surround the square. This is the key location. I found place to be surrounded by several popular architectures like St. Basil’s Cathedral. There are Kremlin and Lenin’s Mausoleum. Other than this, there are various attractions to check out.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

To glance at Russia’s archetypal image, I visit this cathedral. The domes lit by the sunlight are beautiful to watch. These had been designed to appear like a bonfire flame. Ivan the Terrible had commissioned the cathedral in 1500. Tsar wanted it to be unique and didn’t want to surpass the creation. So, he ordered the architect to be blinded. That is quite a legendary tale.

Lenin’s Mausoleum

This is an attraction that I was not going to miss out on. It has a glass sarcophagus which contains Vladimir Lenin, the legendary revolutionary’s, body. The place opened its door to public viewing in the year 1924. It has a footfall of 2.5 million in a year. Even though there is a line to enter, I didn’t mind it at all.

Moscow Kremlin

It is one of the largest active fortresses to be found in Europe. As I went inside the kremlin walls, I found 5 squares to explore. There are 20 towers and you will also find largest cannon and bell in here.

 

Miramichi: Exploring the Lesser Known Area of New Brunswick

If you tell someone that you are going to visit Miramichi for the weekend, they are surely going to be very surprised. But trust me when I say, this less explored region has so much to offer. There are so many things that you can choose to do. Take a quick look at some of these to make an itinerary.

Fly Fishing

Fishing is one of the biggest attractions for anglers from different parts of the world. The primary attractions of the region are the popular bass or salmon from Atlantic. In case you are not from New Brunswick then you will have to hire a guide in order to go fishing. They will teach you with utmost patience and care. I had a superb experience. Standing hip water in the river is something I am going to remember for a lifetime.

Boat Tour

Do not forget to take a boat tour. This way you are going to get an amazing view of the river through this. There are several tours offered and you can just choose the one that you like. At times the boat will take you to Ritchie Wharf Park. I filled my stomach in here with some snacks available. Also, I visited the souvenir shops to take some for my loved ones.

Beaubears Island

This is place is a natural beauty. However, apart from it is also filled with shipbuilding and Acadian history. It is actually a seasonal park that has an interpretive center. The historical tour includes a boat ride. I found all locals in colorful costumes and they will greet you for reenacting the story of Beaubears Island. It is a popular spot for a picnic and is a great place to have some fun with your family.

Manitoba: The Less Explored Destination for Next Holiday

Manitoba, the centrally located provincial state in Canada is neglected by people as a tourist destination. However, the decision to visit this place and explore what it has to offer. To say the truth, if you take a bit of time, you will have a wealth of things to discover. It is an ideal destination for a summer retreat. Take a look at some of the best things that it has to offer to its tourists.

The Forks

It is located where the Assiniboine and the Red River meets. Whether you visit in summer or in winter, this place is going to offer you a lot of fun. It is actually a historical building that has been restored to turn it into a marketplace. There are food stalls, restaurants, and some unique shops. I found some unique things to take back as souvenirs for my friends and relatives back home. If you are visiting in winter, you will find a skating rink.

Churchill Polar Bears

Churchill has been popular for the polar bears. It lies on Hudson Bay’s rocky coast. In winter polar bears wander around the coast and there are tours available for the tourists to check out these furry animals. I close encounter with the bears was simply amazing. I had seen nothing like it. You can also visit the Eskimo Museum that shows the works of art and tools.

Grand Beach

There is a large stretch of beach in the Grand Beach Provincial Park. If you are planning to go sunbathing, this is the place to be. It comes as a respite from the busy life of the city. I put up in one of the accommodations that are available in the beach area. The food offered by the restaurants here and the nightlife is simply stunning.

Richmond: Experience The Richness Civil War Involved City

Richmond is a city with great historical significance. It has been actively involved in the civil war. There several historical sites which commemorate the civil war period. However, this is slowly becoming popular as a tourist destination. I found many exciting attractions, craft breweries, and amazing eateries in here. There are areas that are filled with natural beauty.

Here are a few things you can do when you are in Richmond.

  • Metro Richmond Zoo

I wasn’t going to miss out on the zoo that houses more than 2,000 animals. There are 190 different species in Metro Richmond Zoo. I also came across some endangered species. There are tigers, cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes, and so much more. Want to feed the giraffes, you can do that too. However, there are is a specific time for that. It surely had a great experience here.

  • Science Museum of Virginia

Science enthusiasts should definitely visit the Science Museum of Virginia. In case you are traveling with children, this is the best place to be. There is an extensive range of activities to that will excite kids. The exhibits have been divided into themed parts like health, electricity, and geology.

  • Hollywood Cemetery

This had been found in the year 1847 and is popular for its famous figures of people who had interred more than years. It includes the 2 former US presidents, John Tyler, and John Monroe. This place is the resting place of over in numerous confederate soldiers.

  • Belle Isle

Cross a visually beautiful footbridge to reach the Belle Isle. It is a small area which is surrounded by rocks which have been smoothed out by water over the years. I saw many locals sunbathing on these rocks. There are also trails if you want to walk over the island. It takes you through the picturesque wild and romantic woodlands.

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