Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Keith Yuen of Singapore SINGAPORE

39. Featured Traveller 

Keith Yuen



Manager Travel Blogger & Photographer : Traveller  
(Singapore, SINGAPORE)
                               

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” 


Flag of Singapore
Keith, though very humble, is an epitome of a person with good taste and a perfect example of a traveller who appreciates anything and anyone while on a journey. 

When asked of his favourite destination, he did not give a direct answer, instead, he expressed his love of the diversity and uniqueness of each individual places.


Although the question seems tough and not easy for him to share, he sub-categorized some of the places that leave him unforgettable experiences.



Beach: Philippines, Greece and Thailand
Citylife: New York City, Singapore and Copenhagen & Stockholm
Landscape: Iceland, Norway and China
People Friendliness: Danish, Filipinos, Germans and Burmese
Road Trip: Australia, Canada and United States of America
Waterfall: Victoria Falls, Iguazu Falls* and Skogafoss
Wildlife: Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa

* Haven't visited Iguazu Falls. Next on his bucket list


A Glimpse of my journey in Foreign Land and Sea
Keith is just one of our young featured travellers. 

A long list of countries he has explored over the years is an inspiration to travellers his age and the young once as well. He opt not to mention one by one but rather invite you to visit his blog, travel inspiration 360 where you will discover the details of his journey. His blog is only four months on the web and have been receiving numerous positive feedback and encouragement since the very start. 

His most viral article reaches over 70,000 readers covering the controversial stereotyped Filipino people. I admire him to the max for writing about the misconception about the Philippines. 

I am so proud of Keith, not only because my origin is the Philippines, but for being honest and with an open mind and heart for the Filipinos. Read his article, it's truly an inspiration. 

No wonder, it's viral!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

20 Ways to Piss Off Hotel Staff

Written by JP Chartier

What is it about hotels that bring out the worst in people? 

Having worked in the hotel industry for over three years I can tell you first-hand that there are those individuals who are intent on making the over worked hotel staff miserable.
Hotel staff understand that you have been cooped up in a car driving all day. 

Or have been in an airplane for a number of hours before arriving at the hotel for check in. 

But do yourself a favour and try to be nice and respectful, don’t take it out on the staff, if you do, you will most likely lose out in the end.



If its your thing to piss people off and you happen to be in a hotel, here are 20 Ways To Piss Off the Hotel Staff:
1. Get upset that your room isn’t ready yet, even though you arrived early.
2. Assume all hotel staff know how to do all hotel jobs.
3. Order room service items that aren’t on the room service menu.
4. Threaten staff with a bad internet review.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Omar Oualili of Casablanca MOROCCO

38. Featured Traveller 

Omar Oualili

Student Traveller : Travel Blogger
(Casablanca, MOROCCO)
                               

“Travel the world, country by country, city by city!” 


Flag of MOROCCO
There are many exciting stories to discover about our 20-something lad from the Kingdom of Morocco. He obtained a French Baccalaureate two years ago and moved to the United Kingdom to study Accounting and Finance at the University of West London. 

Omar in some of the countries he visited
Omar, at his young age has travelled to countries in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Middle East and Asia. He will continue counting as he travel the world wherein Lebanon, Iceland, Montenegro, Greece and Azerbaijan are now high up on his list.

Omar created a travel blog, In A City Near You, showcasing his stories, photos and videos of his trips. 

It is well-written and detailed that made it very interesting. Read his blog, you will be glad you did!

Although Omar have visited more than 30 countries as of this writing, he is highlighting his home town of Casablanca in particular and Morocco in general.

Truly you will learn a lot from a young man like Omar.  Read the full story and be inspired. If you are looking for travel tips, subscribe to his blog and follow him on Facebook.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Beasts of Boca de Guama

Written by Donna Cederstrand


Deep in the southwest of Cuba, near the Peninsula de Zapata, lays Boca de Guama, a tourist centre that is home to thousands of crocodiles. The crocodile farm is approximately 120 kilometres from Varadero, Cuba and is suggested to take less than 2 hours to travel there. This would be true if taking a tour bus excursion but driving by rental car is quite a challenge. Navigating road maps and coordinating them with dilapidated road signs means a 2-hour drive turns into 3 hours. Asking locals for directions is difficult due to the language barrier but it adds to the excitement and unknown that comes along with travelling to foreign countries.


We pull into the parking lot at Boca de Guama and are immediately hit with the stifling heat. It's just before noon and the sun is hot and air is humid, making beads of sweat break out along my forehead. The place appears to be deserted other than a few employees milling about in the shade. But the experience will be anything but desolate.

Along the pathway, we stop to visit turtles, iguanas and tree rats; a delight for my young daughter who is now chasing chickens around on the grass. We wonder where the crocodiles are and make jokes about them jumping out of the swamps that surrounds us. It's peaceful and beautiful with palm trees littered here and there, the river and mangroves to our right and up ahead... a sign indicating the entrance to the crocodile farm.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

20 Places That Will Take Your Breath Away

Written by JP Chartier

WARNING: 
The following 20 places are so beautiful that just looking at pictures of them have been known to cause a quickened heartbeat, sweaty brow, drooling and a wanderlust that can be nearly impossible to contain! 
Consider yourself warned..
Chittorgarh Fort INDIA
Built in the 7th century A.D. the fort is dotted with a series of historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemoration towers which have inspired the imagination of tourists and writers for centuries.
Chittorgarh Fort, India
Chittorgarh Fort INDIA

Aogashima Volcano JAPAN 
Aogashima is a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea, and as of 2014 the island’s population was 170. The island is encircled by very steep rugged cliffs of layered volcanic deposits. The last eruption of Aogashima was during a four-year period from 1781-1785.


Aogashima Volcano, Japan

Aogashima Volcano JAPAN 

Riomaggiore ITALY
Riomaggiore is a village and comune in the province of La Spezia, situated in a small valley in the Liguria region of Italy. The village, dating from the early thirteenth century, is known for its historic character and its wine, produced by the town’s vineyards.

Cinque Terre, Rio Maggiore, Italy
Riomaggiore ITALY


Santorini GREECE
Santorini is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) southeast of Greece’s mainland, it’s the remnants of an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 kilometres (7.5 by 4.3 miles), is surrounded by 300 metres (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on three sides.

Santori, Greece
Santorini GREECE

Neuschwanstein Castle GERMANY
It is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner, it was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but was opened to the public immediately after his death in 1886.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle GERMANY

Ha Long Bay VIETNAM
Is a popular travel destination in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. The bay consists of a dense cluster of some 1,600 limestone monolithic islands each topped with thick jungle vegetation, rising spectacularly from the ocean. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves. A community of around 1,600 people live on Hạ Long Bay in four fishing villages, they live on floating houses and are sustained through fishing and marine aquaculture.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay VIETNAM

Venice ITALY
A city in northeastern Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world for its celebrated art and architecture. The city has an average of 50,000 tourists a day.

Venice, Italy
Venice ITALY

Yosemite Valley USA 
The valley is located in the western Sierra Nevada mountains of California and is a very popular tourist location. It is surrounded by high granite summits and is about 8 miles in length and up to a mile deep. 

Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Valley USA

Machu Picchu PERU
The incredible Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca site and is situated on a mountain ridge high above the Sacred Valley. Popular belief is that the site was built around 1450 AD and was the estate of the Inca emperor Pachacuti. It was only inhabited for about a hundred years before the Spanish Conquest began. There is an urban section and an agriculture section at the site as well as the upper town and the lower town.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu PERU

Montana Magica Lodge, Los Rios CHILE
A strange volcano-shaped building spews water instead of lava everyday in southern Chile. If you stay here at this extraordinary hotel I must warn you, the only way in is by balancing on a swinging rope bridge! The lodge has 13-rooms and is hidden away deep within a 300,000 acre private nature preserve. 

Hotel La Montana Magica, Chile

Montana Magica Lodge, Los Rios CHILE

Tuscany ITALY
Tuscany is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and is known for its dreamy landscapes, unique traditions, rich history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture. It has been home to many influential figures and is loved for its natural beauty.

Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany ITALY

Bagan MYANMAR
Located in the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar), Bagan has over 2200 temples and pagodas. Back in the 13th century, during the Kingdom’s hey day, there were over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries located here.

Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan MYANMAR

Zhangye Danxia Landform in Gansu CHINA
The Danxia Landform refers to the various landscapes found in southeast, southwest and northwest China characterized by their multi-coloured sandstones and conglomerates. It is in fact a unique type of petrographic geomorphology found only in China. What an unreal scene.

Zhangye Danxia Landform in Gansu, China
Zhangye Danxia Landform in Gansu CHINA

Li River CHINA
Li is a river in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China, and takes a 52-mile scenic route through the majestic karst mountains. Tourists can take a cruise through this area on everything from a bamboo raft to an air-conditioned ship.

Li River, China
Li River CHINA

Meteora GREECE
The largest and most important complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries in all of Greece. There are six monasteries built on the natural sandstone rock pillars and are located in central Greece. The first people to inhabit Metéora was an ascetic group of hermit monks in the 9th century, they lived in the hollows and fissures of the rock towers.

Meteora, Greece
Meteora GREECE


Mu Cang Chai VIETNAM
A district of Yen Bai province, Mu Cang Chai is located in the northwestern region of Vietnam. Rice fields are layered on the steep hills and are most beautiful during harvesting time when they turn a golden hue (September & October).

Rice Terrace Fields in Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam
Mu Cang Chai VIETNAM

The swing at the “End of the World” in Baños ECUADOR
The swing is actually at a seismic monitoring station located deep in the Ecuadorian wilderness. There is a small treehouse built on the side of the mountain with a perfect view of the nearby active volcano, Mt. Tungurahua. There’s no doubt that the treehouse is a site to be seen, but the real attraction is the swing hanging from one of the tree’s skinny branches that takes riders out over the void of the canyon.

The Swing - Banos, Ecuador
The swing at the “End of the World” in Baños ECUADOR

Reine NORWAY
Reine is a fishing village and the administrative centre of the municipality of Moskenes in Nordland county, Norway, it is located on the island of Moskenesøya in the Lofoten archipelago, above the Arctic Circle. The 72-acre village has a population of only 307 as of 2013 and is a very popular tourist location despite its remote location.

Reine, Norway
Reine NORWAY

Colmar FRANCE
The town was founded in the 9th century and is situated along the Alsatian Wine Route and considers itself to be the “capital of Alsatian wine.” The city is renowned for its well preserved old town, its numerous architectural landmarks and its museums.

Colmar, France
Colmar FRANCE

Bled SLOVENIA
Bled is an Alpine town alongside glacial Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia and is most notable as a popular tourist destination. A small island in the middle of the lake is home to Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church; visitors frequently ring its bell for good luck.

Bled, Slovenia
Bled SLOVENIA

Author Bio:
JP Chartier is my name and I write for Gutter Pup Adventures.com where you can expect to read well-written and entertaining articles about the people and places that often get overlooked at many popular vacation destinations around the world.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A Piece of Paradise

Written by Donna Cederstrand

As I enter Elysium Garden, it is like being transported into a different world-a-land that you only hear about in fairy tales.



I meet Jacquie Cherot (owner), a demure woman dressed in a beige nursery workers uniform, hat upon her head and a friendly smile upon her face. She is warm and inviting and walks me around the grounds, explaining that the lush grass under our feet is the old floor of the orchard that sat here many years ago.  As I enjoy the sun shining, I can hear the robins singing their songs as they perch on apple tree branches; some of the original trees still speckle the four acres. The bees buzz about happily from rose to rose and the butterflies dance from lily to lily.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Alligator Farm & Zoological Park ~ St. Augustine

Written by JP Chartier

Just off the North Eastern coast of Florida, lurking in the green murky waters of Anastasia Island, are terrifying creatures with sharp teeth, armoured skin and nasty attitudes.

The Zoological Park : Photo Credit: JP Chartier
The terrifying creatures I'm talking about are crocodilians (crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharial) of course, and they can be found in abundance at the Alligator Farm & Zoological Park on Anastasia Island just a hop, skip and a jump from St. Augustine.


There are 7-acres of lush tropical wilderness at the Alligator Farm, a wooden bridge snakes its way over the network of waterways and swamp-like ponds allowing visitors to experience these creatures up close and personal. This is the only park in the world that contains every living species of crocodilian on earth, so it goes without saying that you will be immersed in everything gator.