Category: Asia

Sights of Jordan

Sights of Jordan

ATTRACTION

Among the most visited are: the perfectly preserved city of columns – Jerash (there are 2 amphitheaters in the city (North and South), 17 churches, several well-preserved ancient cobbled streets framed by columns, which are made in various styles), as well as other cities of the Roman Decapolis (Decapolis); Crusader and Mamluk fortresses; palaces of the Umayyad caliphs; a huge number of places, one way or another connected with the Old and New Testaments (tourists are usually shown only the memorial of Moses on Mount Nebo, standing on which, according to legend, the prophet saw the land for the first and last time, to which God led him for 40 long years and on where, according to the same legend, he found his last home). Jordan is the true place of the baptism of Jesus on the Jordan River and Makavir is the place where the head of John the Baptist was cut off; sulfur and mineral springs, in which the king of Judea, Herod the Great, once lived his body and the cave in which Lot hid with his daughters after the fall of Sodom and Gamorrah; these are olive groves, pines and palms; these are mountains similar to the Sinai and unlike anything Wadi Rum, in which the film about Lawrence of Arabia was filmed. Jordan is an opportunity to visit Petra, carved in the body of a Nubian sandstone, a creation of the Nabataeans, which the Russian press invariably calls the “ninth wonder of the world.”

According to INTERSHIPPINGRATES, Petra is the most visited and interesting historical attraction in Jordan and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is located 260 km south of Amman, and the entrance ticket here costs $30. The city, or rather, what is left of it (palaces, residential buildings, steep stairs, public buildings, cobbled streets), makes an indelible impression. “This extraordinary miracle is truly unique, the red-pink city is only younger than time itself,” the English poet and traveler Dean Burgon described Petra. The ancient capital was also mentioned by Strabo in his most famous “Geography” and by Pliny in “Natural History”. There are more than 800 different objects, the vast majority of which are entirely carved into the rock. The first settlements arose here 4,000 years ago. Today, it is to Petra that the vast majority of tourists strive. Some transiting to the Persian Gulf states make a special plan to stop in Jordan to see this mysterious and enchanting place. Biblical places. Five of them are recognized by the Vatican as great shrines. Madaba (biblical Medeba) is located 30 km south of Amman. In the city center, the remains of the road and city buildings are still preserved. The Greek Christian Church of St. George in Madaba is famous for its floor-mounted map of the Middle East, created during the reign of Emperor Justinian. The map shows cities, rivers, the Dead and Mediterranean seas. The city is often called the “city of mosaics” – there are really a lot of them here… You can see the famous archaeological park of Madaba with its ruins of churches, villas and streets. One of the most visited is the memorial of Moses on Mount Nebo – it is here, according to legend, that the prophet Moses was buried. From here, from the top of a high hill overlooking the Dead Sea, the Jordan Valley and Jericho, he saw the lands to which he had led his people for 40 years. One of the important sights of the country is the Dead Sea. Some tourists come here specifically for the sake of restorative rest and treatment of various diseases, while others stop here while traveling around the country for one swim in the healing oily waters. “Castles of the desert” – the so-called remains of castles, fortresses, watchtowers, caravanserais and fortified palaces. The main place among them is occupied by the castles of the Crusaders and the Umayyad palaces. They can be visited following in Aqaba or in the eastern regions of the country. In Karak and Shobak there are 2 medieval castles built by the Crusaders in the 12th century. Two other castles – Habisa and Voueira – are located in Petra. By the XII century. the Ajlun fortress, which served as a stronghold for Salah Eddin (Saladdin) during the campaign to expel the crusaders from Jordan and Palestine, also applies. Qasr (“palace” in Arabic) of Amr with its frescoes.

Jordan: Money and currency of Jordan

Money, CURRENCY EXCHANGE Jordanian dinar (JOD), equal to 100 piastres and 1000 fils. In circulation are banknotes of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 dinars and coins of 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 100 dinars. Fils are almost out of use, but 5, 10, 25, 100, 250 and 500 fils coins still have limited circulation.Banks are open from 08:30 to 12:30 and from 15:30 to 17:30 from Saturday to Thursday (the ticket office usually closes at 12:30). During Ramadan, most banks are open only from 08:30 to 10:00, although some large banks are open in the afternoon. Payment for goods and services usually takes place in dinars, foreign currency is almost never accepted for payment. Money can be exchanged at the airport, hotels, banks and specialized exchange offices. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted only in major tourist centers, hotels, ticket offices and large stores (American Express and Visa are the most common – they are accepted almost everywhere, Dinners Club is less widespread, cashing MasterCard cards is also often difficult, so they are better do not use). In the interior of the country, it is almost impossible to pay with credit cards. British Bank of the Middle East accepts Eurocheques. The commission for cashing travelers checks is usually 5 dinars, regardless of the amount.

Sights of Jordan

Sights of Kazakhstan

Sights of Kazakhstan

According to HOMEAGERLY, the most important, and usually the most inconspicuous landmark of the country is the ancient “Great Steppe”, the birthplace of many modern peoples of Eurasia and the keeper of many secrets of the past. Despite many years of nuclear tests in the Semipalatinsk region and the plowing of steppe lands for grain crops, many millions of square kilometers of this ancient natural complex have been preserved here in their original form. In April, flowers and grasses transform monotonous ocher landscapes that explode with all shades of reds, oranges, blues and yellows. Autumn is the time of harvest and withering of herbs, when the market tables are literally bursting with a load of freshly harvested fruits, and the air is filled with the aroma of hundreds of types of herbs. Crossing the territory of Kazakhstan from north to south, you find yourself not only in different climatic zones, but also in the same diverse natural complexes, each with its own unique flora and fauna – here you can find Russian birch next to saxaul and walnut. The deserts of Kazakhstan are the land of lack of water and a peculiar natural world. The country has many beautiful landscapes and diverse landscapes, the Charyn Canyon is especially popular – “the younger brother of the American Grand Canyon with the “Valley of Castles” and a relic ash grove, the rocks of Zhety-Oguz (“Seven Bulls”), the Saki mounds, Atybaidyn-Aktasu (“White stone of Atybay”), Komirshi (Arasan gorge, Emirsai), Karabulak gorge, etc. The resorts of Borovoye, Alma-Arasan, Saryagach and others were famous throughout the USSR in the era of socialism. Alma-Ata (Alma-Ata or Almaty, which literally means “father of apples”) – this rapidly developing city was founded in 1854. on the site of the Kazakh settlement of Almaty, destroyed by fierce raids and wars, as the Russian border fort Verny, and was the capital of Kazakhstan until the end of 1997. Alma-Ata is located in the southeastern part of the republic, in the north of the mountain spurs of the Tien Shan, at the foot of the northern slope of the Trans-Ili Alatau at an altitude of 600-900 m above sea level, in the valleys of the Bolshaya and Malaya Almatinka rivers. The city is quite clean (except for the air – because of the position in the intermountain basin, smog is frequent) and easy to perceive, with long straight streets and low architecture that bears the unmistakable imprint of Russian influence. The mountains of the Trans-Ili Alatau rise like a wall along the southern edge of the capital and provide an excellent backdrop when the weather and smog allow it. Everyone who comes to Almaty admires its unique appearance, green dress, majesty, mountain peaks, cascades of fountains, straight wide streets, unique buildings and structures. The city has a large number of parks, plenty of space and vegetation, and many of the Soviet-era buildings are strikingly harmonious.

There are a large number of theatres, museums, amusement parks, restaurants, nightclubs and casinos. Highlights include Panfilov Park, a regular rectangle of vegetation surrounding the flamboyant Zenkov Cathedral, one of the few Tsarist-era buildings to survive the 1911 earthquake (especially considering the fact that it was built entirely of wood and without the use of nails). In the western part of the park are excellent Arasani baths, where there are sections for Turkish, Russian and Finnish baths. The Central State Museum definitely deserves attention for its excellent exhibitions on the history of Kazakhstan and a miniature replica of the “Golden Man” – the main archaeological treasure of the country. This is a warrior costume made from 4,000 gold pieces decorated with animal motifs. Alma-Ata has repeatedly suffered from earthquakes (the last in 1911 and 1921) and mudflows (powerful anti-mudflow structures have been created, which in themselves can serve as a landmark, since there are no such structures anywhere else in the world). Astana (until May 1998 Akmola, “White Grave”) is the modern capital of Kazakhstan. The city begins its history in 1830, when the construction of the Akmola fortress began in the Karautkul tract, and until the 1950s it was a small mining village, when Khrushchev announced the “Revival of the Virgin Land”, on which 250 thousand square meters. km. Kazakh steppe were plowed under wheat fields. At this time, Akmola became the capital of this grandiose project, and was renamed Tselinograd. It is now a friendly and rather low town, with few attractive tree-lined streets, but prone to strong steppe winds. The population here is mainly Russian (70%), Ukrainian and German, and only 30% Kazakhs. There are a number of higher educational institutions in the city, including the Eurasian University named after L. Gumilyov, three museums, two drama theaters. It is planned to create in the capital the National Library, the National Museum, the Picture Gallery of Modern Art, the Center for Socio-Economic Technologies, the Business Center, the children’s park, the water park, cultural and health institutions. At the moment, there are no intentions to move embassies, consulates and other official institutions here from Almaty, so the only reason tourists appear in Astana is transit to Karaganda and other regional centers. Shymkent is the largest city of the Middle Ages, which was located on the Great Silk Road. Ordinary city tours necessarily visit the “Holy Place” in the Sairam region and “Arystanbab” – a place of worship for the saints. In the ancient city of Turkestan, there is the mausoleum of Khoja Akhmet Yasawi built in the 12th century. Tourists will be able to get acquainted with historical facts from the life and work of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, with other sights of the city and visit the famous Turkestan fair or the famous Turkestan mosque. In Tamgaly-Tas, the Gallery of Rock Drawings (Buddhist petroglyphs of the Bronze Age) is interesting. In Karakol, the Memorial of the famous Russian traveler and scientist Przhevalsky, the Dungan mosque, and the Russian church are attractive. The Trans-Ili Alatau and Kyongei-Alatau are one of the biggest “attractions” for travelers – 4000 m. altitude plus majestic mountain peaks, stretching in two ridges from east to west between Alma-Ata and Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan. This beautiful area of mountain glaciers, wild rivers and steep valleys is used by nomadic shepherds as summer pastures and is also an excellent trekking area for travelers. There are many excellent mountain trails of various lengths and steepness, including excursions right along the mountain slopes to Lake Issyk-Kul. The season runs from June to September. Khan-Tengri Peak is one of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world and the longed-for dream of any climber or trekker – the majestic seven-thousander of the northern Tien Shan.

The popularity of the peak was brought by the unusually beautiful shape of the peak in the form of an ideal pointed pyramid. During sunrise and sunset, the mountain turns bright red. Therefore, it is shrouded in ancient traditions and legends. Since 2000, in August, the Khan Tengri International Festival has been held at the peak, within the framework of which climbs to the peak, marathon races along its slopes and competitions in extreme types of mountain tourism are held. Lakes Kul-Sei (Kolsai) – these three rather green lakes, striking in their beauty and filled with clear glacial water, lie among the steep forest foothills of the Kengei-Alatau, 110 km. east of Alma-Ata. The lakes are formed by the Kul-Sey (Kolsai) River at an altitude of about 2000 m. There is excellent camping and excellent conditions for outdoor activities and trout fishing. June and August are the best months to visit these places, but you need to carefully monitor the weather – it is changeable in the mountains. Travelers can arrange helicopter tours to the lakes from Alma-Ata or on foot from Sata, the lower lake is accessible by vehicles, but a horseback tour to the lakes along the most picturesque mountain trails is much more interesting. From the mountain pastures near the middle lake, along the 3-kilometer Sary-Bulak ridge, you can make a horseback ride to the Kyrgyz village of Balbey on the shore of Issyk-Kul.

A fantastic panorama of the northern steppes of Kazakhstan and the southern Issyk-Kul basin opens from the pass. Aktau, lying between the desert and the Caspian Sea, one of the largest settlements in the world, located in places where human life seems almost impossible. This city did not exist at all until 1963, when exemplary wide and straight streets, cultural institutions, desalination plants, gardens and parks suddenly appeared here. This “miracle” happened after uranium deposits were found nearby. Thanks to its sandy shores, this city also developed as a closed resort for the “Soviet elite”. Tourism and uranium developments are currently in a doldrums, so Aktau has now lost much of its former appeal. The improbability of Aktau’s existence is increased by the fact that it lies hundreds of kilometers from any other city, and is not connected by any decent roads (most of the transportation was carried out by sea) with any point in Kazakhstan. The surroundings of the city (in those places where there are no quarries) are replete with unique desert landscapes of the Mangyshlak plateau – erosion and desert have “corroded” solid rocks so much that thousands of tiny canyons, miniature mountain ranges and dozens of deep depressions have formed, filled with supersaturated salt water. The city of Taraz is one of the largest cities of the Middle Ages, one of the centers of the Great Silk Road. Interesting sightseeing tour of the city, the Museum of History, the Mausoleum of Aisha-Bibi – a place of pilgrimage for Muslims, an architectural monument of the XII century, and the Mausoleum of Sypatai-Batyr. Lake Balkhash, lying in the east of the country, is a unique natural formation. It is huge in area, but very small, and its eastern half has salt water, while the western part is quite fresh, so even the species of fish that live in different parts of the lake are different. From other large lakes of Kazakhstan, you can visit the beautiful Zaisan in the east of the country, Alakol in the southeast and Tengiz in the center. In total, there are almost 7 thousand natural lakes in Kazakhstan, the total area of the water surface of which exceeds 45 thousand square meters. km.

Sights of Kazakhstan

Sri Lanka in the 1970’s

Sri Lanka in the 1970’s

Parliamentary democracy, one of the oldest in South Asia, has been subjected to a series of tensions which have changed its nature somewhat. According to GETZIPCODES, the government of Mrs. Sri Lanka Bandaranaike, in power since June 1960 and oriented towards the left, first of all subjected private schools to state control, despite the opposition above all of the Catholic minority. But he soon had to devote all his attention to the northern districts, where the introduction of Sinhala as the only official language had provoked violent opposition from the Tamil-speaking population. A movement of civil disobedience degenerated into acts of violence and the government, after outlawing the Federal Party, an expression of the Tamil population, ended up proclaiming in

Meanwhile, the government had emerged unscathed from a coup attempted by senior army and police officers, nipped in the bud. Governor General O. Goonetilleke, in office since 1954, was suspected of being involved and had to leave office, replaced by W. Gopallawa. The problem of Indian residents in the North (descendants of immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries), which was a source of friction with the government of India, was solved with the agreement of 30 October 1964; out of about one million Indian natives, about 525,000 had to be repatriated to India over a period of 15 years; 300,000 would have received Sinhalese citizenship; the position of the remaining 150,000 would be revised later. The treaty gave rise to some friction and its implementation suffered considerable delays; but it was confirmed and perfected in later chords (1968). Meanwhile, the government continued with nationalizations: life insurance, fuel distribution, etc. Although the base had been expanded in 1954, the government suffered a severe defeat in the 1965 elections. Dudley Senanayake, head of the United National Party, formed a center-right coalition cabinet, which devoted its activities mainly to agriculture and to the private sector of industry. But already in 1966 he attracted the violent opposition of the influential Buddhist clergy, for having made some linguistic concessions to the Tamil community. Although the base had been expanded in 1954, the government suffered a severe defeat in the 1965 elections. Dudley Senanayake, head of the United National Party, formed a center-right coalition cabinet, which devoted its activities mainly to agriculture and to the private sector of industry. But already in 1966 he attracted the violent opposition of the influential Buddhist clergy, for having made some linguistic concessions to the Tamil community. Although the base had been enlarged in 1954, the government suffered a severe defeat in the 1965 elections. Dudley Senanayake, head of the United National Party, formed a center-right coalition cabinet, which devoted its activities mainly to agriculture and to the private sector of industry. But already in 1966 he attracted the violent opposition of the influential Buddhist clergy, for having made some linguistic concessions to the Tamil community.

The elections of 1970 brought the Sri Lanka Party back to power, supported by Communists and Trotskyists; Mrs. Bandaranaike was again prime minister, and the situation has evolved rapidly since then. By unanimous vote the new Parliament was transformed into a constituent assembly and the new constitution was promulgated on May 22, 1972. Ceylon became the republic of Sri Lanka, with a unicameral Parliament holding legislative and executive powers; the president of the Republic, with purely protocol functions, was appointed by the prime minister; first president was Governor General Gopallawa.

Most of the tea and rubber plantations, the oil industry, part of the export trade, most of the newspapers were nationalized. In spite of this, the government was opposed from the left, and in March 1971 a “Guevarist” insurrection broke out, led by the Popular Liberation Front, made up mostly of students. The guerrilla warfare took hold in certain areas of the countryside, but was soon limited and suffocated with the proclamation of a state of emergency; however, isolated gangs survived until 1973. The economic situation had become difficult, due to the decrease in demand for the main products: tea, rubber, coconut; to this was added the budget deficit, demographic pressure, the formation of an intellectual proletariat, rising unemployment. Furthermore, the proclamation of a unitary republic had met with opposition in the North, where the Tamils ​​demanded the transformation of Ceylon into a federal state and only partially allowed themselves to be appeased by the concession of the use of their language in the courts. In the July 1977 elections, the ruling party was severely beaten by the National Union Party, whose leader, Junius R. Jayawardene, was responsible for forming the new government. In October, an amendment to the constitution of 1972 modified the political system in a presidential sense, according to the French model; economic policy has encouraged foreign investment and replaced state monopolies with a system of controls that leaves room for the private sector. A new Constitution entered into force in September 1978: the denomination of the state is now that of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; the official language remains Sinhala, but Tamil is recognized as a national language; the 1977 amendment is confirmed, with the extension of the powers of the Presidency.

In foreign policy, Ceylon, in keeping with its internal tendencies, has maintained particularly cordial relations with China, especially after the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-lai in 1964. This policy was accentuated with the return to power of the left in 1970 The governments of North Korea and Vietnam and East Germany were immediately recognized; and in 1972 Bandaranaike went to China, where they obtained a loan on good terms. This policy also continued with Iayawardene.

Sri Lanka in the 1970's

China Geography and Climate

China Geography and Climate

The largest country in East Asia is China and this is also the world’s most densely populated country. In fact, in the late 1970s, population growth was considered so alarming that in China a rule was introduced which in some areas claimed that one child was only allowed per family. It is believed today that China has about 1.5 billion inhabitants, but it is difficult to say an exact figure as the rule of one child per family has led to a lot of blackout as many still get more and lie about this. In China, border conflicts are still being faced, both on land and at sea. There is still an active discussion about which borders should apply with countries such as Pakistan, India, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Conflicts often concern land and lake areas where there are natural resources,

Geography and climate

China’s land borders are with Russia, North Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam, Burma, Laos, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. China also has a sea border with the countries North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei. China’s surface is almost as large as the whole of Europe’s surface combined and here there is a great variety in terms of nature and wildlife. Most live in the eastern parts of the country and in the west you will find sparsely populated mountain areas, wastelands and deserts. Northeast of China is the Yellow Sea which is a bay, in the east there is the East China Sea and in the southeast the South China Sea. These three parts of the sea are all part of the Pacific Ocean.

According to Bridgat, the southernmost parts of the country are in the tropics, while the northern parts are at the height of northern Germany. In the south, you have a subtropical warm climate, while in the north you have a climate that is cooler and more similar to what we see in northern Europe. In eastern China you have a sea climate, but in most of the country the climate can be described as continental where monsoon winds draw in and temperatures can vary greatly during the year.

Controversial lake areas

China has a lot of disputes with neighboring countries about where to draw borders. When it comes to lake areas, China disputes with Japan about the Senkaku Islands (alternatively the Diaoyu Islands in Chinese) which are located in the East China Sea. During World War II, the United States decided that China would take over the island of Taiwan and that Japan would get the Senkaku Islands. However, this was not something that China agreed to and the discussion about the control of the islands is still relevant. That the islands are of such great interest is of course due to the fact that it is believed that they have gas and oil deposits. China also considers itself entitled to most of the South China Sea. Here it is also believed that there is plenty of natural wealth at the bottom, and other countries that are interested in the right to areas in this sea are Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines.

The world’s largest population

Something that is very interesting about China is, of course, the policy one has when it comes to childbirth. Since the end of the 1970s, there is a law that states that each family can only have one child. The rules are a little different depending on where in the country you are. This so-called one-child policy is believed to have worked, but as I said, it can be a little difficult to know exactly how many Chinese there really are as some families circumvent the rules and secretly have more children who are not registered. With around 1.5 billion inhabitants, this is the world’s most populous country. The population consists of different ethnic groups and minorities and here the group He is the largest.

China Geography

Tours to Dubai, UAE

Tours to Dubai, UAE

Today’s Dubai is a bright kaleidoscope of contrasts, where a modern city and an endless desert, East and West, old and new side by side.

Having won the reputation of a “city of merchants” long before the discovery of oil, Dubai has always welcomed travelers and merchants.

This tradition of courtesy and hospitality is still alive today. Dubai’s streets are clean and safe, with a warm and friendly welcome. Vacationers tired of bad weather and fuss, or active tourists craving unusual experiences – everyone will find what they want in Dubai. No less important is the role of the Emirate as one of the world’s most dynamically developing commercial centers, a venue for international conferences and exhibitions. Dubai offers great opportunities for sports, shopping, entertainment and delicious food. The rapidly developing tourism industry satisfies all the requirements of individual, group and family vacations.

According to shoppingpicks, Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world, repeatedly awarded as “the safest place on the planet” (Safest Travel Destination Worldwide).

The emirate annually hosts the Dubai Shopping Festival, the Summer Surprises Festival, during which travelers from all over the world are waiting not only for huge sales, exhibitions of the most modern and fashionable goods, but also for an extensive cultural and entertainment program for children and adults.

On the threshold of a new millennium, Dubai, the “city of gold”, in its dazzling splendor and splendor, confidently looks to the future.

Tours to Dubai

Holidays in Dubai are a bright kaleidoscope of contrasts, where a modern city and an endless desert, East and West, old and new coexist. Having won the reputation of a “city of merchants” long before the discovery of oil, Dubai has always welcomed travelers and merchants.

This tradition of courtesy and hospitality is still alive today. Dubai’s streets are clean and safe, with a warm and friendly welcome. Vacationers tired of bad weather and fuss, or active tourists craving unusual experiences – everyone will find what they want in Dubai. No less important is the role of the Emirate as one of the world’s most dynamically developing commercial centers, a venue for international conferences and exhibitions. Dubai offers great opportunities for sports, shopping, entertainment and delicious food. The rapidly developing tourism industry satisfies all the requirements of individual, group and family vacations.

Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world, repeatedly awarded as “the safest place on the planet” (Safest Travel Destination Worldwide).

The emirate annually hosts the Dubai Shopping Festival, the Summer Surprise Festival, during which travelers from all over the world are waiting not only for huge sales, exhibitions of the most modern and fashionable goods, but also for an extensive cultural and entertainment program for children and adults.

On the threshold of a new millennium, Dubai, the “city of gold”, in its dazzling splendor and splendor, confidently looks to the future.

Desert hotels

A feature of the geography of the UAE is that most of the territory of the United Arab Emirates is occupied by desert.

There are several hotels that are located directly in the desert. Here you can not only switch to a smoother and calmer rhythm, but also truly break away from civilization, while maintaining the comfort of living. Rest in such hotels is an opportunity to touch the real Bedouin life, to learn the great simplicity and complexity of the desert, the beauty of the dunes and dunes under the eternal movement of the stars. Here, time seems to freeze, and you can listen to the nature around you in order to make the most fascinating journey – a journey to yourself.

Luxury and privacy await guests of hotels in the Arabian deserts. Choosing any of the hotels in the desert, for example, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa 5 *, designed in the form of a traditional Arab fortress, or Al Maha Desert Resort & SPA 5 *, located in the natural “cradle” of the Al Maha oasis, you can be sure that that the rest will be interesting and unforgettable. And at The Meidan Hotel, built along the hippodrome, guests can watch the races directly from the balcony of their room.

Hotels in Hatta

Hata is an ethnographic village, which is located near the border with Oman, at the foot of the Hajar mountains, among dunes and water channels. Many of the purest mountain springs, rocks and palm trees have retained their originality. The climate here is cooler than in other emirates.

The first settlements appeared here about three thousand years ago. On the slopes of the mountains along the gorges there are small villages with houses built into the mountain ranges. The local population is mainly engaged in agriculture.

During excursions around the region, it is worth visiting the governor’s house, an ancient mosque, forts and watchtowers, as well as an ethnography center.

Dubai, UAE

Philippines Politics since 1959

Philippines Politics since 1959

In the partial elections of 1959, the nationalist party of President Garcia won victory by setting the electoral campaign on the economic detachment from the United States. All the efforts of the new government were concentrated on trying to remove the levers of economic power from the hands of the resident Chinese, through a harsh policy of oppression.

The subsequent general elections of November 1961 saw the success of the liberal candidate D. Macapagal, who faced two serious crises: the United States Congress voted against a loan of 73 million dollars, motivated by the fact that this would be been directed towards initiatives that are anything but fundamental and productive for the country’s economic structure; and the resignation of vice president and foreign minister Pelaez, accused of corruption. The widespread unease due to the deterioration of the economic situation and political corruption led to the presidency of the republic, with the 1965 elections, the leader of the nationalist party, Philippines Marcos. Its programmatic platform envisaged rapid economic take-off through industrialization and a four-year plan of investments to be made in priority private sectors: chemical and mechanical industry, timber processing, etc. The economic situation improved and in 1969 Marcos was re-elected president. His new and more ambitious goals were land reform, stabilization of the currency and integration of structures. However, the persistence of corruption and social inequalities caused serious unrest at the beginning of the 1970s. At the same time, on the island of Luzon, the Huk guerrilla fueled by peasants resumed, and in Mindanao the latent contrasts between the Christian and Muslim communities, subject to discrimination and advocating a separate Islamic state, resulted in bloody massacres. In the course of 1972 the guerrillas spread and Marcos took advantage of it to concentrate all the powers in the hands of men devoted to him. On 7 July 1972 a Constituent Assembly was convened which approved the replacement of the presidential regime with a single-chamber parliamentary system. In January 1973 the Philippines became a parliamentary republic; however, power remained in the hands of President Marcos.

In foreign policy, after having formed the clearly pro-American ASA (Association of Southeast Asian States) with Thailand and Malaysia in 1961, the Philippines under the Macapagal presidency tried to acquire greater autonomy vis-à-vis the United States. Successor Marcos initially imposed an anti-Communist line by sending men to South Vietnam. However, he tried to find a political solution to the Vietnamese conflict by organizing a conference in Manila in October 1966 which did not achieve any result.

In 1968, following the conflict for Sabah (northern Borneo) over which the Philippines were advancing rights, Manila broke off diplomatic relations with Malaysia. In the early 1970s, Marcos’ foreign policy conformed to the Nixon doctrine which proclaimed the downsizing of American engagement in Asia. The contingent sent to South Vietnam was withdrawn, military agreements with the United States were renegotiated and relations were re-established with the enemies of the past, first of all, the People’s Republic of China.

Philippines Politics since 1959

Palestine Liberation Organization

Palestine Liberation Organization

Palestine Liberation Organization, English Palestine Liberation Organization [ pæləsta ɪ n l ɪ bə re ɪ ʃ n ɔ ː gəna ɪ ze ɪ ʃ n], abbreviation PLO, 28 5./1. 6. Political and military umbrella organization founded in Cairo in 1964 for the Arab liberation movements fighting for an independent Arab state of Palestine, 1969–2004 by J. Arafat(Headquarters since 1994 in Gaza, official seat in Ramallah [Muqata]). Includes most Palestinian refugee and guerrilla organizations; Al Fatah has formed the core since 1968 (joining the PLO). One of the radical sub-groups is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, English abbreviation PFLP, founded in 1967, led by G. Habasch from 1967 to April 2000, later branched further. Since the summit conference of the Arab League in Rabat (October 26-30, 1974) recognized by all Arab states as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, admitted to the UN General Assembly (observer status) since November 1974, the PLO became a full member of the 1976 Arab League. The highest parliamentary body of the PLO is the Palestinian National Council (PNC). The “government” is the executive committee, which Arafat took over as chairman in 1969 and held until his death on November 11, 2004. Immediately thereafter, the Executive Committee appointed M. Abbas to the chairman. The preamble to the PLO charter of 1964 codified (since 1968) the abolition of the state of Israel and the claim of the Palestinians to all of former Palestine; after the declaration of renunciation as part of the Oslo peace process (September 1993), these passages were deleted on April 25, 1996 (finally in 1998 after the Wye II Agreement).

History: From 1948/49 onwards, Palestinian-Arab underground fighters (“Fedayeen”) carried out military operations against Israel from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Under the leadership of Ahmed Schukeiri (* 1908, † 1980), the PLO was constituted in 1964, funded by v. a. by Egyptian President G. Abd el-Nasser. After the Six-Day War of June 1967, in which Israel had occupied the remaining parts of Palestine on the one hand, and in which it also became clear that the liberation of Palestine as a task for the whole of Arabia had failed, the PLO shifted its political and military focus to Jordan, where it developed into a state in the state and won from 1968 under the leadership of the chairman of its member organization Al-Fatah,J. Arafat, greater political weight in the Middle East conflict. Controversies within the PLO repeatedly called the cohesion into question. After the expulsion from Jordan (“Black September” 1970), the PLO shifted its organizational focus to Beirut; Using terrorist means, it intensified its activities beyond the Arab region (Black September). Until 1974, the PLO saw the armed struggle for its own state as a primarily Palestinian task. Arafats marks a turning point in this policy first speech to the UN General Assembly on November 13, 1974, in which he presented a new dual strategy. At that time the Palestinian National Council had considered the possibility of a partial state regulation. After the PLO was expelled from Beirut by Israel in the Lebanon campaign (June 1982), the PLO moved its bases to eight Arab countries and its headquarters to Tunis (until 1993/94). In the Intifada that began on December 8, 1987it had to compete for leadership role with the Islamist organizations Hamas and Jihad Islami, which are more popular in the occupied territories. The Palestinian National Council proclaimed the State of Palestine in Algiers on November 15, 1988 and indirectly recognized Israel’s right to exist. This intensified the conflict with the Islamist groups in the occupied territories, but Arafat also found international support for the PLO’s change of attitude. Even the US subsequently recommended that Israel involve the PLO in peace talks, which Israel continued to reject. Arafat’s support for S. Husain the 2nd Gulf War in 1991 led to its international political isolation. Since the vital financial contributions v. a. In the absence of Saudi Arabia, the PLO was on the verge of ruin. In order to avoid this and to ensure that the PLO was the legitimate representative of the interests of the Palestinians, the leadership group around Arafat in 1993 agreed to the not undisputed compromise with Israel, both inside and outside the PLO.

After secret negotiations in Oslo, from August / September 1993 Israel and the PLO came to mutual recognition and on September 13, 1993 in Washington a framework plan for the long-term realization of the right of self-determination of the Palestinians (“Gaza-Jericho Agreement”) was adopted. On October 12, 1993, the PLO Central Council approved the agreement and appointed Arafat Chairman of the Palestinian (National) Authority, also known as the National Authority, in Gaza and Jericho. As part of the Taba Agreement of 1995, the PLO / Al-Fatah won the first elections to the Palestinian (autonomous or legislative) council in the autonomous areas on January 20, 1996 (50 of the 88 seats in the autonomous council) ; at the same time Arafat became elected President (“Rais”) of the Palestinian Authority (Autonomous or Legislative), in accordance with the Constitution of the Autonomous Areas of February 1994 for the transitional period up to the state proclamation planned for May 4, 1999. Since this was not possible until Arafat’s death in November 2004, he remained in office until then. The final status negotiations originally scheduled for 1996, which were supposed to lead to the state proclamation, had been refused by the Israeli government under B. Netanyahu. After the change of government to E. Barakon May 17, 1999, Israel again showed its readiness to negotiate with the PLO about the final status. On February 15, 2000 the PLO reached an agreement with the Vatican on an internationally guaranteed statute for Jerusalem. At the beginning of July 2000, the Central Council of the PLO authorized Arafat to proclaim a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank on September 13, 2000 unilaterally, if necessary after an agreement in principle with Israel had been reached. This unilateral state proclamation was then omitted to resolve the one at the Middle East Summit in Camp David (July 11-25, 2000; Barak and Arafat, mediator: B. Clinton) not to let an agreement on a final status contract that has not been reached finally fail. A new unilateral deadline until November 2000 was dropped for the same reason and because of the second or “Al-Aksa Intifada” that broke out at the end of September (sponsors in the early days mainly young people of Al-Fatah: Tanzim militias). After the renewed escalation in spring 2001, Israel declared the PLO and the Palestinian Authority to be jointly responsible for the terror in early December 2001. On December 13, 2001, the Israeli Prime Minister A. Sharon Arafat, from now on regarded as “no longer relevant”, under house arrest, where he remained almost uninterrupted until his death. In the spring of 2002, the Israeli government accused the EU of having helped finance the PLO’s violent resistance against the Israeli occupation with a substantial part of its funds going to the Palestinian Authority.

The question of Arafat’s successor at the head of the PLO was initially open. The rivals included v. a. Former comrades-in- arms of Arafat from exile who held important ministerial posts (above all Arafat’s former PLO general secretary M. Abbas, known as “Abu Mazen”, brief Palestinian prime minister from spring to autumn 2003), as well as younger leaders of the Tanzim militias involved in the Intifada have acquired social prestige. Abbas soon got into an internal power struggle with Arafat and resigned as Prime Minister in September 2003 because Arafat withheld control of the security services from him. According to Arafats Abbas died in November 2004 and took over the political leadership of both the PLO and the Palestinians (January 2005 election as President of the Autonomous Areas). In the second elections to the Autonomous Council on January 25, 2006, Al-Fatah only won a third of the seats, while Hamas received an absolute majority. This victory by the Islamists was also seen as a reaction of the middle class to the high level of corruption under Fatah rule. After consultation between Abbas and the Hamas leadership, the latter was able to determine the future prime minister (I. Hanija, in office from March 2006). Abbas then endeavored to form a unity government, which, however, could only be reached after a few setbacks at the beginning of February 2007 (confirmed by parliament on March 17, 2007 in separate sessions in Gaza and Ramallah and sworn in by Abbas) broke up after a civil war-like power struggle between Fatah and Hamas from May 2007 and the complete takeover of power in the Gaza Strip by Hamas in mid-June 2007. Abbas then appointed Salam Fayyad (* 1952) Prime Minister, but his de facto authority was limited to the West Bank. At the beginning of August 2009, a Fatah general congress took place for the first time in 20 years. He confirmed in an open vote Abbas headed it by an overwhelming majority and elected 18 members of the Central Committee and 80 members of the Revolutionary Council. In a policy paper, the delegates called for negotiations with the aim of a “just peace”, but also emphasized the “right to resist by all means” against Israel. In the period that followed, efforts to achieve a reconciliation with Hamas were in the foreground, but initially without resounding success. Salam Fayyad resigned in 2013 after tensions with Abbas. He was succeeded by Rami Hamdallah (* 1958). In 2014, Hamas and Al-Fatah were able to agree again on the formation of a Palestinian unity government and the holding of elections.

Palestine Liberation Organization

Visit Worth Seeing Cities in United Arab Emirates

Visit Worth Seeing Cities in United Arab Emirates

Here you will find study trips and round trips through the metropolises of the United Arab Emirates

Dubai

Visit Dubai as part of a tour or city break. The sightseeing program includes skyscrapers, spectacular amusement parks and luxury hotels, such as the world-famous Burj al Arab, Emirates Tower, Almas Tower, Burj Dubai, Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai Zoo, Wild Wadi Water Park, Wonderland, and much more Dubai offers other tourist attractions such as the Old Town District (Bastakiya), the Great Mosque, the Dubai Museum, the Museum Village – Heritage Village, the Jumeirah Mosque and the souks. Enjoy wonderful days on a city trip in the city of the future – Dubai!

Saadiyat

Island for leisure and luxury

At times the magic of the Orient can still be felt. Even in a country where luxury is obviously a matter of course and where the hotels see themselves as comfortable oases for the senses. The United Arab Emirates are something of a growth machine – a dream in the desert sands. But there is also the somewhat different Abu Dhabi. It is on the doorstep of the metropolis, embraced by the warm waves of the Persian Arabian Gulf: the island of Saadiyat.

On the doorstep of Abu Dhabi

The water taxi only has to cover half a kilometer from the port of Abu Dhabi. After five hundred meters, the visitor to Saadiyat enters an island that is as natural as it is artificial. It is 27 square kilometers in size, and it was not only created by heaped sand, but here there was still a mangrove belt on the coast several years ago. But the immediate vicinity of the power center of Abu Dhabi meant that Saadiyat changed face completely within a very short time. Today the small island presents itself as a refuge for leisure, luxurious well-being and of course for financial transactions of all kinds.

Cultural hotspot for Arabia

Manarat Al Saadiyat – Place of Enlightenment! Saadiyat’s planners gave the impressive visitor center this name. Among other things, the vision of a cultural hotspot in the Arab world is presented here. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum and the Zayed National Museum are to be built there. For this purpose, the pavilion that the United Arab Emirates built for the 2010 World Exhibition in Shanghai was dismantled. It should soon be taking up exhibitions and inviting people to all kinds of events.

Turtles as remnants of nature

World-class golfer Gary Player was the inspiration behind the design of the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, which is bordered by the island’s sandy beaches. There are already two five-star resorts: St. Regis and Park Hyatt. But a little bit of nature has remained: the hawksbill turtles still lay their eggs on the nine-kilometer-long beach.

Corniche

The “Corniche” promenade in Abu Dhabi, the capital of both the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates, runs directly on the Persian Gulf and is a special attraction. It is located in the northwestern part of the city, is about eight kilometers long and leads in an arch from the Emirates Palace Hotel and from the five Etihad Towers to the northeast to the Heritage Park near the Al Mina fish market and the Mina Zayed harbor. Opposite the Corniche is the elongated island of Al Lulu.

There are several ways to explore the Corniche: Visitors can take a taxi and marvel at the imposing tall buildings that house elegant hotels, banks and shopping centers. Those who prefer to be active themselves should avoid the midday and afternoon heat. Only when it cools down is the Corniche populated by walkers, skaters, runners and cyclists, for whom a separate area is provided. The Corniche is very popular with the residents of Abu Dhabi – especially in the evenings and on the weekend, which lasts from Friday to Saturday. The numerous parks, cafés, restaurants and shops along the boulevard are then well attended.

The “Corniche Beach” is the biggest attraction. In the summer months the water temperature is 30 to 32 degrees, the water is clean and the blue flag is blowing. The artificially raised and wide beach is four kilometers long, it starts at the Hilton Beach Club and ends near Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street. Much of it is open to the public, some sections are reserved for families and couples. Single men are denied entry here, but they are welcome on Al Sahil Beach and in all public sectors. Appropriate swimwear is essential, kisses and tender touches are not welcome, and it is forbidden to bring alcohol.

Visit Worth Seeing Cities in United Arab Emirates

Turkey Education and Culture

Turkey Education and Culture

The modern schooling system started by Mustafa Kemal and continued by his successors, is based on the European model. The arts represent themes of the Turkish tradition while showing Western influence. Radio and television have also reached rural areas, posing a threat to indigenous culture.

Education

At the time of the establishment of the republic, more than 90% of the population was illiterate; the new government introduced important educational reforms and the first Constitution established that elementary education was compulsory for all Turks and free in state schools. In 2005 the literacy rate was 87.6% of adults. Education is compulsory between the ages of 9 and 14.

In the year 2000, according to educationvv, 8,014,733 students were enrolled in 49,599 primary schools. The enrollment rate in secondary education was 79% and 28% in higher education.
Access to Turkish universities is extremely difficult; The main institutions include the University of Istanbul (1453), the Aegean University (1955) in Izmir, the University of Ankara (1946), and the Technical University of the Near East (1956), also in Ankara.

Cultural tradition

The Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet evolved from traditional poetry to new forms, with greater freedom in images and rhythmic devices.

The transition from Islamic cultural traditions during the Ottoman Empire (see Islamic Art and Architecture), towards a more western trend, has been gradually gaining relevance in the country. Today’s Turkish painters strive to find their own art form, free from Western influences. The sculpture is less developed and the public monuments are, in essence, heroic representations of Mustafa Kemal and warlike commemorations of the Turkish War of Independence.

Popular music is the source of inspiration for important symphonic works (see Music of Islamic countries).
The most recent Turkish poetry survives thanks to the epic poetry of the Manas, poems that have been passed from generation to generation through the years. The early mystical poetry written by Yunus Emre and other authors in the 14th century gave way to a poetic heritage called ‘couch poetry’; the most popular was that recited by minstrels, a tradition that has continued to this day. Most critics point to Kemal Tahit as the most important modern novelist. Other prominent authors are Yasar Kemal and the poet Nazim Hikmet.

Cultural institutions

In this intricate maze of vaulted pavilions, which began construction in 1459 and became a museum in 1924, collections of objects that belonged to Ottoman sultans are gathered.
Turkey has opera houses in Istanbul and Ankara, with an Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, three conservatories and a national folk music ensemble, in addition to several cultural institutions. Christian churches have been turned into mosques and those built by the famous architect Mimar Sinan are located in Istanbul, Edirne, Bursa and other cities.

The former palace of the Sultan, is today the Topkapi Museum, which brings together collections of objects that belonged to Ottoman sultans. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, located in Ankara, has among other valuable objects, with Hittite and Phrygian relics. Among the main libraries are the National Library in Ankara and the Beyazit State Library in Istanbul.

Media

Turkey has 588 daily newspapers, most of which are of low circulation; those with the largest circulation are the Cumhuriyet, the Sabah, the Hürriyet, the Milliyet and the Türkiye, all of them published in Istanbul. The country also has numerous weekly and monthly publications (688 in 2000). The government controls four national radio broadcasts and five television channels, although there are also several private radio and television networks. There are about 37 million radio sets and 30 million television receivers. The country has 263 telephones and 52 computer equipment in use for every thousand residents.

Main cities

Located on the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul is the main port and largest city in Turkey. The walls seen here are remnants of the original city built in 324 AD by Emperor Constantine I.
According to the 2007 census, the population of the main cities was 11,174,257 residents in Istanbul, 3,428,000 residents in the capital Ankara, 2,409,000 in Izmir or Izmir, 395,388 in Adana and, finally, 459,877 in Bursa. Other major Turkish cities are: Kars, Samsun, Mersin, Van, Edirne (former Adrianápolis), Elâzığ, Kırıkkale, Iskenderun, Isparta, Konya, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Maras, Adapazarı, Kayseri, Erzurum, Antioch and Antalya.

Official and spoken languages

The official language is the Turkish language. Furthermore, between 10 and 15% of the population speak their mother tongue, generally Kurdish or Arabic.

Religion

The Suleiman Mosque in Istanbul was built in 1550. The architect Sinan based his design on Byzantine churches, especially Hagia Sophia. The large central dome, on a square structure, opens onto small vaulted spaces with half domes as buttresses. The four pointed minarets, with balconies, are characteristic of the architectural style of late Islamic mosques.
Islam ceased to be the official religion in 1928. However, 99% of the population is Muslim, mainly Sunni, while the Shiites are in the southeast. Christians make up less than 0.1% of the total population. The Jewish community has about 20,000 members.

Turkey Education and Culture

Turkey Politics and Law

Turkey Politics and Law

Politics

According to the 1982 constitution, Turkey is a parliamentary republic. It is committed to the separation of powers as well as fundamental rights and obligations. In a referendum in 2017, however, according to the electoral commission, a narrow majority of voters voted for a far-reaching constitutional amendment that transformed the system of parliamentary democracy into a presidential system. Since the 2018 election, the President has been head of state and head of government at the same time and has extensive powers. He is directly elected for a term of five years (re-election possible once). If the parliament decides on new elections in the second legislative period of the president, the incumbent may run for office again, resulting in a term of office of up to 14 years. According to carswers, the office of Prime Minister is no longer applicable. The president, who is allowed to belong to a party, is the commander-in-chief of the military, appoints a number of vice-presidents to be determined by him, the members of the cabinet and high-ranking officials, all of whom he can dismiss at any time. He can issue decrees with the force of law and introduce the draft budget to parliament. The parliament with a five-year legislative period has 600 instead of the previous 550 members (active and passive voting rights from the age of 18) and is elected in the same election as the president. The latter can dissolve it and call new elections without certain conditions, but at the same time makes himself available for election. Control of the executive by parliament is hardly possible any more. but at the same time puts himself up for election. Control of the executive by parliament is hardly possible any more. but at the same time puts himself up for election. Control of the executive by parliament is hardly possible any more.

Administration

Turkey is strongly centralized. There are 81 provinces (İl), 30 of which are metropolitan regions (Büyükşehir Belediyesi), which are divided into districts (İlçe) and further into municipalities (Bucak). Each province has an elected provincial assembly. The prefects (Vali, also: Gouverneur) appointed by the interior minister at the top act as representatives of the central government as well as the respective provinces as local authorities. At the head of the district administration is the District Administrator (Kaymakam), also appointed by the Minister of the Interior. Mayors (Belediye) in the parishes and village chiefs (Muhtar) in the villages are elected by the people.

Administrative division of Turkey

Administrative structure (2018)
Province (capital) 1) Area (in km 2) Population (in 1,000) Residents (per km2)
Adana 13 915 2,220.1 160
Adıyaman 7 033 624.5 89
Afyon 14 314 725.5 51
Ağrı 11 470 539.6 47
Aksaray 7 570 412.1 54
Amasya 5 690 337.5 59
Ankara 24 521 5,503.9 224
Antalya 20 723 2,426.3 117
Ardahan 4 842 98.9 20th
Artvin 7 367 174.0 24
Aydın 7 851 1,097.7 140
Balikesir 14 299 1,226.5 86
Bartın 2,080 198.9 96
Batman 4,659 599.1 129
Bayburt 3 739 82.2 22nd
Bilecik 4 302 223.4 52
Bing oil 8 253 281.2 34
Bitlis 7 021 349.4 50
Bolu 8 320 311.8 37
Burdur 6 840 269.9 39
Bursa 10 422 2,994.5 287
Çanakkale 9 933 540.6 54
Çankırı 7 490 216.3 29
Çorum 12 792 536.5 42
Denizli 11 692 1,027.8 88
Diyarbakır 15 058 1,732.4 115
Düzce 2 567 387.8 151
Edirne 6 074 411.5 68
Elâzığ 8 455 595.6 70
Erzıncan 11 619 236.0 20th
Erzurum 25 323 767.8 30th
Eskişehir 13 842 871.2 63
Gaziantep 6 819 2,028.5 298
Giresun 6 832 453.9 66
Gümüşhane 6 437 162.7 25th
Hakkari 7 179 286.5 40
Hatay (Antakya) 5,828 1,609.8 276
İçel (Mersin) 15 485 1,814.4 117
Iğdır 3,588 197.4 55
Isparta 8 276 441.4 53
Istanbul 5 196 15 067.7 2 900
İzmir 12 012 4,320.5 360
Kahramanmaraş 14 346 1,144.8 80
Karabuk 4 109 248.0 60
Karaman 8 845 251.9 28
Kars 10 127 288.9 28
Kastamonu 13 153 383.4 29
Kayseri 17 043 1,389.6 81
Kilis 1 428 142.5 100
Kırıkkale 4,534 286.6 63
Kırklareli 6 278 360.8 57
Kırşehir 6 352 241.8 38
Kocaeli (İzmit) 3 612 1 906.4 528
Konya 38 873 2 205.6 57
Kutahya 11 977 577.9 48
Malatya 11 776 797.0 68
Manisa 13 096 1,429.6 109
Mardin 8 806 829.2 94
Muğla 12 851 967.5 75
Must 8 059 408.0 51
Nevşehir 5 379 298.3 55
Niğde 7 352 364.7 50
Ordu 5,952 771.9 130
Osmaniye 3 124 534.4 171
Rize 3,922 348.6 89
Sakarya (Adapazari) 4 838 1,010.7 209
Samsun 9 083 1,335.7 147
Şanlıurfa 18 765 2,035.8 108
Siirt 5,473 331.6 61
Sinop 5,792 219.7 38
Şırnak 7 152 524.2 73
Sivas 28 549 646.6 23
Tekirdağ 6 313 1,029.9 163
Tokat 9 958 612.6 61
Trabzon 4,664 807.9 173
Tunceli 7 432 88.2 12th
Usak 5,341 367.5 69
Van 19 299 1,123.8 58
Yalova 847 262.2 310
Yozgat 14 072 424.9 30th
Zonguldak 3 304 599.7 182
1) The names of the province and the capital are identical, unless otherwise stated.

Law

The judiciary is overseen by the Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors. The council consists of 13 members (6 appointed by the President, 7 elected by Parliament).

The structure of the ordinary jurisdiction has been in three stages since 2005. Courts of first instance are peace and district courts for civil and criminal matters as well as special courts such as B. Commercial, consumer, labor and family courts. Military jurisdiction was repealed with the constitutional reform that came into force in 2018. The newly established court of second instance will act as the court of appeal for all ordinary courts of first instance. The third and final instance is the Court of Cassation (Yargitay) in Ankara. The factual jurisdiction of the courts is in principle determined according to the value of the subject of the dispute. In each judicial district consisting of several provinces there is also an administrative and a tax court,

The legal system is characterized by two large reception processes. The first served to underpin the social and structural change from the Ottoman Empire to a western-oriented parliamentary republic whose main characteristics were secularismand the rule of law are. This process was initiated with the first constitution of the Turkish Republic (1924) and the adoption of the Swiss Civil Code, the first two books of the Swiss Code of Obligations, the Swiss Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy Act, the Civil Procedure Code of the Canton of Neuchâtel, the Italian Criminal Code and the German Code of Criminal Procedure in the years 1926 to 1929. A commercial code composed of elements from French, Belgian, Italian and German law came into force in 1926 and a maritime trade code composed largely of German law in 1929 (both merged and revised in the new commercial code of 1956).

The second reception process was caused by Turkey’s rapprochement with the EU. With the establishment of the Customs Union in 1996, Turkey had to revise or enact new laws, particularly in the area of ​​commercial law. But the major codes have also all been revised: the Civil Code (2002), the Code of Civil Procedure (2004), the Code of Criminal Procedure (2005) and the Criminal Code (2005). Most of the Commercial Code and the Code of Obligations were also revised. The death penalty has been abolished since 2006.

Turkey Politics

Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla (World Heritage)

Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla (World Heritage)

Dambulla has been an important Buddhist pilgrimage site for more than 2000 years. It has exceptionally well-preserved cave temples with over 150 Buddha statues and unique Buddhist wall paintings on an area of ​​over 2300 m². Highlights are the “Gods-King Cave” with the 14 m long reclining Buddha and the “Cave of the Great Kings” with a blessing Buddha.

Dambulla Golden Rock Temple: Facts

Official title: Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla
Cultural monument: in a gneiss rock five cave temples with Buddhist wall paintings on an area of ​​2326 m² as well as 157 Buddha statues, among others. “Divine King’s Cave” (Devarajalena) with a reclining Buddha filling the cave and the 48 m long and 15 m wide “Cave of the Great Kings” (Maharajalena) with a blessing Buddha, the wooden figures of the Bodhisattvas Maitreya and Avalokiteshvara and the images of the kings Vattagamini Abhaya and Nissankamalla as well as “Great New Temple” (Maha Alut Vihara) with the statue of the Kandy King Kirti Sri Rajasingha
Continent: Asia
Country: Sri Lanka
Location: Dambulla, between Kandy and Anuradhapura
Appointment: 1991
Meaning: An important pilgrimage site for more than 2000 years and the best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka with Buddhist wall paintings

Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla: History

103 BC Chr. Incursion of the South Indian Panca Dravides
100 BC Chr. proven origin
11./12. Century first phase of design
1187-96 King Kirti Sri Nissankamalla
18./19. Century second phase of the design
1747-81 Kandy King Kirti Sri Rajasingha, the innovator of Buddhism

Under the eyes of the Buddha

It takes a few seconds for the eyes to get used to the darkness and for the matt gold to become visible in the glow of weak light sources. The skin signals pleasant coolness, the nose perceives slightly musty cave air: first fleeting impressions when entering the rock temple. Seconds later they appear in all their glory like mystical greetings from bygone times: a larger than life, peacefully reclining Buddha, gold-shining Buddha statues in a lotus position and rock vaults artfully covered with tempera paintings. It seems as if one has suddenly entered the treasury of a palace through a secret door.

It is believed that it was King Nissankamalla in the 12th century who had the remains of the first temple from the second or third century BC restored and transformed into today’s beauty. In times of war, kings are said to have found refuge here again and again. According to tradition, coronation ceremonies were even held in the Dambulla caves.

Most of the tempera paintings that cover the “sky” of the caves are believed to be around a thousand years old in their current appearance. The opinions of experts on the age of the individual frescoes, which also show scenes from the life of Buddha – from the dream of the Mahamaya to the temptation by the demon Mara – nevertheless differ. Some experts assume that the most colorful tones were only applied at the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, they too date the oldest surviving frescoes at least half a millennium into the past.

In the first cave you come across the largest Buddha statue of the temple complex with a length of 14 meters. The founder of the religion rests here under the watchful eyes of his student Ananda with his eyes closed. The adjoining cave contains standing and seated Buddha statues, images of Hindu deities such as Saman and Upulvan, a Sinhala king who hid for a few years with the monks of Dambulla from the invaded South Indian Panca-Dravidae. The approximately seven meter high ceiling is decorated over and over with images of Buddha. In a large bowl, water is collected that drips from the cave ceiling – allegedly the cool water of an underground river that, according to legend, flows uphill, which does not dry up even in the dry season.

In Dambulla, strict attention is paid to the appropriate demeanor of visitors: no uncovered shoulders, no tourist legs wedged into shorts. But just in case you are prepared, as the strict temple guards have toga-like strips of fabric in subtle shades to cover unseemly nakedness.

Before you can find your inner peace in the Golden Rock Temple, you climb the long stairs to a height of around 122 meters. Particularly intrusive are the numerous monkeys who frolic on the stairs to the temple entrance and are notorious for stealing everything that is small and handy or that could be nutritious. Outside the sanctuary, traders and snake charmers have gathered, who every day hope for wealthy customers, because Dambulla is one of the tourist highlights of a trip to Sri Lanka according to carswers. Buddha seems omnipresent: you can feel this on the drive to Dambulla as well as on short taxi tours across the island. Again and again you see cars stopping in front of temples with their engines running. Drivers quickly jump out of their car and pause, if only for a few seconds, in devotion. sacrifice a coconut or donate a few rupees to get back on the road as soon as possible. “A prayer,” says taxi driver Chandra, “is a must. After all, everyone wants to be well protected on the go. ”If, for once, there is no Buddhist shrine in the immediate vicinity, a short prayer is said in a church or in a Hindu temple. This is also an expression of other religions that are tolerant of Buddhism.

Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla (World Heritage)

History of APEC

History of APEC

The then Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke took the initiative to form APEC. In 1989, the first ministerial meeting was held in Canberra, Australia. The six then ASEAN countries (see separate chapter on ASEAN) attended the meeting, as did the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

At the opening speech, Hawke explained with the cape aimed at the European Union, the EU, that one reason for the formation of APEC was to prevent the world from being divided into “defensive trade blocs”. That APEC does not intend to become a new protectionist EU, the members have clarified on several occasions since then.

The need to find more efficient and organized forms of the sharp increase in trade between North America and East Asia over the past two decades drove the organization’s formation. For the United States, it was important to try to remedy the growing deficit in trade, mainly with China and Japan. It also sought to reach agreement on the ongoing negotiations on freer world trade within the Uruguay Round of the GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which was replaced in 1995 by the World Trade Organization, WTO). It was hoped that the tough negotiations would be facilitated if the Pacific countries agreed on a common line.

The United States argued early on to link the major Asian economies – China, Taiwan and Hong Kong – to the organization and give it a firmer shape. However, the ASEAN countries were skeptical of attempts to strengthen APEC; they were partly afraid of undermining ASEAN’s position in the region, and partly worried about the idea that the USA would further consolidate its influence.

In an attempt to find a counterpoint to American influence, Malaysia in 1991 took the initiative to form a new economic organization without the United States as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The United States considered that the initiative threatened to split APEC and therefore launched an intensive counter-campaign in which both Japan and South Korea were exposed to strong pressure not to participate. An East Asian Economic Caucus was nevertheless formed in 1994, but it did not become the significant force that Malaysia had envisioned, but stayed with a group within APEC.

When APEC members eventually agreed to allow new members, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan joined the organization. The ministerial meeting in the South Korean capital, Seoul, in 1991 was attended by the three new members. However, Taiwan and Hong Kong (then another British crown colony, returned to China in 1997) did not have the same status as China, which was a prerequisite for the Chinese to approve their presence. Taiwan joins APEC under the name Chinese Taipei, the name of the island in China, and was also only given the right to send lower-ranking officials to APEC ministerial meetings. In 1993, Mexico and Papua New Guinea became members of APEC and in 1994 the membership was further expanded when Chile was also adopted. In 1998, Peru, Russia and Vietnam were also admitted to APEC.

According to shoppingpicks, APEC gained a firmer structure through the decision to set up a permanent secretariat at the 1992 ministerial meeting in Bangkok. However, plans for free trade cooperation progressed at a slower pace. At the Seattle meeting, many of the Asian countries were hesitant about the expert group’s proposal to introduce a free trade area in the Pacific region as early as 1996. But they agreed on a more general wording in which they expressed their desire to work for freer trade in the region. At the 1994 summit in Bogor, Indonesia, the APEC countries decided to form a free trade area by 2020; the more industrialized countries would have liberalized their trade as early as 2010.

At the Osaka ministerial meeting in Japan in 1995, the APEC countries took another step towards a free trade zone after agreeing on an action plan for trade liberalization. However, the negotiations stalled for a long time because the countries had different views, mainly in the field of agriculture. Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan were reluctant to allow foreign competition into their agricultural markets while large exporters of agricultural products – such as Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand – refused to allow exemptions. The lock-in only eased after a compromise was reached, which in short was based on the countries liberalizing at their own pace until a certain end date. However, at the Philippines’ ministerial meeting in November 1996, each member could present an individual action plan.

At the Manila Summit in November 1996, the Ministers of Economy decided that tariffs and other barriers to trade in information technology would be removed from the year 2000. When the Ministers met the following year in Vancouver, Canada, the major topic of discussion was the economic and financial crisis. It was also agreed to speed up the liberalization of trade on a voluntary basis, so-called Early voluntary sectoral liberalization, EVSL, in certain areas, including the fisheries sector, wood products, medical equipment, toys.

At the meeting in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur the following year, Japan refused to agree to reduced tariffs in the forest and fisheries sectors, which caused negotiations on reduced tariffs in the various EVSL areas to stall. It ended with the APEC members handing over the customs negotiations to the World Trade Organization, WTO. The work within the EVSL project was instead concentrated on reducing other types of barriers to trade as well as on economic and technical cooperation.

History of APEC

India Domestic Issues

India Domestic Issues

There are numerous domestic political challenges, the two most important of which have recently been in the Jammu and Kashmir region and building a temple in Ayodhya city:

Cashmere

In early August 2019, the Indian government lifted the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and divided into two union territories with restricted powers: Jammu and Kashmir on one side, Ladakh on the other. The Modi government wants to increase its access to the area that has been disputed between Pakistan and India since 1947. Modi thus implemented an old demand of the BJP. In order to avoid unrest, the new Jammu and Kashmir were also blocked from going out and communicating (e.g. Internet access or visits from domestic and foreign journalists). With this step, Modi allegedly wants to accelerate the economic development of Jammu and Kashmir and fight terrorism there. Pakistan has strongly criticized this move and brought the matter before the United Nations Security Council.

Ayodhya

In November 2019, the Supreme Court of India declared in a momentous ruling that a temple in honor of the god Rama may be built in the north Indian city of Ayodhya. The site on which the temple is to be built has long been disputed between Hindus and Muslims. It is said that the 16th century mosque, which was demolished by fanatical Hindus in 1992, stood there on the ruins of an originally existing Rama temple. The ruling is controversial but is expressly welcomed by the Hindu nationalists. The building of a new Rama temple in Ayodhya was also one of Narendra Modi’s central election promises.

According to Thereligionfaqs.com, there is a risk that violent unrest between Hindu and Muslim religious groups will be fueled by the judgment.

Corruption

As in many other countries, corruption is widespread in India. In an international comparison, the extent of corruption is at a high level (80th place out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perception Index 2019 by Transparency International) and comes last among the countries in the Asia / Pacific region. Even if the fight against corruption under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the main goals of government work, it has not yet been possible to systematically curb corruption in India.

In autumn 2010, what observers believe was the largest corruption scandal in the history of the Republic of India shook the country. The focus was on the former telecommunications minister A. Raja. Raja is said to have granted telecommunications licenses over the counter, resulting in revenue losses of an estimated 39 billion US dollars for the state. Most recently it became known that the well-known diamond dealer Nirav Modi is said to have defrauded the state-run Punjab National Bank by 1.43 billion dollars.

Regular corruption allegations against politicians from practically all parties show that corruption continues to be a social and highly political issue. The GAN anti-corruption portal offers a good overview of the various forms and the extent of corruption in India.

Human rights

Violent assaults against indigenous people and Dalits, violence against women and unpunished rape, millions of child laborers suffered millions of times, some of whom lead hard and short lives in debt bondage, or numerous attacks by the police are just a few examples of human rights violations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the US Department of State report.

Official crime statistics can be found on the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) website.

India Human rights

Press and other public media

Freedom of the press is protected by the Indian Constitution, but journalists risk their lives reporting on politically or economically sensitive issues. Recently there have even been murders of journalists critical of the government, most recently the journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot by unknown perpetrators in front of her house in Bangalore in the summer of 2017. Many therefore see press freedom in India at risk. India already ranks 142nd out of 180 countries in terms of press freedom. The Indian press is not free from corruption as there are strong links between the press, politicians and business leaders.

Media: What’s on in India?

In India there is a large number of newspapers, both in English and in the many regional languages, with an overall very large readership. In the meantime, an impressive number of English-language daily and weekly newspapers or political magazines from India appear on the Internet, reporting on current topics.

  • The Hindu
  • The Times of India
  • Hindustan Times
  • The Economic Times offers business news.
  • Frontline
  • Tehelka
  • Outlook India

Of course, there are many other newspapers and magazines in India that report in very different journalistic quality. The Wire is particularly recommended as an online medium.

Broadcasting is of particular importance for mass communication and entertainment. The television medium in particular has become a huge market for employment and advertising.

The number of Internet users is also increasing, to around 451 million per month in 2019, which puts it in second place worldwide behind China. The US news broadcaster CNN is even of the opinion that the future of the Internet lies in India. However, access to the Internet is subject to massive government restrictions. For example, Kashmir was without an internet connection for four months during the explosive political abolition of its special status. In 2018 and 2019, India even tops the list of countries that most frequently block access to the World Wide Web – 138 times in 2018.

Exotic Burma

Exotic Burma

Many Westerners have visited Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia in recent decades. Few, however, have discovered the exotic Burma, which is without a doubt one of the region’s most interesting destinations. Burma was closed and inaccessible for too long but has now opened up to the outside world. Foreign visitors can now take part in all the fantastic things that were previously so rare. The nature of Burma is spectacularly beautiful, the cultural treasures are endless and the people are extremely welcoming. The Burmese face a brighter future and want to share it with the world around them.

Exotic Burma 2

Although Burma is undergoing political change and ongoing internationalization, much of daily life still seems to be progressing at a slower pace here than elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Quiet curiosity in front of foreign visitors shines strikingly often. There is much that makes Burma the ideal destination for those who want to experience the beautiful and the different.

Burma borders India, China, Thailand and Laos and has since time immemorial absorbed impulses from these neighboring countries into a constant interplay between civilizations. However, there is something that makes Burma completely unique, despite the deposits from the traditions of neighboring countries. Travelers who have visited other Asian countries occasionally recognize themselves – but still do not. Join us on a journey that will take you to Asia’s probably most exciting and exotic country!

This is Burma, and it is very different from all the countries you know.
Rudyard Kipling

Day 1: Flight to Yangon (Yangon)
Flight to Yangon , Myanmar (Burma) largest city. Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Day 2: Arrival in Rangoon
We arrive in Yangon. We begin our journey with a city tour and visit, among other things, the Golden Sole Pagoda, the National Museum and the Shwedagon Pagoda – Rangoon’s main landmark and the city’s most famous pagoda. This is one of Burma’s most sacred places that every Burmese person wants to visit at least once in their life. You do not have to be a Buddhist to be filled with wonder at the beauty of the gold-plated pagoda. The rest of the day free time. The rest of the day you can rest after the long flight before we gather in the evening for a welcome dinner . Overnight in Rangoon. (Lunch and dinner.)

Day 3: Rangoon
After breakfast, transfer to the train station to take the local train Circular Train , a ring line that connects central Rangoon with the city’s suburbs. For a few hours we stay on board to experience everyday traffic and the colorful life of the people. We then visit a local tea house . The tea houses are important gathering places for ordinary Burmese and here we get to experience Burmese folk life in a genuine environment. In the afternoon we walk through some of Rangoon’s most picturesque neighborhoods. At Rangoon’s largest market, Bogyoke Aung San, or Scott’s Bazaar , you can shop for everything from precious gemstones such as rubies and sapphires to beautiful and inexpensive cotton clothing such as the traditional longyi hips. Overnight in Rangoon. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 4: Rangoon – Bagan
Early in the morning we take the domestic flight to Bagan. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, the royal city of Bagan was the region’s foremost seat of learning and religious practice. During this period a very large number of stupas, shrines, temples and monasteries were built here. The ruined city is located on a large plain in a bend of the Irrawwaddy river and together the magnificent ruins with their religious architecture form a fantastic sight. Some of the religious buildings still attract large numbers of Buddhist pilgrims. Today’s highlights include a visit to the shimmering Shwezigon Pagoda , known for its Buddha statues from the heyday of the Bagan Empire. We also visit the lively and colorful morning market in Nyaung U, a market which provides great photo opportunities and also an opportunity to meet and mingle with the locals and see how they feel in their lives. We end the day with a ride by horse and carriage through Bagan’s peaceful surroundings. During the tour we visit the Ananda Temple, known for its Buddha statues and old murals. Ahead of dusk, we finally wait for the moment when the sun sets over Bagan’s pagodas and temple ruins. Overnight in Bagan. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 5: Mount Popa – Bagan (Pagan)
In the afternoon we take a bus to the Burmese countryside. We visit an interesting monastery complex on top of Popa Taung Kalat (“Pedestal Mountain”)and from here you get a breathtaking view of the surroundings after first walking along a winding covered staircase from the sanctuary at the foot of the mountain (optional walk – there is also a bazaar area at the sanctuary to discover). Overnight in Bagan. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 6: Irrawaddy river cruise to Mandlay
In the morning we border the express boat that will take us downstream of the Irrawaddy river from Bagan to Mandalay. A journey that takes about 7 hours. During the cruise we get breathtaking views along the river and we meet families in fishing boats that glide by. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 7: Mandalay
Today a full day excursion awaits in Madalay’s surroundings. In Amarapura in the morning we witness the daily distribution of food to thousands of monks from the Mahagandayon Monastery and then continue to Sagaing , the spiritual center of Burma known for its many Buddhist monasteries. We end the day with a stop at the U Bein bridge – probably the world’s oldest and longest teak bridge. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 8: Mandalay
We make a boat trip to Mingun to visit the begun, but never completed construction of Pahtodawgyi – a half-finished brick pagoda from the late 18th century. The construction, if completed, would have become the world’s largest pagoda. Although much of Pahtodawgyi was destroyed during an earthquake in the 19th century, the ruins after the brick construction began on the river are an incredibly impressive sight. We return to Mandalay and arrive at the area at the foot of Mandalay Mountain with its many temple buildings. We see the Mandalay Palace where the last king of an independent Burma resided and the beautiful Shwendandaw Monastery built in teak. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 9: Mandalay – Inlesjön
We fly to the city of Heho. From here, the journey continues by bus to Inlesjön. On the way, we stop at Red Mountain Estate Vineyards & Winery and have the opportunity to taste something as exotic as Burmese wines in a fantastic mountain landscape. We are now in the vast highlands of Burma, which differ from the lowlands in many respects. Here you will find several of Burma’s many minority groups, of which the dominant ethnicity is the Shan people. After the wine tasting go to our hotel. Overnight at Inlesjön . (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 10: Inlesjön
Today a full day excursion by boat awaits on Inlesjön, beautifully framed by the rolling Shanberg Mountains. Here are pole house villages, floating markets and gardens anchored at the bottom with bamboo poles. Along the shores and on the lake you will also find the most exquisite temples and pagodas. During the boat trip, we do a beach break to see local crafts. The population living on Inlesjön consists for the most part of the Intha people who are devout Buddhists whose way of life is adapted to the conditions that the lake offers. Overnight at Inlesjön. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 11: Inlesjön – Ngapali
We leave Inlesjön and the highlands behind us to travel by air to the coastal strip at the Bay of Bengal. After a short transfer from Thandwe Airport, we arrive at the small seaside resort of Ngapali, known for its wonderful beaches, clean waters and tranquil atmosphere. In addition to sunbathing, swimming, fishing and snorkeling, it is possible to go exploring in the surroundings. There are several restaurants in the hotel and in the village to choose from. Overnight in Ngapali. (Breakfast)

Day 12 -13: Ngapali
Days for sun, swimming and relaxation. Overnight in Ngapali. (Breakfast)

Day 14: Ngapali – Rangoon
Transfer to Thandwe Airport and flight to Rangoon. The rest of the day free time. In the evening we gather for a farewell dinner. Overnight in Rangoon. (B)

Day 15: Rangoon
Transfer to the airport before returning home. Meals are included on the long-haul flight.

Exotic Burma

Round trip in China

Round trip in China

This is the trip for you who want to experience the most and best of China! You visit the capital Beijing and see here the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, the imperial city of Xi´an with the famous Terracotta Army, the vibrant world city of Shanghai, the garden cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou, the beautiful Guilin, experiences and places that together create a unique Chinese panorama! Have you planned to travel to China once in a lifetime then this is the trip for you!

Round trip in China 2

Day 1: Travel to China
Flight to Shanghai. Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Day 2: Shanghai
You land in the world city of Shanghai. There are more skyscrapers here than in most big cities in the world. It is advisable to start with a trip up one of the tallest skyscrapers, Jin Mao Tower. From the 88th floor you have a glorious view of Pudong and the beautiful promenade the Bund with colonial buildings. In the evening time to try Chinese cuisine. Overnight in Shanghai.

Day 3: Shanghai
Shanghai is only a few hundred years old, but there are still some old buildings and parks. We suggest first visiting Yuyuan Garden, a garden that a wealthy official had planted several hundred years ago. After seeing the Bund from above, it’s nice to walk here and enjoy the views of the Huangpu River and all the skyscrapers on the Pudong Peninsula. Then it’s shopping time for those who like this. Otherwise, it is very enjoyable to just stroll along the impressive pedestrian and shopping street of Nanjing Lu. The day may end with a breathtaking acrobatic performance with one of the famous Shanghai groups. Overnight in Shanghai.

Day 4: Shanghai – Suzhou
Museums are not just boring establishments with rows of objects. At the Shanghai Museum, considered one of the foremost in China, Chinese history and cultural history are served in a very interesting and captivating way. After the museum visit, you get on the bus and go to Suzhou, “Venice of the East”. Suzhou is a paradise for garden lovers. First, walk through the garden of the humble official and get an insight into what the Chinese think a garden should look like. Suzhou is also known for its silk production. During a visit to a silk manufacturing center, you get the opportunity to learn more about the silk’s path from silk butterfly, via cocoon, to finished raw silk. In the evening, a walk through the beautiful Nätmästaren’s garden is suggested and listening to classical Chinese music. Overnight in Suzhou.

Day 5: Suzhou – Hangzhou
In the low-lying landscape around Suzhou, there are plenty of waterways. During the bus journey to the destination Hangzhou, you stop in the small canal town of Tongli, where you take a boat trip, and then walk around among the picturesque houses. Once in Hangzhou, considered one of China’s foremost tea-growing districts, visit Longjing, the “Dragon Fountain,” where one of China’s most exclusive teas is grown. You get information about the background of tea cultivation and can also try different types of tea. Overnight in Hangzhou.

Day 6: Hangzhou – Guilin
In the city of Hangzhou lies the West Lake, praised for its beauty by generations of Chinese poets. A boat trip on the West Lake, and you get the opportunity to judge the poets’ views for yourself, before you fly on to Guilin. Overnight in Guilin.

Day 7: Guilin
In southern China, most of China’s rice is grown. During a full-day excursion to the major agricultural districts, you will get a good insight into the Chinese farmer’s cultivation efforts. At Mount Longsheng, “Dragon’s Backbone”, you can see with reverence how all the winding terrace plantations stretch for miles along the slopes. Here you will also meet several of China’s many minority populations. Overnight in Guilin.

Day 8: Guilin – Yangshuo
Down here in southern China there are also other scenery. During a four-hour boat trip along the Lifloden, we get to enjoy and admire the famous sugar top mountains that line the river during the journey. In the evening, there is an optional opportunity to see a lavish “River Show”, designed by the famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou. He was the one who directed the Olympic inauguration in Beijing in 2008! Overnight in Yangshuo.

Day 9: Yangshuo – Guilin – Xian
In the morning you have time on your own and can therefore take a little longer to eat breakfast. You also have time to explore Yangshuo. In the afternoon you go back to Guilin and on the way visit the famous Pipe Flute Cave with all its strange stalactite and stalagmite formations. In the evening you fly on from Guilin to Xi’an. Overnight in Xi´an.

Day 10: Xi’an
The city of Xi’an has more than six million inhabitants but still feels much smaller. For two thousand years, the city has been a cosmopolitan center. Buddhism is strong here, and there are several great shrines. You should visit the Great Wild Goose Pagoda to get a good insight into how Buddhism came to China. This is how a jade carving is visited, where raw jade stone is treated into exquisite works of art. The afternoon is dedicated to the highlight of the day, the 8,000-strong terracotta army. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Shi Huangdi, had his mausoleum built here, and after his death the tomb is guarded by these terracotta soldiers. In the evening free time. Overnight in Xi´an.

Day 11: Xian – Beijing
After breakfast, you board the new exciting and talked about ‘super train’ that started after Christmas 2012. This high-speed train connects several important cities in China, and you will travel for 4.5 hours from Xi’an to Beijing. The average speed is over 300 km / h! During the trip you can visit the varied Chinese landscape. After arriving in Beijing, a first visit is made to the Temple of Heaven. This impressive park with the large temple was built in the early 15th century. The emperors went here every year to ask for good harvests for the coming year. Overnight in Beijing.

Day 12: Beijing
Start the day with a tour of the world’s largest square, Tiananmen Square, with the surrounding buildings Mao’s mausoleum, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum and the Gate of Tiananmen. The next stop is the Forbidden City, the world’s largest palace complex and home to the emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties for nearly 500 years. Then it’s time for a little tour of some of Beijing’s remaining hutons, or old alleys. In the evening, there is a colorful Peking Opera, perhaps a party more for the eye than for the ear! (Optional) Overnight stay in Beijing.

Day 13: Beijing
Today it will be a full day trip in the surroundings of Beijing. You start at a factory for the production of cloisonné, typically Beijing handicrafts. Then you continue to the holy way, the way of the Spirits. Here you walk slowly and are reminded of how an emperor after death would be transported along this road to get his last rest in one of the Ming tombs. As the journey continues, it is noticeable that the mountains rise more and more and the road becomes more winding. At an altitude of 700-800 meters, you will soon get the first glimpses of the Great Wall of China, this remarkable building that was being completed for several hundred years, and which stretches over more than 6,000 kilometers! Overnight in Beijing.

Day 14: Beijing
After breakfast visit the Summer Palace. Afternoon free for own program. Overnight in Beijing.

Day 15: Return from Beijing
Transfer to the airport for return to the destination. Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Round trip in China

To Silk Road’s Samarkand

To Silk Road’s Samarkand

Join us on a tour that takes you to the heart of Central Asia and the legendary and magical Samarkand. During the tour we will also visit the Uzbek capital of Tashkent and the fabulous cultural cities of Khiva and Bukhara. You get the opportunity to discover a part of Asia with an exceptionally interesting cultural history, hospitable people and beautiful nature. The vast land area between East Asia and the Far East, which we today call Central Asia, has for more than two millennia served as an important link between East and West and has enabled long-distance transport between different civilizations and high cultures. The cities we visit were all important hubs in the network of caravan routes between China and Europe that is usually called the Silk Road. Long-distance merchants and various conquerors have left traces over the centuries and given rise to a fascinating cultural treasure that more and more travelers have begun to discover. We travel in small groups with Swedish-speaking tour guides.

To Silk Road's Samarkand 2

Day 1: Travel to Tashkent
Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Day 2: Tashkent
We arrive early in the morning at Tashkent International Airport. We are met by our local guide and go to the hotel. After lunch, our sightseeing tour of Uzbekistan’s capital begins. We start in the Old Town where we visit the Usaman Quran Museum which houses the world’s oldest Quran (600s). Then we see Tashkent’s famous monument dedicated to the victims of the great earthquake of 1966. The catastrophe hit Tashkent very hard and most of the city had to be rebuilt. We then visit Mustakillik Square (Independence Square) which before Uzbekistan’s independence in 1991 was called Lenin Square. The square is located in the heart of Tashkent and here you will also find the most important government institutions. During the tour, we get to see some of the city’s most famous buildings, including the Navoi Theater, largely built by Japanese prisoners of war in 1942-47, and the Uzbek Arts and Crafts Museum, which is a stunningly beautiful building originally erected as the residence of a wealthy Russian diplomat. We also have time for a visit to one of Tashkent’s impressive metro stations and a walk in the market area at the exciting and exotic Chorsu Bazaar. The bazaar is located under a huge dome-shaped roof that provides shade and contributes to the oriental atmosphere. There is no doubt that you are now in Central Asia! We end the day with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.) We also have time for a visit to one of Tashkent’s impressive metro stations and a walk in the market area at the exciting and exotic Chorsu Bazaar. The bazaar is located under a huge dome-shaped roof that provides shade and contributes to the oriental atmosphere. There is no doubt that you are now in Central Asia! We end the day with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.) We also have time for a visit to one of Tashkent’s impressive metro stations and a walk in the market area at the exciting and exotic Chorsu Bazaar. The bazaar is located under a huge dome-shaped roof that provides shade and contributes to the oriental atmosphere. There is no doubt that you are now in Central Asia! We end the day with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 3: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva
After breakfast we head to the domestic airport before the flight to the city of Urgench in southern Uzbekistan. From here we go to the nearby Khiva with an environment taken from “A Thousand and One Nights”. The city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990 and one could spend several days here just exploring all the palaces, majestic villas, mosques, minarets, mausoleums and other architectural masterpieces. The city was once an important station along the Silk Road. Here, in Khiva’s older city center, you can really feel the wings of history. Sometimes it is as if they have suddenly been moved centuries back in time. During the day we get to see the minaret Kalta Minor and Muhammad Amin Khan Madrasah, originally a university (madrasah) built in the middle of the 19th century by the prince (khan) who also got to name this amazing building. Since the Soviet era, however, the old university functions as a hotel. We also visit the Djuma Mosque (Friday Mosque), built in the late 18th century on the ruins of an earlier structure. The mosque is known for its ingenious architecture where over two hundred richly decorated wooden pillars support the beautiful wooden roof that allows sunlight to flow freely into the room. Then we visit Kunya Ark Castle, dating from the late 17th century. The castle served as the khan’s private residence and center for the exercise of authority. Within the beautiful palace area you will find, among other things, administrative buildings, harem homes, courtyards and a mosque. We continue to the Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, which is the Khiva Khans’ last resting place. The tomb monument with its green dome and fantastic mosaics is generally considered to be one of the most beautiful building complexes in the city. Then we visit Khiva’s highest minaret Islam Khodja and then end the day with a visit to Tosh Havli which was once the harem where the khans could meet their official wives and harem ladies. Overnight in Khiva. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 4: Khiva – Bukhara (450 km)
After breakfast we travel by bus to the city of Bukhara through the Kyzylkum desert. For centuries, this barren landscape formed the border area with the endless expanses of the north populated by various nomadic peoples. During the trip you will see Amu-Darja which is one of the most important rivers in Central Asia. We arrive in Bukhara in the afternoon. Jewel Bukhara is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia and houses some of the region’s foremost masterpieces in architecture and is often associated with the greats of past times in science and poetry. Over the centuries, Bukhara developed into one of the most important hubs for culture, education, and religious practice throughout Central Asia. There is a famous saying in Bukhara that reads: “The light shines from Heaven all over the world,

Day 5: Bukhara
After breakfast, a city tour awaits. We start the day by visiting the mausoleum of the Samanids built of brick laid in fantastic geometric patterns and formations. The monument was built in the late ninth century and is one of the oldest Muslim monuments in Central Asia. It is also the only monument from the Persian Samanid dynasty that has survived the test of time. We then visit the religious complex Poikalon known for its beautiful minaret from the 12th century and magnificent mosque from the early 16th century. In the morning we also visit Ulugbek Madrasah, a high seat of education built in the early 15th century on the orders of the enlightened sultan Ulugbek (grandson of the last great Mongol conqueror Timur Lenk). Ulugbek had a great interest in astronomy and mathematics and wanted Bukhara to also become a center of science. In the afternoon we visit one of the most elegant trading places in Bukhara – Tim Abdullakhan. The domed indoor market was built during the latter half of the 16th century and here once long-distance Afghan merchants sold their precious silk and wool. Today, Tim Abdullakhan is known for his sales of Central Asian rugs. We also have time to visit the Maggoki Attori Mosque (today a carpet museum), built in the 10th century on a site where there used to be a Zoroastrian temple. Before the dinner, which consists of local delicacies, we see a traditional music and dance performance in a medieval madrasah. Overnight in Bukhara. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 6: Bukhara
After breakfast we first visit the Chor Minor Madrasah, built in 1807 by the Turkmen merchant Khalif Niyazkul. We then head to Sitorai Mohi Hosa which was the last palace of Emir Alim Khan. The architecture is a playful mix of both Russian and Central Asian elements, typical of the early 20th century. Before lunch we also visit Bukhara’s synagogue (the city still has a small Jewish congregation). The afternoon is open to discover the city on your own or maybe just take it easy. Overnight in Bukhara. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 7: Bukhara – Samarkand (250 km)
After breakfast we take a bus to Samarkand. During the journey there, we visit a potter in the city of Gijduvan who is known for his ceramic production. We are expected to arrive in Samarkand at lunchtime and head to the hotel to check in. We are now in the magical Samarkand. For centuries, the city has been invaded by foreign powers attracted by the city’s wealth. Alexander the Great, Arab conquerors, Mongol chiefs Genghis Khan and Timur Lenk have all left their mark. During today’s tour, we see, among other things, Registan Square, which was the official center of the Timur kingdom. Here you will also find three famous madrasahs – Ulugbek, Sher Dor and Tillya Kari. Overnight in Samarkand. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 8: Samarkand
After breakfast we visit Gur Amir which is the mausoleum of the Timurid dynasty where among others Timur Lenk (the founder of the dynasty) is buried. The monument has a fantastic dome adorned with mosaics in blue tones. The building is built in a unique style where Persian and Mongolian elements are mixed. We also visit the Shahi Zinda complex which consists of more than twenty different mausoleums and tombs from different eras. After lunch, we visit a tissue paper manufacturer that still produces its paper in the traditional way. We end the day with a visit to Ulugbek’s observatory from the early 15th century. The observatory was once considered one of the foremost in the world. Overnight in Samarkand. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 9: Samarkand-Tashkent
After breakfast, we visit the Bibi Khanym Mosque, which is the largest of the buildings Timur Lenk had built in his capital. Then we go to the famous market at Siab Bazaar and get some time for shopping on your own. We then go to the train station to take the high-speed train “Afrosiab” to Tashkent. Farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Tashkent. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 10: Tashkent – Sweden
After breakfast transfer to the airport before returning home.

To Silk Road's Samarkand

Shopping and Eating in Tokyo, Japan

Shopping and Eating in Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the country of Japan.

Shopping in Tokyo

Shoppers can head to the Akibahara district, a neon-lit futuristic-looking area that is first and foremost worth visiting for its many electronics stores with a particularly good selection of the latest screams of all kinds of electronic dupe dits. (It is worth noting that the Japanese VAT is deducted at the spot, so you usually do not need to fill out a refund form upon departure. However, the passport must be brought with purchases over 10,000 yen, about $ 500.)

So bring Shinjuku, where you can see classic Japan. There are large parks with Shinto temples and botanical gardens, and close by are shopping areas and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building with a free and beautiful view, where you can see Fuji Mountain during the day. (Unless the smog is too dense, and it often does.) The view in the evening, however, is even more impressive.

Eating in Tokyo

Food in Tokyo, Japan

Japanese food is more than sushi! It is a dream to eat food in Tokyo defined by AbbreviationFinder. But an expensive dream. There are so many good restaurants that you can hardly imagine. That is not to say too much when we say that Tokyo is the world’s new gourmet capital. And it is more than the food that makes us tourists open their eyes and mouths. Unknown kitchen utensils look both exotic, exciting and elegant. Be it bottles and jars for oil, sauce, drinks (e.g. sake) or baskets, knives or rice barrels.

It is very expensive with meat in Japan. So in Tokyo, the capital of Japan described on Countryaah. That’s why a lot goes on in fish, vegetables, rice and noodles. If you want something other than fish, then eat chicken, preferably at an Indian restaurant. Otherwise, there is a noodle shapper on every other street corner.

The problem for first-time tourists is that much of the food looks unknown. And you don’t necessarily understand that much of the posters and information at the restaurant either. What you will notice is that many of the restaurants specialize in a type of taste or special dishes. Of course, in such a large city as Tokyo, there are many restaurants that cater to Western cuisine, such as Italian, French, German and so on. And of course you will find Chinese restaurants here like anywhere else in the world. However, try Japanese food, so know that some of the most common and widely available specialties are:

Sushi restaurants and Sashimi restaurants offer rice and raw fish. These are dishes we think most people have now come to know from their own homeland. Sushi restaurants have taken the world by storm in recent years.

Bento is the name of lunch bars that give you cheap and easy food in a box. The variety in dishes is great and you will surely find something you like

Tempura restaurants are restaurants that offer deep-fried dishes. The food is meat, fish and vegetables. If you order teishoku, you get the special of the day.

Fugu restaurants are for you with special food interest and / or strong nerves. Fugu is perhaps the most dangerous dish in the world, since improper cooking can result in the death of the person eating the fish. Only very special Fugu chefs are allowed to prepare their food. Some of the most accomplished chefs allow the dish to include a very small portion of the poison, so you as a guest feel a tingling on the tongue!

Curry restaurants with ancestry from India can be found in Tokyo. Here you come for strong meat dishes and vegetable dishes, without us in any way saying it’s as spicy here as in the country of origin.

Drinking in Tokyo
Most Japanese people are far from abstinent people, and are they drinking more than you might expect? There is plenty of beer to drink, as well as the ubiquitous glass of sake. Sake is considered to be the rewriting of spirits, and is found in a myriad of variants. Japanese beer is very good and you do not have to replace these with well known beer brands from Europe if you do not absolutely have a Guinness then.

We also recommend that you taste an Awamori which is a rice liquor that differs from traditional sake.

A little fun additional information is that you will find a solid selection of sports drinks in Japan. And relax, you don’t have to work out to taste a taste of these. Find your favorite! And you also have to taste Japanese tea, green of course. You get it at all restaurants.

Restaurant
Areas Daikanyama is the area where you will find the hippest cafe culture in Tokyo. You can easily get here by taking the train from Shibuya. Specifically, one stop.

The Tsukiji Fish Market Tsukiji
is probably the closest a sushi mecca a human can come. The location is not far from Ginza. Here is more than fish, including vegetables, fruits and meat. This is a place you just have to visit. The tuna auction starts before 6:00 in the morning. So show up early if you want to have it with you.

Odaiba
So visit Odaiba. Odaiba is located on Tokyo Bay and is a “new” area southwest of Tokyo where shopping and food are on the agenda.

Shopping and Eating in St. Petersburg, Russia

Shopping and Eating in St. Petersburg, Russia

According to AbbreviationFinder, St. Petersburg is one of the largest cities in the country of Russia.

Shopping in St. Petersburg

It is strange to think that a few years ago there was almost nothing to buy in St. Petersburg, and the residents had to stand in one queue for milk, another queue for vegetables and a third queue for hygiene items. In recent years, there has been a much better selection of goods, and now you find the same international chains in St. Petersburg as you do in most western metropolitan areas.

Souvenirs

Tourists often buy products such as balalaika, samovar, porcelain, icons, fur hats and varnish cabinets. But the biggest favorite is probably food scraps, these hollow wooden dolls of ever smaller size inside each other. Traditionally, dolls represent babooshchkas, old wives, but in recent and modern variants, Russian presidents, footballers, Simpsons or Harry Potter figures are just as common.

There is a large souvenir market with about thirty stalls just north of Spas Na Krovi Church, and a smaller one in front of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, where you can buy everything you need from Russian gift items and souvenirs. And remember that it is both allowed and smart to bargain as best you can.

It may be tempting to buy real Russian caviar with you while in Russia, but keep in mind that there are clear limits on how much caviar you can take with you out of the country, and that caviar is a fresh product. If it has been in the sun at a souvenir shop on the street, you have no guarantee that it is edible before you are home. If you find the caviar for something less than 250-300 NOK for a box (usually 112 grams), it is probably either out of date or a synthetic caviar copy. If you want to be sure, buy fresh caviar from a supermarket on your departure day.

Shopping centers in St. Petersburg

Of course, if you prefer shopping under one roof, there are several shopping centers and department stores in such a large city as St. Petersburg. On the main street of Nevsky Prospekt, at No. 35 with its own metro station, lies one of the world’s oldest, which dates back to 1757. Bolshoi Gostiny Dvor stretches over 53,000 m², and despite its age, is one of Eastern Europe’s most modern and fashionable shopping malls. The website is only in Russian, but there are plenty of clothing stores for men, women and children, toy stores, sports shops, jewelers and booksellers.

In the same street, Nevsky Prospekt 48, is the Passage Trading House, with many stores selling fashion clothing, antiques, household goods, jewelry, souvenirs and electronics. And apropos of antiques, you must be aware that it is virtually impossible to get items older than a hundred years legally out of the country. But if you visit the store with the “original” name Antique Shop (in the backyard of Nevsky Prospect 51), you can at least bring with you props from the Soviet era, such as icons, statuettes, posters and the like.

In general about shopping in St. Petersburg

Please note that in most cases the price level of imported articles is not much lower than in Norway. Not all stores take credit cards either, so it may be okay to bring enough cash on your shopping trip.

The opening hours of the shops vary, but several stores in the center are open from 1000 to 2000 every day. Some are open even longer. The shops close earlier on Sundays. For the vast majority of goods there is a 20% sales tax, but in Russia there is no system for refunding VAT at the airport as in Western Europe. Admittedly, there are some duty-free shops for tourists in the city center and at the airport, but it must be said whether it is actually any less expensive for that reason.

Eating in St. Petersburg

Food in St. Petersburg, Russia

Although St. Petersburg is the city in Russia that is most influenced by Western cultures and is only two hours by plane from Norway, the city seems exotic and alien with amazing churches with loop domes and Cyrillic letters. There are no modern skyscrapers here, but hundreds of bridges over idyllic canals.

St. Petersburg is a very young city, which recently celebrated its 300th anniversary. The city was the main seat of the Russian Tsars, and from here they ruled their vast empire. As the cultural capital of Russia, St. Petersburg has a very dramatic history that we strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with before traveling. The story includes intrigues, murders, sieges and revolutions.

St. Petersburg is not an easy city to be a tourist in, since most of the information and street signs are written in Cyrillic letters, as well as unscrupulous taxi drivers without a taximeter. But if you take the challenge, you will undoubtedly have many memorable experiences in Russia’s imperial city.

Shopping and Eating in Singapore

Shopping and Eating in Singapore

Singapore is one of the countries in the continent of Asia. defined by AbbreviationFinder

Shopping in Singapore

The merchant will be able to go completely crazy in Singapore and clear his account in one afternoon. And those of us who have aversions to shopping malls and markets are facing heavy days.

Singapore is probably more famous for the selection than for the prices, but you can still shop for items like fashion clothing, electronic items and jewelry. It’s teeming with pirate goods, though, so if the prices seem too good to be true, that’s probably exactly what they are.

Singapore’s premier shopping street is Undoubtedly Orchard Road, where you will find large shopping centers close by. The area is probably more expensive and more exclusive than the rest of the city, but the selection and quality are not many people complain about. Most major designer stores like Armani, Gucci and Calvin Klein can be found in the Hilton Shopping Center, or across the street in the Palais Renaissance.

The largest of the shopping centers is Ngee Ann City, with more than a hundred specialist stores (at Orchard Road 391) as well as it also includes the flagship Takashimaya, which is a huge Japanese department store, see image first in the article.

In Chinatown you will find countless small shops offering souvenirs, jewelry, herbs and medicines, food and clothing. Especially in the streets of Trengganu Street and Smith Street it is teeming with offerings.

Little India stands out with spices, jewelry, crafts and fabrics, especially in Serangoon Road and the side streets. Here you will also find the large Mustafa shopping center, open 24 hours a day, which mainly sells electronic articles at fixed low prices. The address of Mustafa shopping center is at 145 Syed Alwi Road.

Also very popular is Sim Lim Square in 1 Rochor Canal Road, a four-storey shop at Bugis Junction that sells affordable data, photo equipment, music systems, camcorders and other electronic items. They also have a solid selection of affordable but pirated CDs and DVDs.

A general about shopping in Singapore

A few tips in the end: Check that the products you buy can actually be used in Europe. Many articles are adapted to their own Asian systems or power. International guarantee certificates are important to bring, with stamp, product number and date. Singapore has a VAT of only 5%, but this can be refunded at the airport upon departure. And if you are in town during the period May / June, you will get super sales, with most stores cutting their prices by up to 70% to make room for new items.

Eating in Singapore

Food in Singapore

Singapore’s multinational melting pot has brought the best of both Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, Arabic and European food traditions. In addition, you will find hundreds of new and exclusive restaurants of most nationalities.

Singapore also offers cheap, satisfying and varied cuisine at the various outdoor booths you will find throughout the city. In many places you will find so-called food halls, with many kitchens gathered under the same roof, where you can walk around and pick what you want and put yourself in a common dining area.

Here you can eat well and saturated for a cheap money while choosing and wasting a variety of both exotic and well-known dishes. An example is the image above. It’s from the basement of the huge Ngee Ann City shopping center in Orchard Road.

In Little India you will find the best in Indian food, in Chinatown this is the Chinese food that applies and in “Arabia” you get food from the Middle East. Otherwise it is no problem to find all types of kitchens around the city center or downtown. on the island of Sentosa.

The Banana Leaf Apolo

If you want to try something truly culturally authentic and want a colorful dining experience, maybe the South Indian restaurant The Banana Leaf Apolo at Race Rouse Road 54, in Little India, is for you? Here, curries and sambal, fish, seafood and vegetarian dishes are served on thick banana leaves, and you eat with your fingers. Most dishes cost a few bucks, and the service is brilliant, although the premises themselves may have some cafeteria fare.

The Raffles and Empire Lounge

At the other end of the scale, you can try some of the most elegant in Singapore. Travel to The Raffles, the world-renowned hotel in 50 Raffles Place, where lifelong masters are closely watching as you eat lobster or pigeon breast and noble French red wine in the light of large crystal chandeliers. Sure it is expensive, but the quality is difficult to surpass.

Drink in Singapore

Perhaps because of the Western influence coming from the British government for over a hundred years, Singapore has not established any tradition of wine. You can of course buy wine at better restaurants, but it is relatively expensive, since it is almost always imported.

The British, on the other hand, have managed to leave their pub culture, where workers go out after work and make a few pints. For that reason, there are often Happy Hour in the pubs in the time between noon. 17 and 20.

There are countless English and Irish pubs in Singapore, with a good selection of beers on bottles and barrels.

Shopping and Eating in Shanghai, China

Shopping and Eating in Shanghai, China

Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the country of China.

Shopping in Shanghai

Shanghai’s people see themselves as the most modern and shopping gal of all Chinese. And a modern metropolis like Shanghai defined by AbbreviationFinder is by no means behind the major European cities in terms of shopping opportunities. Brands are just as expensive in China as elsewhere in the world. Copy products are of course cheap. Chinese products, whether clothing or anything else, are of good quality and have a nice design, and prices are far lower than for European and American products.

The major shopping streets are Nanjing Lu and Huaihai Lu. Here you will find everything from shops and shopping centers. The most famous shopping centers are the Hualian department store in Nanjing Donglu Street. The center is known for its many products in the lower price ranges. Another well-known mall is the No 1 department store. This too has products at low prices. In Nanjing Xilu Street, you will find the most exclusive centers, such as Plaza 66. Perhaps the largest shopping center can be found in Pudong, right by the TV tower, in Zhengda Guangchang Street. The center is called the Superbrand Mall and is funded by Thai business interests.

Silk and porcelain
Silk and porcelain are two Chinese specialties. Porcelain can be purchased at the Shanghai Museum. It’s easy to get fooled in souvenir shops around town, so the museum shop is a good choice. Here you will find high quality products at reasonable prices.

You can buy silk at the silk market in Dong Jia Du Lu (Dong Jia Du silk market). The market is located in Nan-Shi district and is not easy to find, so take a taxi. Here there is always life and stir. There are many providers and you will find all types of silk products. Several sites recommend these outlets: Nos. 5, 70, 72, 121, 159 and 170. Another place you can buy silk is at the “Silk King Market” in Tianping Lu, in the French Concession area. This market is more efficient and modern than the Dong Jia Du market. Opening hours are at 0900-2100.

Antiques and Souvenirs in Shanghai
There are many shops selling souvenirs around Shanghai. We recommend calligraphy posters and teapots as souvenirs. Visit Old Town (Chinatown), where it is teeming with providers of this kind of product.

There is an antique market on Fangbang Zhonglu Street in the Old Town, where there is a lot of life on Sundays. The market is called Fuyou Antique Market. A more expensive alternative is the Shanghai Antique & Curio Store in Guangdong Lu Street. This is a specially crafted tourist trap with lots of antiques and souvenirs.

Eating in Shanghai

Food in Shanghai, China

Shanghai has not traditionally been known for its food, but in recent years the quality of its restaurants has increased significantly. As in other major cities, all the world’s cuisine is represented, but we think you should try Chinese food when you are first in China. China’s different regions have their specialties, and you will find restaurants for all these specialties in Shanghai.

A restaurant chain that offers Cantonese cuisine is Bifengtang. Here there is affordable food for high quality. If you want Shanghai specialties, try the restaurant 1221. Examples of local cuisine include crab, steamed beans, cooked pork and chicken and duck blood soup. The soup is said to be very healthy and should strengthen the body. It tastes (actually) good.

You buy cheap food at the Chinese fast food chains, of which there are many. In Shanghai, it is eaten “everywhere and all the time”, and it is easy to find snacks and snacks, whether it is corn cob or seafood. Almost all shopping centers have such simple restaurants. Be careful with some of the simple kiosks on the sidewalks. Norwegian stomachs may not tolerate all food equally well. Yunnan Lu is a dining street with many restaurants. It is located just off Renmin Square.

When visiting a Chinese restaurant, we recommend that you serve different Chinese dishes. Then you can pick what you like best and at the same time get an overview of different dishes. China has an incredible variety of dishes, and most of them are very tasty.

Chinese wine is quite good and we recommend you try it. One of the better Chinese wines is called Great Wall. It may not be the same as what you are used to at home, but it is a fun alternative and much cheaper than European wine, for example. Chinese food and wine may not be the most common combination. Beer, on the other hand, can be a good alternative. Chinese beer is very good and drinkable by “everyone”. It is not usually very strong (less than 4%). The best brands (at least the most popular ones) are Tsingtao, Yanjing and Beijing Beer.

Special restaurants

T8
Restaurant is located in Taicang Lu. It is considered among the world’s 50 best restaurants. The kitchen serves Asian cuisine with Asian influence.

Lulu Restaurant
It is located on Nanjing Xilu Street on the 6th floor of Plaza 66 and is reputed to be one of the best in Shanghai cuisine. Here you get everything!

M on the Bund
The M on the Bund restaurant is recommended by all travel guides. It is located on the 7th floor of the Huaxia Bank building. The view from the terrace is great and the place is popular. Bookings are required in good time.

Shopping and Eating in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Shopping and Eating in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

According to AbbreviationFinder, Phnom Penh is one of the largest cities in the country of Cambodia.

Shopping in Phnom Penh

Asia is always a winner if you have the “dilla” on shopping. And Phnom Penh in Cambodia is no exception. In recent years, shopping has become much better. And the products are both cheap and of good quality. And then it is exotic to shop here then.

General about shopping in Phnom Penh

The most fun thing is to go to one of the big markets in the Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia described on Countryaah. An increasing number of stores accept credit cards, but if you want to use cash, this is obviously not a problem. ATMs are now commonplace in Phnom Penh. Prices are often quoted in US dollars and stores gladly accept that currency. And the ATMs are just as happy to pay out dollars.

You don’t usually bargain in larger shops and shopping malls. In local markets and smaller shops, however, “negotiations” about the price are common between the seller and the customer.

Be careful if you are buying jewelry or antiques. There is the danger of being fooled. However, it is not if you want a tailor made outfit when you are first in Phnom Penh. Most tailors here can do whatever it is. The local tailors are not as used to tourists as those who work in shops, but the goodwill is great. They have a lot of knowledge and can copy almost anything if the favorite outfit starts to wear a little.

Markets in Phnom Penh

The night market is relatively new and intended for tourists and visitors. Here you will find a large selection of silk, crafts, small tips and souvenirs. Almost everything sold here is made locally and not imported, and it is worth appreciating.
opening hours 5 pm to midnight, Friday-Sunday.

The address is: Preah Mohaksat Treiyani Kossamak (0.6 km from Wat Phnom)

The Russian market dates from the early 1980s when most of the tourists in Phnom Penh came from Russia. The market has a large selection of souvenirs, crafts and is the best market in the city if you are looking for clothes and fabrics. Yes, not just that. The Russian market in Phnom Penh is a huge tourist attraction too!

The address for the Russian market in Phnom Penh is Street 155, south of the city. The locals call the market for Phsar Toul Tom Poung and “everyone” knows where it is.

Central Market in Phnom Penh was once the largest market of them all Asia. Opened in 1937, it has a unique Art Deco style and serves as a landmark in Phnom Penh. The locals call the market for Psah Thom Thmey. Opening hours are 0700 to 1700 every day. The address is Kampuchea Chrome, 128 Street.

Shopping center in Phnom Penh

Sorya Shopping Center (see picture first in the article) is located near the “Central Market” in Phnom Penh and offers 8 floors with various shops. In 2016, the center will be refurbished for reportedly $ 5 million (which is a lot of money here). Sorya Shopping Center targets tourists as much as locals. Address: 11-13 Preah Trasak Paem Street.

Eating in Phnom Penh

Food in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Cambodian food (Khmer) has great similarities to other South Asian food with dishes of curry, fish, noodles and rice. The only significant difference is that the food you serve here is rarely strong. In addition to the local food, there is a large selection of barbecue, soups and foods with French and American influence.

If you want to try a popular traditional dish, Amok is worth a try. Here you get fish cooked in coconut and curry served in a fresh coconut!

A dinner at a restaurant costs from 20 NOK and up, and a beer around a five. If you want to do a good job while eating a fabulous good meal, visit the Friends restaurant, run by an idealistic foundation. Most people who work at the restaurant are rehabilitated street children. Friends are located just behind the National Museum, at 215 Street 13.

Here is a selection of other restaurants in Phnom Penh:

Bai Thong has white tablecloths and fantastic service. Here you will be served French cuisine, authentic Thai, Vietnamese and traditional Khmer cuisine.
Address: # 100-102, Sothearos

Tell is Phnom Penh’s oldest family-run restaurant and is very popular. Here you can eat good Asian dishes as well as Swiss and German specialties. Good service and nice surroundings.
Address: # 13, 90th Street,

Aria D’Italia Pizzeria has the best pizza in town!
Address: # 9, 254 Street

Chocolate by The Shop has lovely Belgian chocolate, made in Cambodia. Here’s everything you could want from coffee, cakes, teas, ice creams and milkshakes.
Address: # 35, 240 Street

Café Samen has authentic Khmer food and is located right on the Russian market. The restaurant also serves Western cuisine.
Address: # 26AEo, 446 Street

Shopping and Eating in New Delhi, India

Shopping and Eating in New Delhi, India

According to AbbreviationFinder, New Delhi is one of the largest cities in the country of India.

Shopping in New Delhi

In New Delhi, you can generally get mostly between heaven and earth at very good prices, although imported articles are rarely particularly affordable than in Europe. In New Delhi, the capital of India described on Countryaah. you will find exclusive, state-of-the-art shopping malls with all the well-known brand stores, and street markets with live animals, vegetables, flowers, spices and souvenirs.

The city’s inhabitants are frequent users of the markets. Chandni Chowk is one of the most famous. It is located in Old Delhi and is really considered a wholesale sale to shop owners. Here, mainly fresh produce, such as meat and fish, fruits, vegetables and flowers are sold. Factories are sold in rolls, spiced in hectares and rice in fifty silk bags.

If you shop at one of the modern shopping centers, the prices are relatively high, taxable and fixed. Besides, the product range is about the same as in Europe, and you miss the fun of India’s unofficial national sport, which is haggling. But by all means, prices are still significantly lower than in Europe.

Among the merchandise that most tourists come home with is craftsmanship, often ornate wooden boxes of various sizes, from jewelry boxes to larger chests. Rugs can be another bargain, often in the same style as the more well-known Persian or Turkish rugs. But beware; It is easy for an inexperienced buyer to be fooled. All of silk and other fabrics are considerably cheaper than in Europe, and of course precious metals such as gold and silver.

Most tourists want great fun shopping at Dilli Haat in southern New Delhi. Here you will find clothing and fabrics from all over India, jewelery and crafts, souvenirs and food at very good prices. The atmosphere here is considerably less stressful and hurried than in the central markets.

Many of the bazaars have their specialties. If you are interested in clothing, take the course for Paharganj or Sarojini Nagar. At Janpath Market you can shop for jewels and jewelery, souvenirs and juggles. At Sunder Nagar Market you will find antique dealers. Please note that any item older than 100 years requires special permission from the Indian government to be legally brought out of the country. Make sure you get the necessary documentation if you buy something here.

Eating in New Delhi

Food in New Delhi, India

The food is India’s most successful export item, and most of us already have good knowledge of Indian food after visiting Indian restaurants in Norway or abroad. The selection in New Delhi is of course even better. Indians have over a hundred different ways of cooking meat and almost twice as many ways of cooking vegetables.

Speaking of meat, it’s pretty limited what kind of meat you can expect to find on the menu. Beef you should look for a long time since the cow is sacred in India and strolls around the city streets rather than being on the menu. Pork is also not served in many places, so mainly you will be offered chicken or lamb.

In New Delhi you can indulge in many different dishes. You can try one of the many northern dishes with chappati, a thin loaf of bread, next door. Or try one of the southern strong curries with rice or vegetables, Gujarati thalis in its myriad vegetarian varieties or even delicate freshwater fish from Bengal. If you order the right bombay duck, you may be surprised when the dish is served. It does not consist of duck you may think, but of dried fish.

Most of the better hotels have Indian cuisine on the dining menu, but the smaller restaurants are also well worth a visit as they offer a more authentic local atmosphere than the luxury hotels.

New Delhi’s own residents eat many of their meals from the street stalls that stand in close proximity along the busiest shopping streets. Among the most popular dishes is pav bhaji, a type of tasty loaf stuffed with vegetables and spices. Chinese food is also very popular.

Indian food can be spicy, especially the curries from the Goa district. From here comes the famous vindaloo. Talk to the waiter in advance if you are not comfortable with strong spicy food.

The desserts are perhaps the sweetest made for Scandinavian palates, with all their cakes infused with sugar and honey, but the kulfi ice cream is the exception. It is more creamy than western ice cream, often made from boiled water buffalo milk. It is available in several flavors like mango, cardamom or pistachio.

Shopping and Eating in Mumbai, India

Shopping and Eating in Mumbai, India

Mumbai is one of the largest cities in the country of India.

Shopping in Mumbai

In Mumbai defined by AbbreviationFinder, you can get everything between heaven and earth at very good prices, although imported articles are rarely particularly cheaper than in Europe. Here you will find exclusive, state-of-the-art shopping centers with all the well known brand shops and street markets with live animals, vegetables, flowers, spices and souvenirs.

Younger customers like to shop in Linking Road or Fashion Street, perhaps also in Causeway Road, which is the main street in Colaba. Breach Candy, Warden Road and Napean Sea Road attract the more quality conscious audience.

The town’s residents are frequent users of the huge indoor market Crawford Market or Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market, as it is also called. It was built in 1869, and is easily recognizable due to its 42-meter-high bell tower which overlies the entrance. Here mainly fresh products are sold, such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and flowers.

If you shop at one of the modern shopping centers, the prices are relatively high, taxable and fixed. Furthermore, the product range is about the same as in Europe. Here you will miss the fun of India’s unofficial national sport, the bargaining, which you otherwise experience every time you show a hint of interest in an item.

Among the crafts most tourists come home with are crafts, often ornate wooden boxes of various sizes and larger chests. Rugs can be another bargain, often in the same style as the more well-known Persian or Turkish rugs. All of silk and other fabrics are considerably cheaper than in Europe and of course precious metals such as gold and silver. But beware. It is easy for an inexperienced buyer to be fooled.

Bazaars in Mumbai
Many of the bazaars have their specialties. If you are interested in leather and leather goods, head for the Dhaboo Street Bazaar. At Zaveri Bazaar you can shop for jewels and jewelery, while Mutton Street is the place for furniture, souvenirs and juggling. At the Chor Bazaar you will find antique dealers. Please note that all goods older than 100 years require special permission from Indian authorities to be legally brought out of the country. Be sure to bring the necessary documentation if you are buying antiques.

Eating in Mumbai

Food in Mumbai, India

The food is India’s most successful export item, and most of us already have good knowledge of Indian food from Indian restaurants in Norway. The selection in Mumbai is of course even bigger. Indians have over a hundred different ways of cooking meat and almost twice as many ways of cooking vegetables. The restaurants in Mumbai also have a lot of seafood on the menu as opposed to much of the rest of the country.

Speaking of meat, it is quite limited what kind of meat you can expect to find on the menu. Beef you should look for a long time since the cow is sacred in India. Pork is also not served in many places, so mainly you will be offered chicken or lamb.

In Mumbai you can try several of the dishes from the northern part of India with chappati next, you can try strong curries from the southern part of India with rice or vegetables, the dish gujarati thalis with its numerous vegetarian varieties or delicate freshwater fish from Bengal.

Most of the better hotels have Indian dishes on the menu, but the smaller restaurants are also worth a visit as they offer a more authentic, local atmosphere than the luxury hotels.

Mumbai’s own residents eat many of the meals from the street stalls, which stand in close proximity along the busiest shopping streets. Among the most popular dishes is pav bhaji, a type of tasty loaf stuffed with vegetables and spices. Chinese food is also very popular.

If you order the Bombay duck dish, you may be surprised when the dish is served. It does not consist of duck as one would think, but of dried fish.

Most people are well aware that Indian food can be spicy, so ask the waiter in advance if you are not comfortable with it. The curries from Goa district in particular are extremely strong; from here comes the famous vindaloo.

The desserts may be the sweetest made for Scandinavian palates with all their cakes infused with sugar and honey, but kulfi ice cream is the exception. It is more creamy than western ice cream, often made from boiled water buffalo milk. It is available in several flavors like mango, cardamom or pistachio.

Shopping and Eating in Moscow, Russia

Shopping and Eating in Moscow, Russia

Moscow is one of the largest cities in the country of Russia.

Shopping in Moscow

Be warned right away; you are not traveling on a shopping trip to Moscow. If you think that it is cheap in Eastern Europe, and that you can thus save a lot of money on shopping in Moscow, the capital of Russia described on Countryaah, then you are seriously mistaken. Moscow is expensive, expensive, expensive! With the exception of some locally produced items, such as vodka and caviar, you will usually have to pay more in Moscow than for a similar product in Norway.

Occasionally you can almost believe that there has been a zero too much on the price tag by mistake. If you find something that looks sensationally cheap, it’s probably a pirate. And you can also offer pirated copies at a shopping center as in a street stall.

Shopping centers in Moscow

And shopping centers can be found in many of today’s modern Moscow defined by AbbreviationFinder. The largest and oldest is the state-owned GUM, which occupies most of the east side of the Red Square, in a sensational building from the 1890s. This was the shopping paradise for the wealthy upper class during the Soviet era. There are now about 200 different stores here, and these are open Monday to Saturday from 0830 to 2030, and 1100 to 1900 on Sundays.

Just north of the Kremlin and Red Square is the large underground shopping center Okhotny Ryad, which was built in the 1990s. In the large square Manezhnaya ploshchad you see a large and ornate glass dome with statues protruding from the ground, and the center is below it. Of shopping centers we also mention the new and modern Atrium in Kitay-Gorod, which is generally a bit less expensive than the competitors around the Red Square.

Moscow shopping streets

The main shopping street is undoubtedly Tverskaya, and here are many of the same international chains you find in most European cities, with about the same goods at slightly higher prices. Those who want exclusive designer clothes can head for the Teatralny proezd street, which runs from the Bolshoi Theater to Lubyanka. Here, most are gathered, from Armani and YSL to Chanel and Dior.

Also look at the Petrovsky district, which is just north of the city center. This is Moscow’s most fashionable shopping district, where the newly acquired Russians buy their Dior and Cartier products. And stalls and shops selling the typical tourist souvenirs abound in the pedestrian street Arbat.

Markets in Moscow

A little more special is undoubtedly trading in the markets, and if you only have to visit one market, make sure it is Vernisazh. This is a weekend market located at Izmailovsky Park in the eastern parts of Moscow. Here you can find exciting products such as fur hats, handmade chessboards, wooden dolls, blankets, Lenin statues, Soviet army items, etc. from all the old Soviet states, from Siberia via Uzbekistan to Estonia. The market is close to Izmailovskaya metro station, and if you shop here you should bargain hard.

Also be prepared that it may take time to do some shopping in Moscow. In many places, you still have to bring what you want to buy to the counter where you get a note that you have to take to the cash register. Once you have paid, you will receive a receipt that you return to the first or a new disk, where you will eventually be delivered the goods after showing the receipt. With a queue in each disk, and perhaps a coffee break, some text message writing or nail file checkout, you realize this is not done in two minutes.

Souvenirs in Moscow

It is hardly possible to find a more arch-Russian sovereign than a food giant, these hollow wooden dolls of ever smaller size inside each other. Traditionally, dolls represent babooshchka ‘s, old wives, but in recent and modern variants, Russian presidents, footballers, Simpsons or Harry Potter characters are just as likely. The prices of course depend on the size and detail.

It may be tempting to buy real Russian caviar with you while in Russia, but keep in mind that there are clear limits on how much caviar you can take with you out of the country, and that caviar is a fresh product. If the caviar is in the sun at a souvenir booth on the street, you have no guarantee that it is edible before you are home.

If you find the caviar cheaper than 300 to 400 kroner for a box (usually 112 grams), then it is probably either out of date or a synthetic caviar copy. If you want to be safe, buy fresh caviar from a supermarket on your departure day if you want it home.

Opening hours and VAT

The opening hours of the shops vary, but many of the shops in the center are open from 1000 to 2000 every day. Some are open even longer, but close earlier on Sundays. In most goods there is a 20% sales tax, but in Russia there is no system for refunding VAT at the airport as in Western Europe. Admittedly, there are some duty-free shops for tourists in the city center and at the airports, but it has to be said whether it is actually any less expensive for that reason.

Eating in Moscow

Food in Moscow, Russia

Russian cuisine has not exactly taken the world by storm, and Russian restaurants abroad are still a curiosity. But this may not be so strange since the Russians traditionally had no restaurant culture. During the Soviet era, people did not go out to eat unless at the local cafeteria. The restaurants in the city center were reserved for the tourists, which resulted in poor quality at high prices.

After the glass nostrils, this has changed at an astonishing pace, and today you will find countless PECTOPAHs from many nations in Moscow’s central areas. There are still most Russian restaurants and you should try one of these when you are visiting Russia after all. The most archetypal Russian law is actually Ukrainian and is called borshch. This is a soup based on beets, cabbage meat and sometimes potatoes. It is served both hot and cold, traditionally seen with dark bread. The Russian national soup is called solyanka, but it is a boring potato and vegetable soup a la beta soup, and was home-cooked for poor farmers.

The Russians are also happy in their bliny, a kind of pancake, often with cheese or meat, eaten as breakfast, appetizer and dessert, and sold from street stalls almost everywhere.

Russian caviar and desserts in Moscow

Russian caviar has always been considered as perhaps the ultimate delicacy around the world, but times have changed, and the caviar is nowhere near as expensive or exclusive as it once was. Black caviar from the stork is considered the best, while the red caviar from the salmon is the cheap version.

The desserts in Russia are very sweet and often consist of ice cream or cakes.

Exotic food and fast food in Moscow

If Russian cuisine doesn’t tempt you, you can try some of the other old Soviet states. You will find many Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani restaurants in Moscow, and the food here is closer to Turkish and Persian dishes, with its shish kebabs, rice and nan-like bread. We enjoyed Kishmish in Novy Arbat ulitsa 28 – permanently closed, which prides itself on importing all ingredients and interiors directly from Uzbekistan, and the price level is comfortable. Vegetarians also have good selection here.

If you find this too exotic, you have Europe’s second largest Hard Rock Cafe at Arbat, and at Tverskaya is the tourist classic American Bar & Grill. Read more about American Bar & Grill here. And of course, there are several McDonald’s restaurants in the downtown area. You even have a Swedish restaurant, Scandinavia, closed permanently if the homesickness should take over. The address is Maly Palashevsky Pereulok 7.

Vodka and beer in Moscow

Vodka is a Russian cultural institution and is to be drunk. It is available in countless variants and generally holds a high standard. But beer (pivo) has taken over the place as the Russians’ favorite drink, and the Baltika beer from St. Petersburg is very popular. It is available in ten different variants, from alcohol-free via light-colored beer to a strong 8% -containing version. You can buy alcohol in the shops around the clock, but nothing stronger than beer and wine at night.

Shopping and Eating in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Shopping and Eating in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

According to AbbreviationFinder, Kuala Lumpur is one of the largest cities in the country of Malaysia.

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia described on Countryaah is one of the city’s biggest temptations! Kuala Lumpur alone has close to 70 shopping malls and the city is of course the fashion hub in Malaysia. You can find products in all price ranges, in shopping malls you’ve barely seen anywhere else in the world.

Since 2000, the Ministry of Tourism in Malaysia has taken up shopping as a tourist attraction. This is done through so-called “mega sales”. The “mega-sales event” is held three times a year, in the months of March, May and December, and all shopping centers are encouraged to attend.

Shopping in the Golden Triangle

Kuala Lumpur’s foremost shopping district is the Bukit Bintang area of ​​the Golden Triangle. It’s not unlike what you find in Ginza in Tokyo, Fifth Avenue in New York and Singapore Orchard Road (in Singapore). This area has the highest concentration of stores in Kuala Lumpur.

Bukit Bintang extends across three streets, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Imbi and Jalan Sultan Ismail. Here you will find shopping malls such as Berjaya Plaza, Berjaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Imbi Plaza, Kuala Lumpur Plaza, Lot 10, Low Yat Plaza, Pavilion KL, Starhill Plaza and Sungei Wang Plaza.

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is the name of a recently opened shopping center and houses a wide range of international brands in an ultra-modern complex. Of course located at Jalan Bukit Bintang.

Fans of electronic gadgets would enjoy the variety of products at Low Yat Plaza, while those looking for the latest in affordable Asian fashion and design should definitely check out Berjaya Times Square and Bukit Bintang / Sungei Wang Plaza.

Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman Street in the Golden Triangle is one of the most famous shopping streets for locals in Kuala Lumpur. Here you will find the largest department store in Malaysia, Sogo Kuala Lumpur.

Shopping outside the Golden Triangle in Kuala Lumpur

There are definitely popular shopping malls outside the Golden Triangle as well. Bangsar and Midvalley are districts that house some of the best shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, represented by Midvalley Megamall and the adjacent and exclusive, The Gardens. A charming center is Bangsar Village in Bangsar.

The Damansara area north-west of downtown Kuala Lumpur also has a high concentration of shopping centers. The Curve, e @ Curve, IKEA, Cathay Multi Screen Cinemas, Courts Megastore, NiuXehSui Ara Damansara and Utama (one of the best malls in Malaysia).

Despite the myriad shopping centers, one should be careful to have enough time for the traditional Asian shopping streets and markets in Kuala Lumpur. The best area for such shopping is Chinatown in the city center. Chinatown is also the place to hunt for souvenirs, especially in the Central Market, which today houses arts and crafts.

Visit Little India for everything from clothes and fabrics. Most are imported from countries such as Indonesia, India duck China. This is also the area to buy a baju kurung or baju kebaya (the traditional Malay blouse). Handmade Malaysian wooden figures are also excellent souvenirs.

Eating in Kuala Lumpur

Food in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysian food is very well recognized and Kuala Lumpur is an excellent place to start. Here you will find restaurants serving specialties from all over the country.

Most restaurants close quite early in Kuala Lumpur, not least if we compare with the opening hours of restaurants in Thailand. But in the city center, there are always some 24 hour kedai mamak (curry house), kedai copy (coffee shops) or simple street kitchens if you want supper.

Good food can be very cheap. Take the chance to visit the ubiquitous roadside booths known as kedai copy (literally Coffee shops), just that these sell food. Some coffee shops have tables and chairs on the roadside. Chinatown (especially in the streets of Jalan Sultan, Jalan Hang Lekir and Jalan Petaling) in the City Center and the Jalan Alor street in the Golden Triangle have some of the largest concentrations of coffee shops and stalls. Most only open at night.

A very common sight in the food tract is kedai mamak (curry house). A famous collection of mamak stalls can be found in Jalan Doraisamy Street near Heritage Row, the famous and notorious nightlife district at the end of Tuanku Abdul Rahman north of the City Center.

Here you can buy full-fledged curries, but just as well as snacks in the form of half chapati, and half pancake. It is served with dhal and curry sauce.

Food in shopping centers in Kuala Lumpur

The malls offer cheap Malaysian food as well as hygienic conditions. The price is of course a little higher than on the “street”. Lot 10 shopping center in the Golden Triangle has e.g. a collection of 20 street vendors who were invited to move in the food.

The Golden Triangle, Bangsar and Midvalley, Heritage Row Nightlife Quarter and some areas of Damansara and Hartamas are the usual places to go for people wanting to dine out.

You can eat Malaysian food in Jalan Masjid India and Kampung Baru streets in Tuanku Abdul Rahman district, popularly known as the TAR district.

Chinatown is the best place for Chinese (especially Cantonese) food, although all types of Chinese food, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, can be found all over Kuala Lumpur.

Take a stroll to Leboh Ampang Street in the City Center or to Brickfields for Indian cuisine. Bangsar has many high-end restaurants that offer western food. If you are looking for Korean food, head to Ampang Jaya (Ampang district east of City Center).

Many restaurants with kitchens from Arabia and the Middle East have emerged as mushrooms in Bukit Bintang, the Cyberjaya IT Park and Damai.

Special Tips – Atmosphere 360

Enormously tall KL Tower has a rotating restaurant almost on top of the building. Enjoying good food while experiencing the giant city of Kuala Lumpur from above is fascinating.

The restaurant is called Atmosphere 360 ​​and offers lunch and dinner buffet. Eating here is a tourist attraction in itself.

Shopping and Eating in Koh Samui, Thailand

Shopping and Eating in Koh Samui, Thailand

According to AbbreviationFinder, Koh Samui is one of the largest cities in the country of Thailand.

Shopping in Koh Samui

Thailand is a shopping paradise for more or less wealthy tourists. True, the shopping opportunities in Bangkok are much better than Koh Samui. This does not mean that there are poor shopping opportunities in Koh Samui, it is just that Bangkok is one of the finest we can find.

Thailand is known for its copy products and you can still buy all products in two versions, ie the original and more expensive, and the local copy version. Now, however, not all goods are the same anymore. Instead of buying a Levis pants, maybe you come home with a Lives pants?

What to buy on Koh Samui

In Koh Samui, you shop for clothes, and then we just don’t think about cheap t-shirts and pants. But often custom made suits, blouses, skirts and dresses. Tailors can be found all over the island, but most are naturally centered around the tourist resorts and especially Chaweng. Most tailors are skilled and honest people. And the price for a custom shirt or blouse must still be described as a “bargain” for us travelers.

You can also shop photos and paintings for a cheap price. There are a number of craft outlets that offer all types of paintings, including copies of well-known masterpieces, at reasonable prices. Otherwise, it is a pleasure to go to local markets that offer vegetables, fruits and food, whether it is meat or fish. It’s an experience you should bring.

It is primarily Chaweng and partly Lamai that is the place for shopping. Nor should we forget about Na Thon (or Nathon as many say) which is the island’s administrative center. Many of the locals shop here, and prices are often lower than at the tourist spots. However, the sample is often less of the type of goods travelers are looking for. But this is the place where you can really make a bargain! Otherwise you will find smaller shops and souvenir shapper around all the beaches and fishing towns.

Some selected shopping locations in Koh Samui

If you want to shop at death and life in a traditional department store, you will find it north in Chaweng. The place is called Tesco Lotus There is also a bowling alley and activities for the children. You may also find a department store in Na Thon, more specifically in Nathon Road and named Samui Mart.

Samui Chiang Mai Art and Deco is the name of an antique shop in central Chaweng. As the big name suggests, many of the products come from Chiang Mai are in the north of Thailand.

Samui Shoes in Nathon Road in Na Thon city ​​goes for being one of the best shoe stores on Koh Samui. Prices are low and you can bargain.

The market in Lamai. Directly behind the gas station (PTT) in Lamai you will find the large food market. It offers fried fish, homemade sauces, papaya salads, spice mixes and much more at very good prices. An experience for the senses. Maybe you try a frog or live eel for dinner?

General about shopping in Koh Samui

Many stores take credit cards, but in markets you must – and should – use cash. Feel free to withdraw cash at one of the many ATMs you will find at the larger locations such as Chaweng. The shops open between 0900 and 1100 a day. Many markets are open until midnight or later, while the shops close between 1800 and 2000. During the tourist season, the shops are open seven days a week.

Eating on Koh Samui

Food in Koh Samui, Thailand

You don’t have to be afraid to go hungry on Koh Samui. Whether you have good or bad advice, prefer Thai or more Western cuisine, you will find it here.

Don’t be afraid to try the local restaurants. Thai food is absolutely delicious and you quickly learn that a dinner doesn’t have to cost much to be good. Seafood and fresh exotic vegetables are the main ingredients in much of the local food and not many tourist places in Thailand have the same high quality of food as Koh Samui.

Restaurants and food at Chaweng

Chaweng beach and Chaweng city have the largest concentration of the most recognized and most expensive restaurants. There are of course many cheap local eateries, but also a number of international restaurants. Two of the best are Italian. This is Olivio restaurant located at Baan Haad Ngam Resort and Restaurant Prego at Amari Hotel. Prices are naturally high here compared to other local restaurants.

You can also dine on the beach where restaurants serve the best dishes in the open air. Just take a stroll along the 7 kilometer long golden beach.

Restaurants and food at Lamai Beach

Lamai is the place to go if you are looking for quality restaurants that offer Thai food at a reasonable price. Here, too, it is possible to eat simple dinners by the beach. In many ways, Lamai is a mini version of Chaweng. Slightly smaller selection, but also slightly lower prices.

A suggestion for a restaurant in Lamai is the Salathai Restaurant, which serves both Thai and international cuisine. Thus, everyone is sure to find something they like, whether it is authentic Thai, pasta, seafood or steak. Open from 1600 to 2330.

However, we recommend using taxis or other means of transport to visit the other beach areas for dinner in new surroundings.

Restaurants and food at Maenam

Maenam beach is a beautiful and quiet beach and you will find everything from simple eateries to 5 star restaurants. Poom’s Place (if it still exists) looks stubborn, but goes for it to be absolutely fantastic on authentic Thai food. The address is 41/11 Moo 4, Mae Nam, Ko Samui.

Restaurants and food at Bophut Beach

Visit Bophut if you are looking for a romantic dinner. Here are good restaurants, but little people compared to eg. Chaweng. From the beach you can see the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Phangnan. The small fishing villages nearby offer restaurants that feel both different and exotic. You should certainly dare to eat a meal here.

Restaurants and food at Big Buddha Beach and the southeast coast

Big Buddha beach has several good and simple Thai restaurants and also some decent pubs for late nights. The south east coast is not very touristy and here you can find local fish restaurants that do not look very different from what they did 50 years ago. And the food, it’s good.

Nightlife in Koh Samui

As with most major tourist destinations in Thailand, there is a full roll for those who want it. But fortunately it is in no way comparable to what you encounter in eg. Phuket. First and foremost, Chaweng is the place where things happen. What meets you are pubs, bars, music scenes, stripper bars, dance bars, karaoke bars, Irish and English pubs, exclusive nightclubs and everything else you can come up with. Lamai is, as mentioned earlier, the mini version of Chaweng and offers the same, but in smaller format.

Shopping and Eating in Istanbul, Turkey

Shopping and Eating in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is one of the largest cities in the country of Turkey.

Shopping in Istanbul

In Istanbul defined by AbbreviationFinder you can get absolutely anything, and the vast majority of goods are considerably cheaper than in Norway, especially since the Turkish Lira has been devalued sharply since 2001. However, lately Turkey has worked a lot on its currency and economic stability. You get the most value for money if you buy clothes, textiles and leather goods.

Many tourists have been invited to an exceptionally pleasant and compelling carpet shop and come home with exclusive, handmade rugs worth thousands, without ever having any plans to buy a blanket during the holidays.

Turkish raki, an anise liquor à la Greek ouzo, is a cheap and popular souvenir. If you are planning to bring alcohol or tobacco home from your holiday, we can state that it is considerably cheaper to buy in the city center than in the airport’s duty free shops.

The most obvious place to go shopping, and where you can have fun at the same time, is of course the Grand Bazaar [see picture first in article]. Bring cash and good mood! Bargain for expensive items that interest you, but you won’t be particularly popular if you bargain for fun on items you don’t plan to buy.

In Beyoglu lies the long pedestrian street Istiklal Caddesi. There you will find everything from more exclusive, western fashion boutiques to cheap souvenir stalls.

If you are going to buy clothes, you will find most major international and Turkish brands in their own stores in Nisantasi, which you reach by Taksim subway. The city’s largest shopping center, Akmerkz, is located in Levent, but it is not distinctly Turkish.

The vast majority of shops are open at least twelve hours a day, starting at 10 am. 0800 or 0900 in the morning until 7 p.m. 2000 or 2100 in the evening. Some shop owners close one hour in the afternoon to pray at the mosque.

Eating and drinking in Istanbul

Food in Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish cuisine is considered one of the best in the world, so take the opportunity to visit a good restaurant every day. For what you pay, you will hardly get an appetizer at a restaurant of similar standard in Norway.

Dinners usually consist of an appetizer (meze), a tasty, small appetizer that can consist of anything. The country’s national law is undoubtedly kebab (with print on the last syllable) in hundreds of combinations, such as döner, cöp sis and icebergs or köfte (meatballs).

The desserts are very sweet, like baklava in honey, ice cream or donuts with syrup and cream. And don’t forget, of course, raki, the Turkish anise liquor. It can be enjoyed after every meal.

Istanbul’s location makes seafood more common here than in the rest of the country. You will find many excellent fish restaurants, especially along the seafront promenades in Ortaköy.

You will always be offered a small cup of strong, sweet tea, which the Turks drink at all times of the day. Coffee is not that prevalent except in tourist places. Here it is often served very sweet and in small cups.

Some selected restaurants in Istanbul

One of the better and oldest restaurants in town is the family-run Ottoman restaurant Haci Abdullah. It has been located in Sakizagaci Caddesi 17 in Beyoglu for over 100 years and has been decorated since the turn of the last century. Please note that alcohol is not served.

The restaurants in the old town are usually much more ordinary and touristy than on the Taksim side, but try Konyali inside the Topkapi Palace, which has both a glass pavilion and a terrace with glorious views towards the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus Strait.

Rami is an Ottoman, three-storey restaurant in Sultanahmet with a very popular rooftop terrace where dinner guests overlook the Blue Mosque. Rami has an extensive menu and low prices. We recommend booking a table.

Shopping and Eating in Hua Hin, Thailand

Shopping and Eating in Hua Hin, Thailand

According to AbbreviationFinder, Hua Hin is one of the largest cities in the country of Thailand.

Shopping in Hua Hin

Hua Hin is a small town compared to e.g. Bangkok, of course, offers far fewer stores and markets. That does not mean that shopping opportunities are few. Hua Hin has its own “big” night market, you will find bazaars, fancy shops and smaller department stores. And the advantage is that you can easily roam the city in one evening.

Night market

From the main street Petchkasem and along the Dechanuchit street is Hua Hin’s Night Market. Here people are buzzing, both locals and not least tourists. The crowd is constantly moving up and down the Night Market to buy food, music, movies, clothes, souvenirs, suitcases and all kinds of wonder. In addition, there are several recommended restaurants that primarily offer good and cheap Thai food. The night market is as much a small tourist experience as a shopping experience. The night market goes all the way to the railway. You can easily walk the Liab Tang Rod Fai Street along the railway line to Hua Hin’s famous railway station. Then you will also be quite close to the area that houses one of the big night bazaars.Just follow the Damnoenkasem road from the station.

Night Bazaar

Between the beach and the area that houses the Night Market you will find a bazaar area that offers many of the same products that you find in the Night Market, but in a quieter atmosphere and which makes it more tempting to try a trouser or talk to the salespeople. The night bazaar is primarily in the side street of Naresdamri, called Soi Bintabat. Follow Damnoenkasem main street from the train station or find the Hilton Hotel landmark. The bazaar is close by.

Shopping malls and department stores

There are more shopping malls, or maybe more correct department stores in Hua Hin. Most are located along the main street Petch Kasem and south of the entrance to the Night Market. If you walk past the bell tower and almost to Satukarn Square on Damnoenkasem Street you may find the most popular center. Hua Hin Market Village is the name.

At the intersection of Dechanuchit and Petch Kasem, opposite the Night Market, you will find a larger shoe store that has shoes for big and small, boys and girls, at high quality and low prices. You will probably be very pleasantly surprised at the price level, even in “proper” stores where you cannot bargain.

Tailors and golf shops

Hua Hin floods like many Thai cities over by tailors. Down along Dechanuchit Street and along Narresdamni crossing street at the beach you will find many tailors. Get stitched dress, suit or whatever you want for a reasonable amount of money. Fixed in 48 hours. The vast majority of shops are serious and cooperate with craftsmen who can do their job. Don’t necessarily buy the cheapest suit. The quality of the fabric will be significantly improved if you go up in price. Anyway, these are prices you can only dream of here at home.

A proposal for a renowned tailor and also Thai silk provider is Mike & Co Tailor, located at 18/1 Naebkhehars Road. They have a wide selection of clothing / fabrics and can sew all types of clothing products and are known for their quality.

Golf is huge in Hua Hin and there are several golf shops in Hua Hin, including Dechanuchit Road. Here you can buy everything from golf equipment at very nice prices.

Eating in Hua Hin

Food in Hua Hin, Thailand

Hua Hin has an international cuisine available to its tourists and here you can dine in Italian, German, Scandinavian and American restaurants. Plus on all the well known fast food chains and you understand that the selection is huge. The fact is that Hua Hin has hundreds of restaurants, in all price ranges.

But you can’t travel to Thailand without eating thai-may. Thai food is based on the flavors sweet, sour, salty and creamy. A good thairet is characterized by the right blend of these flavors. Rice is an important ingredient in most dishes. Otherwise, the Thai eat both meat and fish. Seafood dishes and various barbecue dishes are popular.

Restaurant areas in Hua Hin

There are two main areas of food in Hua Hin:

Naresdamri Road
From the Hilton Hotel that you cannot help but notice in Hua Hin, you will find Naresdamri Street. This is the most popular food street in town. Choose from seafood and shushi, via pasta and pizza restaurants to barbecue restaurants in this street and its side streets. Along the beach you will find several seafood restaurants offering cozy seafront patios. By the way, the Hilton Hotel has a restaurant at the very top of the hotel. Exclusive and stunning views.

Night
market The night market offers several affordable, charming and not least affordable Thai restaurants. Don’t be intimidated by the casual atmosphere or the kitchen is often on the street. The food is of high quality, not least because of outstanding ingredients. These smaller local restaurants are highly recommended.

The night market also has several “decent” restaurants with European food on the menu, or Mexican for that matter.

Also note that there are many restaurants on the outskirts of Hua Hin and in the markets mentioned above. These often have their very own atmosphere and many demonstrate the art of open-stage cooking and traditional Thai dance shows. An example of such a “show restaurant” might be the Sasi Dinner Theater, with address 83/159, Nong Kae, just off Intercontinental Hua Hin Resort.

Other restaurants in Hua Hin we recommend:

Coco 51
The address is 51 Petchkasem Road, right by Hilton Hotel and Naresdamri Road. Here you can enjoy a casual dinner with a sea view. The food is prepared by skilled chefs. Open from 1100 until late at night.

Heidi’s
As the name suggests, we are talking here about European owners, more specifically Switzerland. Heidi’s is located in Poolsuk Road just off the City Beach Hotel. The menu is European and the beef is specially imported. Grilled pork, Cordon Bleu and Spare ribs are other specialties. The kitchen is open until midnight. Heidi’s also offers lunch for those who are hungry a little earlier in the day.

Nightlife in Hua Hin

The nightlife in Hua Hin is lively, but not in any way as breathtaking as in parts of Bangkok or for example Phuket. There are plenty of squats or bars, also with strong influences from Norway, Sweden or Denmark, on good and bad. We do not want to point out anything special above others, but recommend you take a lap around the side streets of Naresdamri Road.

Hua Hin offers a lot of live music and in the summer, more specifically in mid-June is the jazz festival in the city. Many of the bars also have bands that entertain guests year-round.

Shopping and Eating in Hong Kong

Shopping and Eating in Hong Kong

According to AbbreviationFinder, Hong Kong is one of the largest cities in the country of China.

Shopping in Hong Kong

Any shopping enthusiast will have wonderful days in Hong Kong. High purchasing power concentrated on a limited area allows you to find most of the sky and earth somewhere in the city, and it is generally the buyer’s market. This can be quite confusing, since you seem to find exclusive branded clothing and electronic items in both street markets and shopping malls. But pirate products abound, so make sure what you buy works at home as well. It is not easy to take a non-functioning iPod back to a Kowloon street market two weeks after you return home.

Hong Kong is among Asia’s most expensive cities, but some articles can be found far more affordable than in Europe. Silkware is found almost everywhere. Mostly with the inscription Made In Hong Kong, like electronic articles, you save the transport and import surcharge on similar goods in Europe. Stones like jade are very popular and considered health-giving in China, but get well into the market first. The jade figures should be completely green with no stains or marks. Hong Kong, by the way, has no sales tax, so there is nothing to be refunded at the airport upon return.

Hong Kong Shopping Centers
You will find many shopping malls, and at Hong Kong Island Central you will find Prince’s Arcade, Pacific Place and Shanghai Tang, where you will find both modern western goods (at western prices) and typical Chinese goods. In Kowloon’s Nathan Road, the stores are located close to both sides of the street, but prices here, as in main streets around the world, are generally higher than in the rest of the city. The largest shopping centers are Harbor City Mall and Festival Walks, where the most shopping-fix can easily spend all day.

Markets in Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s most well-known market is undoubtedly Temple Street Night Market in Kowloon, which is open daily from 7 am. 2000 to 2230. Here you will find most everything from wheel whips, DVDs, books and silk ties to compass, small jade buddha sharks or Homer Simpson steel lamps. Soar of the heart’s desire. Stanley Market on Southeast Hong Kong Island has much of the same at very reasonable prices, open daily from 7am. 0900 to 1800. And while you might not be buying anything at the Bird Garden or the Jade Market, it’s definitely part of the Hong Kong experience. Spring Garden Lane in Wan Chai is also a good place to find clothes at very low prices.

Eating in Hong Kong

Food in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has literally thousands of eateries in all price ranges. If you went for it, you could well have survived a week on a couple of hundred patches if you restricted your diet to noodles and dim sum from the street stalls. Alternatively, you can easily spend thousands of dollars on a single visit to one of the city’s more exclusive restaurants.

The restaurant offerings are of course dominated by Chinese cuisine, and local Cantonese eateries are never many meters away. It is also Cantonese restaurants that are most widely used in Europe, and consequently the Norwegians most associate with the term kinamat, so the selection should be well known to most. In addition to all seafood and meat dishes, soups, noodles and tofu are also central to the local menu. Vegetarians also have a good offer in Hong Kong, Chinese chefs are very inventive and good at cooking meat alternatives.

One of the main attractions that appeal to tourists is the huge floating restaurant Jumbo, located at the port of Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island. The interior may seem a bit screaming, like a sparkling neon temple in combination with a Chinese casino, but it has been mostly full where most nights since opening, so reservations are recommended.

Maybe you thought it would easily cost you a four-digit number to eat at a Michelin starred restaurant? Not in Hong Kong! Here you can actually get a full meal, with drinks for well under a hundred. Tim Ho Wan is called the place, and the most expensive dish actually costs no more than about 30 kroner. This is by no means a luxurious restaurant, more a small dim sum cafe with seating for around 20, and the star is given solely based on the quality of the food. Therefore, be prepared for queues and waiting times. Tim Ho Wan is located in Tsui Yuen Mansion, 2-20 Kwong Wa Street in Mong Kok district. Read more.

Fast food in Hong Kong
The European influence over time is of course still present, even on the restaurant front. You will find Italian, French, Indian and Greek restaurants in Hong Kong, and all fast food restaurant chains like McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King have long since established themselves. You also have Hard Rock Cafe, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays and Planet Hollywood, with about the same menu offerings and price levels as the rest of the world.

Drinking in Hong Kong
Chinese beer like Yanjing, Harbin and Tsingtao are usually light and light, but you will naturally find hundreds of English pubs where you get everything from lukewarm ale and Guinness to Heineken and Hoegaarden. A pint usually costs at least 40 kroner, so it is no cheap pleasure for Asia to be.

China has no tradition of wine production, and most products are not much to shout for, although the trend has definitely been heading in the right direction in recent years. Imported wine is available at most restaurants, but prices are therefore considerably higher.

Shopping and Eating in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Shopping and Eating in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

According to AbbreviationFinder, Ho Chi Minh City is one of the largest cities in the country of Vietnam.

Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City

In Ho Chi Minh City, you can generally get the most between heaven and earth at very good prices. But imported articles are rarely particularly cheaper than in Europe. In the Dong Choi area you will find the big western shopping malls, all the fashion shops and brands. Of course, this is also the most expensive area.

Spending several hours in the big markets like Ben Thanh at the end of Pham Ngu Lao and Bin Thay in Cholon is no problem. Here, however, it is important to bargain well; If you pay what they ask for the first time, you will probably be fooled, as it is usual to demand at least double the price of tourists.

It is incredibly cheap to buy silk in Saigon (District 1), and the quality is good, but it can of course vary. It’s also cheap to get sewn clothes. Dung is considered to be the best tailor in Saigon.

For more typical Vietnamese articles, consider buying an ao dai, a traditional Vietnamese dress that is still considered a symbol of Vietnam. Of course, you’ll also come across Vietnamese flag T-shirts, Ho Chi Minh or the city’s imaginary Hard Rock Café for around twenty bucks.

Wood crafts are also a Vietnamese specialty. You can find ashtrays, flower vases, statues painstakingly carved and decorated with a single dark piece of wood. For example, try Lang Viet in 111 Hai Ba Trung in District 1.

Local visual art based on small pieces of mother of pearl or eggshell glued to wooden boards and then given up to 15-20 coats of varnish and polish is another traditional Vietnamese specialty. The end results are often beautiful because of the special manufacture. You can find works of art that range from one fist to several square feet.

Eating in Ho Chi Minh City

Food in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnamese restaurants have long been a common sight in Europe, so most people know what awaits them when they sit down to dinner in Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese cuisine is also heavily influenced by French, Chinese and Cambodian, and the combination has made it one of the best in the world. For example, try banh xeo, which is a rice pancake, baked with bean shoots, cooked pork and shrimp.

The Khan hoang dishes come from South Vietnam and are not spicy. They are based on seafood or bird with different vegetables.

The Bun mam dishes originate from the Mekong Delta and are influenced by the influence of Cambodia. They are usually served in a bowl of sticks and consist of rice, vegetables, pork or fish and snails.

Of course, after many years of French colonial rule, Ho Chi Minh City has a significant number of French restaurants. And after the borders have opened and commercialism has entered, you can find everything from Western BBQ Restaurants and Kentucky Fried Chicken to Chinese and Thai restaurants.

It should not be concealed that the Vietnamese eat absolutely anything that can crawl, fly, swim or walk. Dogs, cats, locusts, snakes, mice, crocodiles or monkeys – everything goes downhill. Most of us may not be particularly tempted, but you can feel relatively confident that within Ho Chi Minh City’s borders, at a restaurant with the English menu, there is minimal chance of inadvertently putting Fido or Pusur in the throat.