Welcome to my blog. Please check back soon for new entries.
Welcome – this is Bob Christensen, President of Roads2.Com…… please enjoy our ‘blog’….. share your travel experiences with others …… find travel news…… helpful travel tips…. and ask questions ….. the world of travel takes us many places…. and each experience reveals things to be shared…..
Our Roads2.Com ’boutique-style’ travel tour company will continually expand to new global markets….. when time permits, please stop by ‘Roads2.com’ and see what is happening…..
I have been told that you can gain free access to the EVA Air airport lounge in Taipei by showing your International Diner’s card? Does anyone know if this is true? and if so….what other airport lounges in Asia have the same access policy? I travel alot to Asia.
Yes, the EVA Air Everegreen airport lounge offers free access to their VIP lounge by simply showing a valid (not expired) International Diner’s card. I don’t know about other lounges in Asia offering the same. If anyone else knows of other Asia airport lounges with Diner’s free access, please reply to this blog and let me know.
I’m interested as well. hope someone knows. what a nice opportunity for those of us that travel economy.
There are 2 other ways to get airport lounge privileges that I know of. PriorityPass.com and LoungePass.com. Priority Pass is a membership card program that allows airport lounge privileges to lots of airport worldwide. LoungePass provided airport lounge privileges on a prebook, prepay basis….online versus the ‘show your membership card’
Hello, this is Sathien from Bangkok, Thailand. Welcome to land of smile and our web site http://www.Roads2.com
I would like to know if a visa is required for Indonesia, Vietnam and Laos?…..if anyone can provide me with info…. I would like to know the best way to get one in USA …..or if I can get one upon entry to those countries?
Nice travel tours. In future plan will we see Central and South America included on the http://www.Roads2.com website?
Yes – in January/February, http://www.Roads2.com will include Roads2Laos and Roads2USA…. http://www.Roads2USA.com will be focused on bringing Asian-residents to tour America…. by the end of 2009 the Roads2.com Asian travel tour program will be complete with China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia and Myanmar…..
We will also have parts of Central and South America launched ….. so keep visiting our websites and ‘Blog’ for updates….. we hope to see you on one of our Central/South American ’boutique-style’ travel tours……
Take care……and travel safe….
My husband and I want to visit Laos. When will Roads2Laos be offered?
Your tours look amazing! We have two small children, and would consider bringing them along when decide to take a trip like this. Can you tell me which tour you would most recommend with small children between the ages of 5 and 10?
Roads2Laos will be available in February 2009….
I hear there is a new trend for once-young backpackers that have gotten older….’flashpackers’…those wanting a step-up from youth hostel sleeping….a private room…… will Roads2 be offering anything like this?….
Are there any wine tours available in Laos?
My wife and I hear that there is an expedite service at the Bali airport to get quickly get through immigration upon arrival?
If so, could someone tell us contact info for this service?
For a journey from KL to Singapore, take the overnight train in a sleeper car. Depart around 9pm and arrive in Singapore around 6am and wake up somewhat rested. Don’t even have to get off the train at JB if traveling in a sleeper. Immigration comes on-board and stamps your passport as they stop by your sleeper compartment.
I hear that there are 2 ferry terminals from Singapore to Bintan, and would like to ask anyone familiar with these terminals, which terminal is best, and why two different ones. Do they go to different islands but end up on Bintan island?
SEATTLE TRAVEL SHOW exhibits some of the world’s most exotic destination and great vacation packages. Weekend of january 24-25th,2009 Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.
You can get a visa upon entry to Indonesia and Laos. I don’t know about Vietnam.
Rob Collins here. I handle Industry Affairs for Roads2.Com. We have no immediate plans to offer a ‘flashpacking’ series of tours. But it is an interesting new offering that is showing up in the travel industry. Maybe something for us to think about in the future.
What will be the destinations for the upcoming Roads2USA.com travel tours?
Destinations for initial Roads2USA tours will be Hawaii, and a 3-city tour of Seattle-San Francisco-Los Angeles.
A travel tip for all travelers. Make sure you bring an extra pair of glasses and your eyeglass prescription when traveling. I lost my glasses looking over a cliff in rural Indonesia and being very near-sighted, I wandered around with my traveling friends for nearly 2 days waiting for a new pair to be made.
I have not come across any wine tours in Loas. However I was supprised to find some wine tours in thailand. I went to khao yai wineries near bangkok and it was a great experience, check http://www.winetourthailand.com safe travels…
From Saigon, I would suggest that you take a Mai Linh taxi (green and white color)for no more than $5usd OR $60,000 dong to downtown area, District 1. Make sure you agree on the price before jumping into the taxi. Just a helpful travel hint. Saigon is a wonderful city.
I read the earler comments about EVA air lounge-Taipei. Wanted to share that I just found out that if the EVA Evergreen Lounge in Taipei is not too busy, anyone holding an EVA boarding pass can pay with VISA/MC at Evergreen to gain access to lounge. It costs around $30usd.
Guess what? I lost my camera to a monkey while walking up the steps to the Batu caves near Kuala Lumpur. Watch out!!!
Does anyone know about this ‘weasel’ coffee in Saigon?
Enjoy an early coffee watching the boats and ships moving up and down the Saigon River. Wonderful morning.
Yes – it is Huyen Thoai or Cafe Chon. Not found at all coffee shops, only a few. It is legendary Bazan region coffee where the weasels eat the coffee beans, the beans go through their digestive system and come out of the weasel still as a whole bean. Then the beans are roasted in a special way and made into this famous coffee. Created by Trung Nguyen coffee company. Try it. It is very good. Very unique to Vietnam.
I was talking to a Filipino at the Singapore airport and he told me that something similar is done in the Philippines. But not a weasel. Interesting twist on boutique coffee.
A travel tip for anyone interested. I just took a CebuPacific flight from Bangkok to Manila. Nice budget airline, like AirAsia. Very popular. Excellent service. No frills. But good.
Does Roads2.Com have any ‘female’ only travel tours to Asia?
Jeff Cooper here – Industry Affairs for Roads2.Com – yes – just request ‘custom’ tour for ‘female travelers’ only – make it a full tour of 8 of your friends and even modify any of the standard Roads2.com travel tours include any specific sights to be visited.
Jeff Cooper here. Roads2.Com Industry Affairs. Roads2USA.com still targeted for launch in March, 2009. These tours will bring Asian residents to tour West Coast of USA, Seattle – San Francisco – Los Angeles and respective surrounding areas….
Jeff Cooper here, Roads2.Com Industry Affairs. Roads2.Com has joined PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association, visit http://www.Pata.org
Travel tip…… at Bangkok airport….have a meal where the airport workers go…..go to the city bus ticket booth…. ground floor…..and at the end of the building you will find the Magic Food Point……a meal for 40 baht…..rather than 400-600 baht inside after immigration/customs waiting for your flight…..
Go shopping early around 9am in Bali/Kuta area and when given the price, offer 1/3 and then end at 1/2 price of asked price. Balinese selling want to always have their first customer of the day purchase. If that doesn’t happen, they think the day might be a bad one for selling. Don’t feel bad doing this. They will never lose money.
Have been searching the web looking for some travel options for Viet Nam and came across your website. What a fantastic package you have put together. We can hardly wait to experience your trip.
Very nice restaurant visited by many locals and visitors in Vientiane, laos ( kualao restaurant, 134 Samsenthai Road) .. great lao food
For anyone interested, Thailand now has a 60-day tourist visa for free. Must apply at Thai Embassy. Standard tourist visit upon entry (without passport visa) is 30-days at incoming Thai airport, 15-days at incoming land crossing.
Just curious, will your new Roads2USA website include any boating/sailing activities?
We were browsing your blog, and will try your suggested restaurant in Vientiane next week. We are still in Luang Prabang, Laos, and had a ‘bad’ experience at the Coconut Restaurant last night…..average food, but they doubled the price thinking we would not notice having to covert or Thailand baht to Laos KIP. Stay away from that place.
Can someone please tell me the difference between Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia?
Great little internet shop in Bangkok on Sukhumvit, Soi 10 – just before Bangkok Bank going towards Asoke – hidden away 15 feet from street – a small restaurant in back of walkway – quiet – inexpensive – and the printer works
Google ‘hidden valley hidden caves laos’, what a story
Travel tip – present your EVA air boarding pass and your Diners card at the MIASCOR airport lounge in Manila for free access – hours are 6am to midnight – guest fee is $12 USD
http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ555646&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ555646 this link will get you started
jeff cooper here at Roads2.Com – interesting link – http://www.dhs.gov – especially for travelers on Roads2USA travel tours –
Just connected our flight in Taipei, Taiwan – on our way to China. Stayed at the Evergreen Transit Hotel at the international airport – Day Room rate from 9am to 9pm – $1,200 NT for minimum 3 hour stay ($400 NT per hour over 3 hours) with private room, shower, high-speed internet connection and a coffee/tea lounge – nice way to spend a short stay after a 14 hours flight with one more 3 hour flight to go. Reservations in advance by e-mailing ‘firstname.lastname@example.org or fax reservation to +886.3.383.4610
When will you have your small group travel tours to Costa Rica?
gede here – Roads2.Com Country Manager – Indonesia – I thought I would share this –
DESCRIPTION OF NYEPI DAY IN BALI
On 26 March 2009, Early in the morning, the island of Bali will be blanketed with silence. “Nyepi”, The Balinese New Year 1931 is celebrated with day of silence, fasting, and meditation. Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for contemplation and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are Amati Geni (no lighting fires); Amati Karya (no working); Amati Lelanguan (no entertainment or pleasure); and Amati Lelungan (no traveling); and for some, no talking or eating at all. Prohibition against lighting fires includes the use of light bulb and electricity, but there is an exception for those who sick or if there is an infant in a family, a minimum light is allowed. However, the emergency services such as hospitals are operational. Exceptions are granted for emergency vehicles carrying those with life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth and the pecalang, (Balinese traditional security force) will open roads and assist people to a hospital in emergencies.
On this day, bustling streets and roads are empty, normally busy markets lie dormant, and schools stand vacant, harbors shut down and ferries cease arrivals and departures from the island, the only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the pecalangs who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed
Jeff Cooper here -Roads2.Com Industry Affairs – yes – boutique-style travel to Costa Rica and other Central American destinations scheduled for early 2010
I have a question about Thailand – can non-Thai’s own land/condo/homes in Thailand? One of my friends said yes, another said no.
Jeff Cooper here – Roads2.Com Industry Affairs – just wanted to let all visitors to our blog know that Denise Gifford is our new Country Manager – USA.
Denise was born in Seattle, Washington, USA. As a young girl, she and her family lived in Canada. She received her Masters Degree in Business Administration. She has worked as a Financial Controller and Human Resources Director for many companies ranging from manufacturing to high-tech software engineering. Denise has considerable travel experience to Sweden, Europe, western Canada/USA/Mexico.
When Denise is not working, she enjoys living with her husband on their 48 foot boat in Seattle. She also likes cooking, walking, singing in a professional women’s choir, and knitting. One of their most favorite pastimes is to take their boat up into the USA San Juan Islands to enjoy the beauty of these pristine islands, and to enjoy the crabbing season!! Another favorite destination is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where they enjoy the sun, swim, and just relax!!
Our Roads2USA travel tour website will be launched at the end of April – coming soon.
Under the Thai law, non-Thai allow to own a condo but not for home with land. Most of non-Thai will marry a Thai nationality and buy a home with land under his/her name.
For those traveling to Singapore, you can enjoy a short walking tour of both China Town and Little India. Just take the MRT (subway) to each. Nice way to spend 2-3 hours looking, shopping and having a local lunch.
We hear there are ‘coconut crabs’ in the Philippines. If it is true, could someone tell us exactly what they are. And on one of your tours, will we see some?
Jeff Cooper here – Roads2.Com Industry Affairs……. visit this info link …. http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/27/india.medical.travel/index.html …..if relates to our future Roads2MediTours.com website……
Hi Lloyd/Pam, Tracey here from the Philippines. Yes, coconut crabs are found in the Philippines. However it is considered to be a rare form of crab, so its not easy to find among the Philippines’ 7000+ islands. It is the largest of all air breathing crabs, so thrives along the sea shores. Coconut trees are typically abundant in sea shores, so the crab considers this fruit its favorite meal. It’s still unsure if you would be able see a coconut crab in one of these tours, though we can try to make arrangements for you to see one.
First time visiting your travel blog. Interesting reading. I’m Eric from Germany and my friend Tonya is from Canada. We are backpacking throughout SE Asia. When it’s time to eat and we can’t read the menu or speak the local language, we take out our pair of dice, roll them and order from the number that appears. Today I rolled 4, and got the 4th item on the menu. I’m not sure what it was, but it was very good. Tonya rolled 10. Her meal looked and tasted even better.
Can your Roads2Malaysia.com country manager tell us more about Lake Tasik Kenyir in Malaysia? Thanks……
Lucia – Country Manager-Malaysa here.
Thanks for your inquiry, you will find lots of information by visiting
Hope to see you on one of our Roads2.Com travel tours in the future.
Songkran is a Thai traditional New Year which starts on April 13 every year and lasts for 3 days. Songkran festival on April 13 is Maha Songkran Day or the day to mark the end of the old year, April 14 is Wan Nao which is the day after and April 15 is Wan Thaloeng Sok which the New Year begins. At this time, people from the rural areas who are working in the city usually return home to celebrate the festival. Thus, when the time come, Bangkok temporarily turns into a deserted city.Songkran is a Thai word which means “move” or “change place” as it is the day when the sun changes its position in the zodiac. It is also known as the “Water Festival” as people believe that water will wash away bad luck.The Songkran tradition is recognized as a valuable custom for the Thai community, society and religions. The value for family is to provide the opportunity for family members to gather in order to express their respects to the elders by pouring scented water onto the hands of their parents and grandparents and to present them gifts including making merits to dedicate the result to their ancestors. The elders in return wish the youngsters good luck and prosperity.
WHY GO ROADS2.COM?… Ever sit in a ‘long-tail’ boat on the Mekong between Thailand, Laos and Myanmar?… Ever eat stingray, black noodles and spicy la-la in Kuala Lumpur… Ever see a sunrise from a Boracay beach?… http://www.Roads2.Com offers ’boutique-style’ travel tours…
I’m looking for an animal and national park 1 or 2 day mini-tour when I travel to Thailand. Can Roads2.com refer me to any tour group that offers this type of activity?
There are many great places in Thailand to get up close to wild life. I used a tour group that provides private tours all over Thailand, see http://www.bestdaytoursthailand.com and enjoy.
The other day I saw a tiny bird about as big as my thumb flitting about my heliconias. We could not quite catch its colour but it has a long curved beak, typical of what is seen on hummingbirds. This has led me to believe that humming birds can be found in Singapore. However my uncle insists that they cannot be found in this part of the world. Can humming birds be found in Singapore?
I can’t help you on this one. But an interesting thing about hummingbirds is that they flap their wings 70 times every second. I’ll keep watching this travel blog to see if someone knows.
Jeff Cooper here – Roads2.Com Industry Affairs – great search engine for asking travel questions – http://www.Answers.com – search for ‘baby-boomer travel tours asia’ and see what you get –
Just an informational note to travelers heading to Asia –
Just got back from Vietnam – had a great lunch in the Cha Ca restaurant in Hanoi – original place – family run – their children now operate 2 more modern Cha Ca restaurants – no menu – only serve a famous grilled fish – just sit down – they bring the charcoal pot and pan – grilled fish – vegetables – rice noodles – just enjoy – go early – a line outside at night – especially at the 100+ year old original spot.
Interesting travel community and blog….. http://www.travelguide.tv
Check it out…..
Can anyone tell me why almost all of the people walking in the early morning around Hoan Kiem Lake near the Old Quarter of Hanoi go in a counter-clockwise direction? When I was walking in a clockwise direction, and thought maybe I was walking in an inappropriate direction?
New information being provided on ‘secure flight – tsa/usa’
WHY USE ‘GPS’ FOR TRAVELERS?… Ever get lost walking on an international travel tour?… Need to find your hotel, local transit, a restaurant, bank, or shopping?… Roads2.Com has ‘launched’ portable Global Positioning System (GPS) for some of it’s travelers…
Jeff here…. we have launched Roads2USA.com …..
We have changed our Roads2Laos itineraries – we now have 2 ‘combo’ tours – Tour 1 is 10 days starting in Bangkok and then onto Luang Prabang, Laos – Tour 2 is 10 days starting in Hanoi – then Luang Prabang –
Reserve a Roads2Thailand.com ’boutique-style’ travel tour and extend your stay in the Land of Smiles after the Roads2.Com tour and take advantage of Thai Airways ‘free domestic’ air ticket offer –
The name Jim Thompson is synonymous with Thai silk, a meticulous craft that recalls distinctive Siamese customs and cultural heritage.
Some interesting travel mini-blog posts when logged into Twitter and using their search engine for ‘travel’ ….’exotic travel’ ….. and such….
Some interesting traveler viewing at http://www.travellerspoint.com
Another useful packing list is provided by LeTravelStore –
Wow, the world is moving faster and faster – now we have ‘fusing Twitter trends with Bing insights – visit http://bingtweets.com
wow – everyone thought it would be Google and Twitter – but no – Microsoft (Bing) and Twitter are both part of ‘bingtweets.com’ –
Luang Prabang, Laos – wow – paradise – can’t really describe this ancient capital of Laos – I was sitting on the Mekong River and didn’t want to leave – my kind of place –
Try the famous Cha Ca restaurant in Hanoi – family run – only grilled fish, vegetables & rice noodles served for 150 years – part of http://www.Roads2Vietnam.com , Tour #1 and the combo Vietnam/Laos Tour #2
http://www.Roads2Korea.com will be launched in October – I would like to introduce our new Country Manager for Korea.
SungHye was born in Korea, and lives in Seoul. Her 2 young daughters keep both herself and husband very busy.
SungHye graduated from the University of Seoul and majored in computer science. She has worked in the IT/telecom industry for over 13 years as a software developer. She has extensive travel to several different countries including the USA, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia. She has always found herself fascinated and motivated when experiencing different cultures.
When SungHye is not working, she enjoys swimming and farmwork. Her favorite places to visit are Singapore and Japan. Beyond Korean and English, she speaks Japanese and French.
Kipling called it – a golden mystery – a beautiful winking wonder-the Great Shwedagon Paya – http://www.Roads2Myanmar launching soon….
http://www.Roads2Cambodia.com has launched
Humm… interesting,I have been checking out this blog for the past 3 months or so now, and i would like to say that it is great, i love checking out your older posts and catching upThanks for bringing this up
Uncancelled stamps can be stolen off letters sent home in places where the cost of one stamp can buy a full meal – go to the post office
As a reminder, when you use your ATM card overseas, you will receive the local currency, not US dollars
Card Skimmers Foiled by Bali Police –
Bangkok has no downtown, and the streets, like the traffic, seem to veer off in every direction. This magnificent city is a kaleidoscope in which temples and palaces stand alongside ramshackle homes on the banks of evil-smelling canals (klongs), appetizing smells of exotic street food, traffic jams with BMW’s and tuk tuk’s, deluxe hotels sharing the same block with tin-roof stalls, and designer boutique shopping centers with street vendors hawking knockoff Pierre Cardin shirts outside – a must see for any traveler to Asia…
Just visited Macau on a day trip from Hong Kong. Lots of historic sites. Within a few blocks, one can find a 16th-Century Buddhist temple,17th-Century European fort, 18th-Century baroque church, 19th Century colonial mansion, 20th-Century skyscraper, and Macau casino gambling. A must-do day-trip when passing through Hong Kong.
Saw your twitter foto of Christ Church in Malaka – across the street is the Stadthuys, thought to be the oldest remaining Dutch architecture in the Orient, built between 1641 and 1660.
I’m heading to Laos and had heard about the Hidden City in the north of Laos – any information about this place? easy to get to? how far from Luang Prabang?
Tom – start here…..
Stretching north from Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi is the Old Quarter, the 2,000 year-old hotbed of trade. Many street here start with the word ‘hang, Vietnamese for merchandise or shop, and this bustling maze of commerce remains a great place for watching local craftsmen at work. Sit down in the Old Quarter with some delicious snack food or fruit and watch Hanoi street life at its most eclectic.
An enthralling mix of culture and showmanship, water puppet performances are a must-see in Hanoi. Known as ‘mua roi noc’ in Vietnamese (literally ‘puppets that dance on water’), this unique art form is rooted in history. One-hour shows, which are usually introduced by a comic yokel known as Uncle Teu, are an amuzing take on popular myth and old rural life, with up to 18 short vignettes based largely on farming, fishing, boat racing and buffalo fighting.
Tales of Indochina: To open up or not to open upBy Luc Citrinot, eTN
Once upon the time in Indochina, there were two countries entwined in their destiny: both Laos and Vietnam fought a terrible war, half a century ago.
I like it
The Mists of Time – A Walk in the Clouds – Though Korea’s ancient Three Kingdoms are well known to anyone familiar with the history of the peninsula, the fourth, Gaya, has all but disappeared from view. Yet in the modern city of Gimhae, relics and monuments provide tantalizing links to this glorious past.
Roads2.Com launches http://twitter.com/boomer_buzz – follow and we will retweet baby-boomer travel questions, comments and buzz
Boom, Boom, Boom…what’s that sound? Boom, Boom, Boom…there it goes again. Hey, can you hear it? I sure can. It’s the sound of 78 million baby boomers getting ready to book their travel.
The Baby Boomers are about to experience the greatest wealth transfer in history as their parents pass away and a generation of savers passes their assets on to the boomers. Get ready for the real boom in travel — it is about to begin!
When time permits, take a look at http://www.officialgeezerguide.com and http://twitter.com/headgeezer
One fortune at Lao temple – Like a flower, blooming under the angry sun, but manages to look fresh … Like a little bird learning to fly in a strong wind, falling down to the ground … Life will be enjoyable in the future. Patient will recover. Not likely to find a good mate at this stage. Legal case no favorable. Some good luck exists. Despite some hardships at present, things will be better in not too long ….
Myth and Mystery
The Golden Rock (Kyaik-htiyo or Kyaiktiyo), perched atop a cliff near Yangon, is one of the most sacred sites in Burma. The great boulder precariously balances on the edge of a cliff and is topped by a small stupa. An endless stream of pilgrims come to admire the sight and add squares of gold leaf to its surface.
With its great weight balanced so precariously on the cliff edge, the Golden Rock is a truly extraordinary natural feature. It is little wonder it is regarded with such sacred awe. According to legend, it is kept in place by a single hair of the Buddha.The main legend of the Golden Rock begins with a hermit bringing a hair of the Buddha to his king. The hermit instructed that his gift be enshrined under a rock shaped like the hermit’s head. (The name Kyaik-htiyo means “Pagoda on a Hermit’s Head.”)Fortunately the king was the son of a zagwi (a hermit reborn as a powerful, magical being) and a naga (sea dragon) so he was able to find and retrieve the rock from the bottom of the ocean.The king built a ship to carry the rock to the mountain. After the rock was in place, balanced on the hair of the Buddha, the boat turned to stone. A stone that looks a bit like a ship is enshrined in the complex.Another legend explains that the rock actually hovers in the air above the cliff. Originally there was enough room between for a chicken to walk under it, then it sunk a bit and only a partridge could walk through, and finally only a sparrow could walk through. Today it still hovers, but the space is so narrow that it can’t be seen.
Ahoy Amoy – Situated opposite Taiwan on the Taiwan Strait, Xiamen has long been a important transit point for the Chinese people. Today, it is renowned for its love of the piano and its burgeoning fine arts industry.
Located in subtropical southeast China, directly opposite Taiwan, Xiamen’s history has seen it develop from a colonial treaty port into one of the economic powerhouses of Fujian Province. Xiamen sprouts every more shiny skyscrapers and neon signage. Still, as a metropolis renowned for being both clean and green, it’s easy to see why this city has earned its reputation as China’s ‘glittering pearl’.
Xiamen’s greatest tourist attraction is undoubtedly Gulangyu. Here, at the turn of the 20th century, a few hundred Western traders prospered, built mansions, and lived an idyllic, bourgeois life. It was at this time that Siamen was known as Amoy.
Gulangyu inhabitants have long had a telent for music and a special fondness for the piano. With over 5,000 pianos (one in every 5 homes), Gulangyu actuall has more pianos per capita than any other Chinese city and is also known by locals at ‘Piano Island’ or ‘Music Island’.
A Colonial Past – and an exciting visit for any boutique-style traveler.
‘Just a year or two ago, it was crazy to try to walk a bridge across the Han River – but now, its such a romantic venture’. He calls Gwangjin Bridge, ‘a bridge with a human touch’
Taken from Morning Calm, Korean Air inflight magazine.
Learning about an unfamiliar world can be exhilarating, the Unknown promises fun and one of life’s educations. Curiosity makes the heart go aflutter, and new experiences are nothing short of thrilling. Come join Roads2.Com on one of their exotic travels. Jump right into it all, visit http://bonanzle.com/booths/roads2com
Buses can be exhausting, but they are the cheapest form of motorized transportation, and one of the very best ways to penetrate a country. In some parts of the world buses are packed to the gills with people and then careen up mountain passes and over suspension bridges with a radio blasting and the horn honking. In other countries, they are comfortable, air-conditioned, serene. In all kinds of buses, you will have an excellent opportunity to meet people. If you haven’t done this before, try it.
With a population the same as California, living in a space the size of Hawaii, Tokyo, Japan is a city buzzing with energy – one so big and ever-changing that even taxi drivers rely on GPS systems to find their way around. First-time visitors are often bewildered by the pace of life, the alien surroundings with signage in strange script and a people seemingly hidden behind a screen of good manners. But once over the initial shock, you’ll find an exciting city, whose people are open to anything new and where you can discover something entertaining and innovative at any hour of the day or night.
The Blue Sweater is a book that anyone interested in travel, adventure, philanthropy, micro-finance, community-outreach, and personal achievement will delight in. It’s the true story of a woman who started her career in international banking, and wound up in Rwanda starting one of their first micro-finance banks there, among other projects to empower people stuck in the cycle of poverty, especially women, and enable them to build businesses and generate income and dignity. Eventually, she landed back in NYC and now runs Acumen Fund.
The Blue Sweater is available at Amazon.com.
The Magic Hour – Watching the sunrise at Alishan is one of Taiwan’s most famous sights, and virtually everyone includes it in their itinerary. At the predetermined moment, the sun peeks out over the tip of Yushan, Taiwan’s tallest mountain. As the sun burns through the early morning mist, rays of the light began to strike the other nearby peaks and the sky fills with a red fire, illuminating the sea of clouds swirling in the valleys below.
RAILYWAY TO HEAVEN – The Qingzang Railway is a high-altitude rail system that connects Xining, in China’s Qinghai Province to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. It hold numerous engineering world records, including the world’s highest train station at 5,068m above sea level, the longest railway bridge in the world, at 11.4km, and the world’s highest tundra tunnel at 4,905m above sea level.
To cope with the extreme elevation, passenger cars are pressurized and oxygen is available for each passenger.
Walking Along the Hanok – In the alleyways of 11 and 31 Gahoe-dong, Bukchon, in northern Seoul, you can actually walk between old Korean houses for an escape from the city’s skyscrapers. Here, the eaves are so close they almost touch above your head.
The Wanderer by Han Cha-hyeon
~ ~ ~
Not for lack of longing
Nor for fear of being alone
Essence from a star wandering
Exploring a life to call my own
Across this strange planet I pass,
Moving as a traveler of fate,
Please, for a moment to wait I ask
‘Til the sun I kissed yesterday rises late
Let me introduce you to Micronesia – entirely in the North Pacific, exotic destinations with 2100 idyllic islands scattered between Hawaii and Philippines.
Micronesia has warm aqua waters lapping at the pristine bleached sands, swaying coconut palms, lush tropical jungles, tumbling waterfalls and traditional thatched huts.
Each of the island groups has its own culture and character. The inhabited areas vary from idyllic villages with no cars or electricity to the high-rise resort developments of Guam and Saipan.
Steeped in a rich yet largely unknown history, the ruins of the great stone cities of Pohnpei’s Nan Madol and Kosrae’s Lelu are on an archaeological par with the stone statues of Easter Island and the Mayan ruins of Central America.
Micronesia can be explored in depth or taken in small chunks. For the traveler looking to get off the beaten track, it’s a rare exotic find.
In the 16th century a Portuguese ship sighted the main island of Taiwan and called it “Ilha Formosa”, which means “Beautiful Island.” No better words could be used to describe this gorgeous island whose shape is similar to a ‘sweet potato’ (seen in a south-to-north direction). Taiwan is a mixture of steep and rugged mountains covered by tropical and subtropical vegetation, running from the northern to the southern tip of the island (its highest point is the Yu Shan at 3,952 meters) and the flat plains in the west that are also home to most of Taiwan’s population; a high density of 24-hour convenience stores and bustling industrialized megalopolis and aboriginal tribes; paper umbrellas, bian tiao (rice noodles) and lychee by the side of fast food and karaoke. In Taipei -Taiwan’s largest city and its business, industrial and economic capital- you can admire one of Taiwan’s greatest attractions: The National Palace Museum which houses more than 650,000 pieces of Chinese bronze, jade, calligraphy, painting and porcelain. The collection, estimated to be one-tenth of China’s cultural treasures, is so extensive that only 1% is on display at any time. Among the numerous beauties of this land there is Sun Moon Lake, situated near the center of Taiwan which is a must-see tourist attraction in Taiwan. It is known for its abundance of natural landscapes, mountains, lakes, and lushes of green vegetation. Its a great place to chill out and relax while enjoying the beauty of the area. Taroko National Park, on Taiwan’s east coast, is another magnificent place, famous for its spectacular mountain scenery and marble canyons. In southern Taiwan, Kenting -blessed with the sunniest and warmest weather in Taiwan, with beautiful white sandy beaches and lush tropical forests- is the perfect place to snorkel, jet-ski, dive, laze around, hike, or have some party fun. But if you want to retain un unforgettable memory you might visit The QingShui Cliff, the most outstanding view along the Suao-Hualien highway. It marks the point where the eastern part of the Central Mountain Range plunges into the Pacific Ocean. This section of the road is carved into the highest seaside cliffs in Taiwan – soaring at over 1000 meters from the surface of the water. The water of the ocean against the darkness of the cliffs with white clouds usually surrounding represent a really breathtaking scenery!
Shikoku, Japan is a lush island refreshed by wind and the tide. IT is one of the most charming and illusive places seldom seen by outsiders. Shikoku is a Japanese spiritual Mecca. Most importantly, it’s the birthplace of Kobo Daishi, an eight century Buddhist scholar saint who imported Buddhism from China, invesnted the Japanese alphabet, experimented with stargazing and founded countless temples and monasteries. It that wasn’t enough, Daishi also introduced the delights of tea to the Japanese.
Consisting of over a thousand islets, the Maldives has everything your most discerning clients would expect- luxuriously appointed bungalows, gourmet cuisine,refreshing spas, scuba diving, and pristine beaches. The region itself has a ‘one resort per island’ policy allowing each and every resort to offer opulence and intimacy while simultaneously giving first-class service.
Trekking in Taroko Gorge – Craggy white walls over the aquamarine waters of the Liwu River at Taroko Gorge, one of Taiwan’s most visited destinations. Hewn by Mother Nature from solid marble, it is as spectacular to behold as it is imtimidating. Visit Roads2Taiwan.com …
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Thailand is crazy about golf and has been since the Thais first took note of its existence about 200 years ago. The country has more than 250 quality golf courses in places as diverse as Phuket island in the far south, the resort towns of Hua Hin and Pattaya, the outskirts (and even downtown) of Bangkok, and Chiang Mai in the country’s mountainous north.
Golfers prefer the early mornings, and many players have both a caddy and an assitant to hold a laarge shade umbrella as they make their way around the course. And at most of the courses, refreshments are available every three holes or so to keep players hydrated.
Non-golfers never truly understand the golfer’s desire to spend four or five hours playing a game that most of the time is an exercise in frustration. Mark Twain summed up the non-golfer perspective nicely when he pointed out that golf is the best way to ruin a perfectly good walk.
What a lovely site you have, great color scheme too.
The Red Rooster Route provides a tour of the sscenic countryside and vibrant farmlands of Arlington, Washington, USA. Self-guided tours offer visitors ann opportunity to experience a rich blend of family-owned farms, learn about family agriculture.
While on the Red Rooser Route, enjoy hand pickking the most delicious of nature’s bounty – farm fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, organic heirloom tomatoes, herbs and winter greens.
Flow lovers will delight in hurseries full of seasonal plants, hanging baskets and color pots, as well as walking through various shades of purple and silver in the lavender fields.
Kids can meet farm animals and learn about Katahein lambs. Stop and picnic at any of the farms where you can indulge in old-fashioned hand-dipped ice cream, strawberry shortcake and other treats. Explore farm gift shops, take a dip in the enticing Stillaguamish River and pck up local sweet corn and watermelons for your summer barbecue.
Come in the fall and discover corn mazes, pumpkin patches, wagon rides and hay mazes. Every season is fun on the farms.
Too much for one day? Stay the weekend in one of the local hotels or bad and breakfasts.
Bali – Island of Gods – the jewel of the equatorial islands of Indonesia. It surely could be said that it is ‘The Hawaii’ of the southern hemisphere. It is a very popular tourist destination. Millions of People visit Bali each year from all over the world, as it is summer all year around.
Join us on our Roads2Indonesia.com tour …
Spa & Wellness – there are many wonderful spas to choose from in Thailand. Here are a select few day and desintation spas which won one of Thailand’s ‘Hallmark of Excellence’ awards.
Tamarind Springs Forest Spa – Ko Samui
Sukko Cultural Spa & Wellness – Phuket
The Oasis Spa – Chiang Mai
RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort- Chiang Mai
Tao Garden Health Spa & Resort – Chiang Mai
Paradee Resort & Spa – Rayong
Thailand has long been at the forefront of spa therapy. Whether you want to recover from jet-lag, erase the stresses of modern life or take an extended mind-and-body break, you’ll find the right spa for you.
Koh Chang Island is an emerald green speck looming from the Gulf of Thailand near the Cambodian border. Koh chang has only eight villages within it, making it a restful semi-rural getaway. It is a mountainous wonderland with rainforests full of waterfalls, coral reefs and beaches. It has everything a traveler could wantn who’s seeking a distination where natural beauty seamlessly blends with solitude.
The best way to reach Koh Chang is by Bangkok Airways, only 45 minutes from Bangkok. It is considered by some to be Thailand’s most beautiful island resort.
Koh Chang means ‘Elephant Island’. It is a little-known paradise. Put Koh Chang on your list of must-experience-must enjoy when visiting the Land of Smiles.
The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour offers the only opportunity to tour a commercial jet assembly plant in North America. At Boeing-Snohomish County-Everett Washington-in the world’s largest building- watch the very same jets you may one day be a passenger on being assembled. Come visit the Future of Flight and other surrounding aviation activities on the Roads2USA.com Aviation Adventure tour …
To be seeing the world made new every morning, as if it were the morning of the first day, and then to make the most of it for the individual soul, as if it were the last day-is the daily curriculum of the mind’s desire.
— quote by Dr. John H. Finley —
PENDLETON ROUND-UP RODEO ADVENTURE – ALL-INCLUSIVE ‘BOUTIQUE-STYLE’ 4-DAY VISIT TO UMATILLA COUNTY, OREGON STATE, USA
The Pendleton Round-Up Rodeo is one of the largest and most prestigious rodeos in the world, attracting more than 950 rodeo contestants competing for prize money in excess of $400,000 USD. Here you’ll enjoy the very best talent in the world as they showcase their events on the large grass arena – unique to the sport of rodeo.
Much more than a western rodeo, the Round-Up began in 1910 as a celebration by farmers, ranchers and native American Indian tribes marking the end of the harvest growing season in Eastern Oregon. More than 7,000 visitors saw that first show. Today, more than 70,000 visitors enjoy this famous Pendleton Round-Up Rodeo which has grown to a week-long event. It now features the Happy Canyon Night Show, concerts, professional bull riding, parades, native Indian beauty contests, street shows, carnivals, Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and more.
Special attention at the Pendleton Round-Up is the Indian Village where over 300 teepees house Native American families. Many of these families have been coming for generations, since the beginning, to share the culture and traditions of their forefathers and tell the story of this history portrayed each night in the Happy Canyon Pageant – a ‘must see’ for any Round-Up visitor.
Rodeo competition events at the Pendleton Round-Up are Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Calf Roping, Bull Riding, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Barrel Racing, Steer Roping, Indian Relay Race, and Wild Cow Milking. Also included are the unqiue American Indian Beauty Contest and the Native American Indian Pow-Wow Dance competiton.
The 2011 Pendleton Round-Up Rodeo will take place the 2nd-full week of September 2011. There are ONLY 50 reservations available for this 4-day September 15th-18th, 2011 adventure. All reservations must be booked and prepaid no later than May 16, 2011.
Included is a 3-night stay at the WildHorse Casino, 3-days of reserved seating at rodeo event (thursday, friday and the final, championship saturday), one breakfast at the Cowboy Breakfast – Stillman Park, one dinner at the famous Hamley’s & Co. SteakHouse, one evening at the Happy Canyon Pageant, the Westward Ho! Parade, the Tamastslikt Museum, and a visit to the original Pendleton Woolen Mills and the Pendleton Underground Tour.
2011_SuperDeals have been announced … 40% savings on selected all-inclusive boutique-style tours to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam … visit http://www.Roads2.com …
Tasty Thai side dish – Lap Mu
Jalan Alor Food Paradise Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Jalan Alor is a lively street, running parallel to Jalan Bukit Bintang in the heart of the Golden Triangle. It comes alive every night with the sights and smells of hawker cooking and pavement cafÃ©s, the moment you round the corner of Jalan Alor, you will be hit by a hundred different aromas. It’s no surprise then to find that the entire street is lined with coffee shops and restaurants selling mainly Chinese hawker fare. The stalls are parked all along the street. It is quite an overwhelming experience for the first timers, who may have some difficulty on deciding where to eat. Donâ€™t feel intimidated; most of the menus have pictures of each delicacy.
You can find everything from crispy fried pig intestines to satays and spicy marinated grilled stingray. Main courses can be washed down with a large cold beer or some exotic fresh fruit juice (try the sugarcane juice!). If the shopkeeper does not sell the dish or drink ordered, he will often go and purchase it from another stall.
Welcome to Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur food paradise.
Another interesting travel blog – http://travelblog.agoda.com/
One of the famous temples in Bangkok “Wat Traimit” – The Temple of the Golden Buddha (the statue of Buddha is made from solid gold weighting 5.5 tons). Located very near to Hua Lamphong railway station (Yaowarad Road) and Chinatown, it is one of the most popular attractions in the City of Angels. Take the MRT subway to the train station and start from there …
Sleep in the shadow of the famous Matterhorn mountain – http://www.alex-schlosshotel.ch/
Interesting new ‘homestay’ tourism offering in Korea – http://korea-homestay.com/page_files_eng/
TRVL Travel Magazine made for iPad – Available on the App Store
Lombardi’s Italian Food & Wine Pairing Adventure has been added to Roads2.com’s exotic travel http://plixi.com/p/68895986
Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.
Oldest Known Winery? – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704458204576074141252276326.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_5
FireFly community airlines to destinations in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Southern Thailand – http://www.fireflyz.com.my
For help building your own Travel Packing List, visit http://wikitravel.org/en/packing_list
There are 166 cities in China with over a million people. There are cities you’ve never heard of with 8 million.
The boutique hotel Jakes’ http://www.islandoutpost.com on Jamaica’s south coast offers a ‘farm dinner’ once a month. Served on a white-linen-set table surrounded by lanterns in the middle of a working field, it begins at sunset and features organic dishes prepared at local farms.
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Mahamuni Buddha Temple – southwest of Mandalay – one of the three holiest places in Myanmar (Burma) … http://plixi.com/p/73622274
Golf Thailand? – enjoy golf on your ‘free-style free-time’ on http://www.Roads2Thailand.com tours – http://golfguidethailand.com/index.htm
Traveling to Kyoto, Japan? – http://www.kyoto-machiya-inn.com
The only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a 4-story rainforest – http://www.calacademy.org
Geocaching – Luang Prabang, Laos – http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=22cae901-fd92-406a-9499-b4eec2fefbcd
When in San Francisco don’t miss the spectacular Golden Gate Sunset Cruise – http://www.redandwhite.com/california_sunset_cruise.asp
The historic Red and White Fleet is San Francisco’s original sightseeing adventure since 1892. The family-owned fleet is located at Pier 43 1/2 in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, offering daily sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz narrated in 12 languages. Red and White’s bay tours are a spectacular and convenient way for visitors to discover the City by the Bay.
The Hub Lounge provides VIP lounge privileges for Roads2.com travelers when in Seoul, Korea – http://www.Wellss.com/new/wellss_hublounge.htm
Boracay Island – Philippines… beautiful beaches… fine white sand… smooth surrounding water… my kind of place…
Visit Raffles Hotel – one Singapore’s Landmarks – peek at the Billiard Room where tigers once napped http://plixi.com/p/83957330
The Bund got its name from a beach outside the old Shanghai. If you have never been to the Bund, then you have never been to Shanghai …
India’s culture is a spicy mix, bringing with it boundless energy. Walk through the streets to see women in colorful saris, vendors with baskets of pungent spices in various shades of brown and gold and buildings flashing their filigreed façades. The sights, sounds and scents are certain to captivate you at every turn.
From camel riders at sunset to cobra charmers on the streets of Jaipur, our comprehensive journey through India is an absolute feast of colorful pageantry, dramatic history, and diverse local cultures and cuisines…
find out more at http://tourlish.com/
… 272 steps up to the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur filled during the Hindu festival each year when over 1 million people visit over 3 days …
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