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Archive for February, 2009


Sydney is the capital city of the south eastern Australian state of New South Wales. The city has a population of 4 million people, and covers almost 700 square miles. Many travelers may think Sydney is the capital of Australia but its not, the capital of Australia of Canberra.

Sydney is Australia’s oldest, largest and most diverse city, with its outrageously superb looking harbor. There’s no way to describe the Sydney experience, it’s physical. Drunk yourself on the Bondi and Manly surf situated north and south of Sydney Heads, sail on gigantic yacht through the harbor or ride through Centennial Park on a horseback. Australians love to be outside, on warm days the beaches, cafes and terrace are packed with locals and tourist enjoying a cold Foster Lager.

It’s easy to move around in this remarkable city, an excellent public train, bus and ferry service connects all districts and areas. Regardless, most of the tourist attractions are within the central city area and the harbor. Suggested is to spend time walking around the CBD (Central Business District) area, visiting The Rocks and relaxing a day in the harbor on a sunny, with a clear blue sky day.

Travelers to Australia are required a valid passport and visa. Citizens from US, Europe and Canada automatically receive a ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) visa, as long the stay does not extend 1 year (or until the passport expires, whichever comes first) and permit multiple entries into Australia for a stay of up to 3 months on each visit.


An oddity, Uzbekistan’s capital city of Tashkent, is not exactly a tourist’s dream destination. Those who do take the chance will not regret it, however. Deep within Tashkent are hidden charms and merging cultures that make a trip to the place very interesting, indeed. During the pre-Islamic and early Islamic eras, the city was called “Chach”. It is located on what is known to be the Great Silk Road. This ancient city has endured so much in history but these historical events are also responsible for Tashkent’s uniqueness. According to the latest measurement, its population is recorded at 2.7 million.

Tashkent is a truly eccentric city. Visit it and notice the clashing cultures that somehow manage to blend to create a city. A wide range of activities and sights reveal the various inspirations that make Tashkent what it is today. For example, you will get a taste of bazaars, palaces and museums while still not straying too far away from modern restaurants and an active nightlife. There are obvious Muslim influences that thrive side by side with Soviet remnants. The city is fairly safe, but be wary of petty thefts and robberies. Make sure that you are there for pleasure and not for political reasons; the latter can give you much trouble.

Arrive in the city through Tashkent International Airport. From there, you can take advantage of cheap taxi rides to the city proper. You can get around the city through bus, train or taxi. Taxis may be relatively comfortable to the other transportation’s but some cabs can be pretty old and derelict. Generally, public fare is very cheap in Tashkent. You may cheap options in food and hotel, as well but you also have opportunities to splurge. Get a weather report before leaving for Tashkent, however. The city has extreme continental weather. This means that summers can heat up to about 113 degrees Fahrenheit while winters can freeze to about -31 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are to visit Uzbekistan from the United States, you will need a valid passport and a business or tourist visa. When applying for visa, you must bring along proof of your hotel reservations and proof purpose of visit.

San Francisco

San Francisco, California is one of the most popular travel destinations around the world. According to the latest measurement, San Francisco’s estimated population was nearly 800 thousand, making it the 13th largest city in the United States in terms of population. The city has gained such a reputation in Northern California, that it is often referred to plainly as “The City.” Located on a peninsula, San Francisco is surrounded by San Francisco Bay in the east and the Pacific Ocean in the West.

With a city as well-developed and as popular as San Francisco, there are loads of activities, events, attractions, museums, sights, bars, and nightclubs for tourists to experience. Some of the most popular attractions of San Francisco are the bars and cafes situated along the city’s rolling hills. The city is also well-known for its active arts and cultural scene. The bay provides a playground for those who enjoy water activities, as well as a source for underwater creatures that fill the Aquarium of the Bay. No matter what time of day it is, there are tons of things to do in San Francisco, and it is just up to the tourist to take advantage of the place, its people, and its many fun and exciting venues.

Most of the people who travel to San Francisco by air will land at the San Francisco International Airport. Traveling around San Francisco is relatively easy, with taxis, buses, and trolleybuses rolling around the city’s streets. Car rentals are another option for tourists. One of the best ways to truly get a feel of San Francisco is by walking in its streets, no matter how tiring that uphill hike may be. Those who want to enjoy the city’s popular fogs should visit during spring or early summer, when the weather is neither too cold nor too hot.

American citizens traveling to San Francisco by air will need to have a valid passport, but a visa is not required. International travelers are required to have a valid passport as, depending on your: nationality, reason to visit or length of stay you may be required a visa. Travelers entering the United States to visit San Francisco are advised to contact the local USA embassy to verify before leaving.

Selous Game Reserve

For the adventurous soul, a trip to Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve is a must. There are adventures for the eyes and even for the whole body. This is because you get to enjoy the sight of wild animals and the lush, calming green vegetation. You also have the benefit of experiencing boating, walking and camping. In fact, Selous offers the only African safari that can be done on foot. A photographer’s dream, Selous is about 21 thousand square miles of preserved wildlife, making it one of the largest wild animal reserves.

Selous is home to large numbers of animals. This means that you may feel terrible if in case you have forgotten your camera. You can only recount the experience to your friends and family back home as best as you can. Being a Tanzanian tourist takes on a different level in the Selous Game Reserve. Here, you are an awestruck observer of overwhelming natural sights and sounds. If you are not satisfied with just the safari, you can stay in any of the lodges in the area. You may want to make your stay luxurious or next to all-natural.

You do not have to worry much about how to get to Tanzania. It is served in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The country’s two major airports are Kilimanjaro International Airport and Julius Nyerere International Airport. From the airport, you can travel to Selous by bus or by shared taxi. You can also get more comfortable by renting out a motorcycle or a car. Hitching is also very popular in Tanzania. However, it is prohibited in the wildlife reserve. Expect warm days and cool nights in Tanzania. Avoid visiting the Selous Game Reserve from March to May because the park’s trails may be difficult to pass through because of heavy rains.

It is best to check the official website of Tanzania’s embassy in the United States for the latest information. As of early 2010, you will most likely be given a multiple entry passport costing about 100 US dollars.


Berne is only the fifth most populous city of Switzerland but it commands an attention all its own. The city is actually the country’s capital, partly because of its charm and partly because of a compromise. Switzerland’s French and German speakers agree in proclaiming Berne the country’s center because it seems fair enough to choose one where both languages are spoken. It also helps that the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has considered Berne a World Heritage site and that Albert Einstein formulated his theory of relativity right in the city. According to the latest measurement, the capital city is home to only 130 thousand people.

It is thrilling to visit a place that has scientific ties while staying in touch with its Old World charms. Berne may be linked to UNESCO and Einstein but it retains a medieval flavor in some areas. That is a curious blend that tourists will not be able to resist. Berne is rich in festivals, as well. You can experience more of Berne by timing your visit to one of these festivals.

You can visit Berne by flying to the Berne-Belp Airport. However, if you are not coming from London, Dugan or other cities with direct flights to Berne, you will have to book interconnecting flights to finally reach Berne. While in Berne, you can get around by bus or train. You may also use a car or a motorcycle so that you can drive yourself around. The temperature in Berne is cool all year round. Its July temperature only reaches up to 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Wintry temperature can dip as low as 29 degrees Fahrenheit.

Visiting Berne from the United States? Then, you will no longer need a visa to enter Switzerland. Bring along your US passport, of course, and you get up to 90 days stay in Berne. Also make sure that you have all your travel documents and necessary visas because you may have to pass through other cities, such as London.


Paramaribo is the capital city of the Republic of Suriname, which lies in the northern region of South America. Suriname is situated north of Brazil, east of Guyana and west of French Guiana. Nicknamed “Par’bo,” Paramaribo also serves as the main port for Suriname. With an estimated population of 250 thousand, Paramaribo is the most populous city in Suriname.

The city of Paramaribo has a rich history and a diverse culture. Having been occupied by the Dutch and the English before gaining independence in 1975, Paramaribo has been largely influenced by the many different cultures and peoples who have lived there. For example, it is not uncommon to see churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues standing side by side. The city also has interesting architecture largely influenced by the Dutch, French and English. The Suriname River passes right through Paramaribo and shops, restaurants and cafes line the river and the streets of the city. With the numerous cultures that blend to give Paramaribo its unique atmosphere and environment, the city is definitely an interesting place to visit.

The two main sources for local transportation are both land-based: rentals and public transportation. Before renting cars to travel around Paramaribo, tourists should familiarize themselves with the English driving system, wherein the steering wheel is on the right side of the vehicle, and drivers should stay on the left side of the road. For those who may have trouble with the English driving system, it may be better to travel by bus or taxi. The city also has the Zorg en Hoop Airport and the nearby Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport for air travel. The peak season for Paramaribo is during July and August, so tourists should make early reservations for vacations during these months.

To travel to Paramaribo or any other destination in Suriname, American citizens are required to have a passport, visa and return ticket. Visitors are also required to visit the Police Precinct Nieuwe Haven, Van’t Hogerhuysstraat, which is in Paramaribo.


Maha Nuvara, Kandy in English, is the center of the Kandy District and the Central Province in Sri Lanka. Colombo may be the nation’s seat of government but Kandy acts as the cultural capital, being the last kingdom of Sri Lanka. Kandy may be only 115 km away from Colombo but it is starkly different in terms of both its cultural offerings and its climate. The 500 meter altitude is responsible for its largely different climate. As for culture, Kandy is the center of the last Sinhalese Kingdom. Associated with it then are evidences of history, such as antiques and old architecture. Kandy does offer modern hotels but activity seems to come to a halt at night. This calm and quiet place is home to only about a hundred thousand people.

The people of Kandy are mostly Buddhists. The cultural capital is then generally calm, with few incidences of crime. It is evidently more peaceful than other parts of Sri Lanka. However, Kandyans are no longer as trustworthy as historical records proclaim them to be. So when you do visit Kandy, take care of your belongings as you would in any place.

The best way to reach Kandy is from Colombo. You can travel to Kandy via bus, train, taxi or mini-van. Your best choice will be to ride the train so that you can enjoy the view. Choose the intercity express train and book it on advance to avoid having to ride other trains, which can be both late and crowded. You can also take an air-conditioned bus. However, women are warned against sitting with men they do not know; it is best to sit next to another woman. In Kandy, you can experience its local transport, the Three-Wheelers or Tuc-Tuc. You can also walk around to best appreciate the place. The cultural capital’s temperature is generally warm, in the high twenties or low thirties, in the Celsius scale.

Coming from the United States, you will need a passport which is at least six months valid. You are not required to have a visa, however, but you need to show proof of return travel.


Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s capital and largest city. Its name comes from the plural of “rawdha,” which is an Arabic word that means garden. This may sound strange at first because Riyadh arouses visions of dusty deserts instead of lush gardens but “rawdha” is more like a garden that sprouts after rain falls on a desert. This may prove to be prophetic in the sense that formerly viewed as a mere dusty capital city, Riyadh is now considered as one of the world’s fastest-growing cities. According to the latest measurement, the city has 4.7 million registered residents.

Modern Saudi Arabia is best seen in Riyadh. The modern buildings rise against the backdrop of deserts and camels. Even with sparkling sports cars driving by, people still do not forget to stop when it is time to pray. The star-quality establishments that have made Riyadh a truly modern city are not able to erase the conservative nature that The Kingdom is known for.

Fly into Riyadh through the King Khalid International Airport. There are three other international airports within the country but it is best that you arrive at Riyadh’s main airport. Within Riyadh, you can get around by bus, train or car. The city’s bus system does not only connect you to cities within Saudi Arabia but also to nearby countries. The weather in Riyadh is very hot. The temperature can burn up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit on average during the summer. Winter can provide you with much needed mild or cool weather conditions.

If you are visiting from the United States, you will need a passport valid for at least six months. You also need to bring documents such as your return ticket. You will generally only be allowed a visa to Saudi Arabia if you are only passing through, visiting relatives or are there for religious or business purposes. If you are visiting as a tourist, you have to be part of an approved tour group.

San Marino City

The City of San Marino is a small city in an already tiny country of the same name. The country, the Republic of San Marino, is located in the Italian peninsula. Its capital city, the City of San Marino, is actually only the third largest city in the republic and is not even the center of business. The city is smaller than Borgo Maggiore, a city which also acts as the capital of business. However, San Marino City is considered to be more attractive than cities larger than it. It is also located on a mountain top and is crowned with the same name as the country. San Marino City is home to only 4,5 thousand people according to the latest measurement.

There was a time when San Marino City was the only city of the republic it belongs to. This must be why the city is named after the country. The capital city of San Marino does have its share of tourists, being visited by about three million a year even though it is a very small city of about 1600 square miles. These few square miles are home to seven parishes, including Muntalbo and Casole.

The whole republic of San Marino has a gorgeous Mediterranean climate. It is rare to find yourself caught up in freezing temperature or in a sweltering hot one. This means that you do not have to worry too much on temperatures which are about subzero or over 195 degrees Celsius. If you still want to avoid its warm summers and cool winters, you can always visit during another season. If you do get to visit, know that you need to book a flight to a nearby city because the whole republic does not have an airport. Consider booking a flight to Rimini, Forli, Ancona or Bologna. Once inside the republic, you can get around by bus or car as there are no railways.

If you are a US passport holder, you do not really need a visa to stay in San Marino for 90 days or less. Just present your passport. You will also notice that the country does not have strict border controls so you can easily drive from a nearby country.


Cebu City, called the Philippines Queen City of the South, is the capital of the Cebu province in the Philippines. First to have Spanish influences during the country’s period of colonization, it is now one of the most developed cities of the South East Asian country. It is the Visayas island’s worthy alternative to the country’s capital, Manila. In fact, it can act as a temporary reprieve from the chaotic Manila traffic. Cebu City offers both colonial architecture and modern buildings just as it can offer both preserved nature and man made beaches. Its 7,104.3 square miles is peopled with about 800 thousand residents according to the latest measurement.

Cebu City has been witness to several historical events that changed the Philippines forever. So when you visit, make sure that you see Magellan’s Cross, a testament to the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Other historical relics are also deeply religious, showing how much the Spaniards have influenced the whole country during the three hundred plus years of colonization. You may better get a taste of Cebu City’s cultural by visiting during one of its festivals. A blend of paradise and metro, Cebu city offers you not only a walk at the beach but eating at high-class restaurants, featuring a wide array of International cuisine. You like to go out at night? Enjoy your night out at Mango Square located in the center of the city featuring several discotheques as Auto Shop, Beat, VooDoo, Juliana’s and Pump but also bikini bars such as Vikings, Silver Dollar, Love City and Temptations.

You can gain entry into Cebu City via the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. You can also enter via ferry from one of the nearby islands; Cebu’s seaport is the country’s busiest. Inside the city, you can get around easily by taxi. Be wary of unmarked taxis and fast-changing meters. If you are willing to keep on asking for directions, try riding the country’s local public transportation – the jeepney. The weather in Cebu City is tropical, which means that it is warm all year round. Temperature ranges from 72 degrees Fahrenheit to 91 degrees Fahrenheit.

People from most countries can earn a temporary visa lasting up to 21 days in the Philippines. You have to consult Immigration if you want to extend your stay. You can apply extension through student visa, employment visa or investor’s visa status.