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Archive for January, 2010


Karachi (کراچی) is the capital of the Sindh province, as well the financial capital and largest city of Pakistan. The city is located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, and is under going continues growth of mixed culture and population, as well economic and political migrants who generally settle permanently. As of latest measurement the metropolitan Karachi has a population of 11.8 million people.

The city of Karachi is locally know as the “City of Lights”, “City of The Quaid” and the “City that Never Sleeps” which grew from a small town to a buzzing megalopolis within several hundred years. The residents are referred to as “Karachiites”. Before visiting you should understand that Karachi is different than elsewhere in Pakistan, just like New York is different from the rest of America. It’s a big city where time is money, hurry and stress are factors of impact in daily life. These factors are noticeable while taking a stroll in downtown Karachi. Karachi’s culture can be best characterized as a substantial mix of the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and Western influences.

Although Karachi is a big, commercial and industrial city there’s several sightseeing’s and things to do for tourists including Clifton Beach, Beach Park, Bagh-e-Ibn-e-Qasim, Water Jet fountain, Floating Ship, Sandspit Beach, Hawke’s Bay Beach, Paradise Point, French Beach, Russian Beach and several islands nearby such as Oyster Rocks, Bundle Islands, Manora Island and Churna Island. As well the fact that the city has an active nightlife with dance clubs and bars, shopping areas with bazaars and markets and a fine restaurant scenery.

To visit Karachi, you need a temporary entry visa, a tourist visa, or a business visa to Pakistan. You also need a valid passport to stay in the country. You may extend your stay in Pakistan if you have a business visa. To get a business visa, however, you need an invitation from your host in Pakistan. You will also be asked to submit a business letter of responsibility. Whatever type of visa you apply for, make sure to completely fill up the corresponding application forms.


David is the capital city of the Chiriqui province in the country of Panama. It’s a relatively affluent city with basic living requirements such as concrete houses, energy and clean water. The Pain-American Highway a popular route to David. As of latest measurement the city of David has a population of 140 thousand people.

David is also Panama’s second largest city, yet only recently the city has become popular travel destination among backpackers and other travelers. With as main reasons it’s easy access point from Paso Canoas, Costa Rica or Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica as well it’s low prices for accommodation and daily needs. Because of its popularity increase, Panama’s beauty and value has gained international attention as well an new development of tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants. Several new “backpackers resorts” has been opened such as Purple House Int’l Backpacker Hostel or the Bambu Hostel which even has a pool.

David city is where you won’t find tens of “must see hot-spots” regardless there’s plenty to do. Gambling is allowed by law so there’s several casino’s to be found. Of which the most popular ones are Royal Casino and Fiesta Casino. Other nightlife activities include clubs and bars which are open till late, there’s a small cover fee of $3 us and drinks Carta Vieja Rum (Panama’s Rum) go for $20 us a bottle. Other activities include trips to the beach, snorkeling, scuba or shopping areas, a lunch or dinner ordering local cuisine meals.

United States visitors need to purchase a tourist card upon arrival to Panama. The validity of the card can be extended up to 90 days, depending on the decision of the embassy or immigration officials.


Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen or simply Madang as it’s called nowadays is the capital of the Madang Province on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. As it’s previous name revealed the town was first settled by Germans in the 19th century. As of latest measurement the town of Madang has a population of 28 thousand people.

The city of Madang and it’s surrounding area is filled with lagoons, tiny islands and endless coconut plantations which make it a perfect example of an Pacific outlook. The town is described by locals as well tourists as one of the nicest places to be in the Pacific. Of course, these statements can be found while wondering around in the beautiful waterways, parks, ponds or while snorkeling / scuba diving in the ocean. The nearby (active) volcanic islands are a popular sightseeing as well. Besides the fact that Madang is famous for its accommodation facilities in Papua New Guinea.

Madang is popular for it’s sightseeing around the islands, scuba diving and snorkeling but also in and around town there’s much to see. Some travelers enjoy heading to the beach and take a long walk on the shores of Madag while some prefer shopping at the busy local market. Wondering around the city can be considered sightseeing itself. There’s no landmarks or “tourist highlights” which make this town so unique, it’s a simple, laid-back and tropical town where you can enjoy the tropical heat while on the beach, in town or on water.

When visiting Papua New Guinea, you need a passport valid for at least six months, a return ticket and a visa. If you are a tourist, you can get a visa that will allow you to stay for 60 days. If you are there for business, you will be given 12 months. Still, you will have 60 days maximum per stay.

Ciudad del Este

Ciudad del Este which is Spanish for “City of the East” is the capital of the Alto Paraná department of Paraguay situated at the Rio Paraná. The city is a popular tourist destination for Brazilians and Argentinians. As of latest measurement the city has a population of 320 thousand people.

The eastern situated city Ciudad del Este lies about 200 miles from it’s capital Asuncion on the border with Brazil. It’s a relatively young city founded just 4 decades ago yet its today’s leading commercial center due to the importance of import and export over the only bridge between Paraguay and Brazil. The city is mostly commercial with several shopping areas and sightseeing’s. Nearby attractions include the Iguazu Falls situated on the border between Argentina and Brazil, the falls are considered one of the world’s greatest wonders. Over 250 water falls which are spread in a tropical environment.

North of the city lies the largest power dam in the world, named Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Dam which has a total length of 5 miles and a height of 740 ft. It’s 14 gigantic spillways forming each an individual artificial waterfall generate an 12,600,000 kilowatts of clean energy. This dam and unique sight can’t be missed while your stay in Ciudad del Este.

If you are from the United States, you will need a valid passport and a visa to enter Paraguay. Your visa will allow you to stay for up to 90 days in the country. It will take two to three days for your visa to be processed. You also need to present a return ticket as proof of your plan to return to your country.


Arequipa is a city in the Southern Coastal region in the country of Peru, nearby the edge of the Altiplano and a total of 7800 feet above sea level being surrounded by 3 volcanoes. It’s Peru’s second most important city after the capital Lima, as well the second most popular tourist destination after Cuzco. As of latest measurement the city Arequipa has a population of 900 thousand people.

The city of Arequipa is also known as “White city” by it’s locals, reasoning is the white volcanic stone, Sillar coming from the three nearby volcanoes which can be used in different styles, modern as well Spanish colonial. Walking around downtown Arequipa which sparkles under the bright Peru-an sun shows interesting sights of churches, cathedrals with as highlight the Santa Catalina Convent which was built in the late 16th century but closed for public until 1970, it was used as a self contained community where nuns lived in total isolation. Nowadays the Convent serves as a destination for enjoyment and relaxation among locals and tourists, it has an peaceful ambiance, beautiful gardens and is the perfect getaway for a stress-free day.

Further more while in the city of Arequipa visit the Plaza de Armas which is the main square, all of the surrounding buildings of the areas are made of the earlier mentioned Sillar. In and around the downtown area where the square is also situated there’s several more sightseeing’s you can’t miss while there; Museo Santuarios Andinos, Convento de Santa Catalina, Convento de Santa Teresa, Puente Bolognesi and the Molino de Sabandía. Another fact is that right around 250 colonial buildings are entitled as Human Heritage by UNESCO in the main square area, so simply walking around is Arequipa sightseeing itself.

Travelers to Arequipa need a valid passport and visa. Citizens from US, Europe, Australia and Canada do not require a tourist visa, as long the stay does not extend 90 days. The best period for visiting are the summer months, which are from December till March with the best temperatures and the least rain.


Aveiro is a city in the Aveiro Municipality in Portugal, covering a total land area of 125 square miles. It’s the 2nd most populous city in the Centro Region of Portugal after Coimbra. However, Aveiro together with Ílhavo make one conurbation which has a overruling population of 120 thousand citizens. As of latest measurement the city has a population of 80 thousand people.

Locally it’s known as a perfect for anyone wanting to escape the big city life, Aveiro an rather small city situated about an hour away from Porto. The city has much to offer from tasty traditional cuisine to untouched beaches within 10 minutes from anywhere in the city. During the day you stroll around in the local shopping areas or enjoy your time and one of the many fine restaurants. After lunch, dinner or whenever enjoy a stroll around Barra beach or head in town to dance the night away. Along the banks of the river there’s several dance clubs/bars to choose from. After midnight, or around 2 am head over to Estacao da Luz located just a few miles outside city center which is open till sunrise.

When spending a few days in this tremendous city will make you forget completely about the city life, especially after seeing some of it’s great tourist sightseeing including; Aveiro Cathedral, Convento de Jesús, Aveiro Museum, Igreja de la Misericordia, Cámara Municipal, Capitania, Santo Antonio Park, Dom Pedro Children’s Park, Sao Gonçalinho Chapel, Museum of the Republic, Carmelite Church, the local Fish Market and Fisherman’s Wharf (Bairro de Pescadores) at seaside. For a complete day without worries head on to Costa Nova or Barra Beach.

Travelers to Portugal need a valid passport and visa. American citizens are being issued a 90 days visa upon arrival. The city of Aveiro is safe and tourist friendly, the best period to travel to Aveiro is in the summer months as well peak season between July and August.


The city of Ponce is the second largest city in Puerto Rico just outside the San Juan metropolitan area. Ponce hosts the governmental seat as well various Government of Puerto Rico just like the Judiciary. It’s also the regional center for Commonwealth and federal government agencies. As of latest measurement the city Ponce has a population of 200 thousand people.

The city of Ponce is according to travelers as well locals the best place to experience an true old colonial town of Puerto Rico. Here you will rich Puerto Rican culture and unique architecture among a charming laid back ambiance which is complete opposite of the buzzing city and nightlife of it’s capital San Juan. Travelers should be aware of the fact, even being the island’s 2nd largest city there’s no steady nightlife and simply one downtown city square. Ponce’s main income in the last century came from the sugar growing industry creating great wealth which they invested accordingly in construction, today’s history and culture make Ponce the cultural center of the south with as nickname “Pearl of the south”.

Of course that’s not the only reason why tourists visit Ponce, it also houses several impressive sightseeing’s such as museums, classy opera houses and cathedrals of which most of them are situated around the main square Plaza las Delicias including; Parque de Bombas, Casa Alcaldía (City Hall), Catedral de la Guadalupe, La Guancha Paseo Tablado, Castillo Serralles, Casa de la Masacre de Ponce, The Museum of Puerto Rican Music and the Ponce Museum of Art.

Because Puerto Rico is a United States territory, you follow US rules when visiting. If arriving straight from the United States, Americans do not need a passport or a visa to enter Puerto Rico. Only a valid ID card is needed.


Braşov is a city in the country of Romania, as well the capital of Braşov County. Brasov is the 8th largest Romanian city which is being surrounded by the Southern Carpathians, and is part of the Transylvania region. The city is internationally known for being host of the Golden Stag International Music Festival. As of latest measurement the city Braşov has a population of 280 thousand people.

Brasov back in the days known as “Corona” is a important cultural center as well a charming city situated in the center of Romania. The geographic position and natural beauty of Brasov generate a variety of scenery including historical aspects, countless architecture monuments which stands in direct contrast with it’s busy industrial, tourist, shopping and nightlife areas. All together it makes Brasov one of the leading urban centers of Romania.

In around the city there’s countless sightseeing’s worth visiting including the Rasnov town and fortress, Poiana Braşov, Bran Castle, Rupea fortress, the villages Prejmer and Viscri which are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and also the Hoghiz with several historical buildings. The earlier mentioned Poiana Braşov is a ski area of which Brasov is the access hub. You can easily access the ski area by taxi, bus or train from Bucharest. There’s no better value for those who enjoy Skiing, the antique lift system surely adds to the romantic charm of the experience.

No visas are required of American tourists, as long as a valid passport is present. American tourists are allowed a short stay of a maximum of 90 days or three months, and visitors must hold all other documentation for further travel, return tickets, proof of hotel accommodations and a documentation of the intended period of stay.


Irkutsk (Ирку́тск) is one of the largest cities in Siberia and the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. The city is situated about 3220 miles from Moscow, Russia’s capital city. As of latest measurement the city Irkutsk has a population of 610 thousand people.

The city of Irkutsk is situated about 37 miles from the world famous Lake Baikal, and lies along the banks of the Angara river at the confluence with the Irkut river, therefore it’s surrounding nature is beautiful and always in continues growth. How beautiful you might think? Just consider it reviewing the many nicknames this city has gathered including the capital of Siberia, the pearl of Siberia, and even Paris of Siberia. Further more is the city lighthearted and sunny with historical 18th century buildings and delicately sculptured wooden houses, as well brick mansions which were built about centuries ago in combination with as locally known “lace” sculpture giving them touch of Italian Renaissance.

The city is filled with history and culture, which mainly can be seen in the many museums throughout the city including; The City History Museum, The Geology Museum, The Irkutsk Regional Museum, Sukachev Art Museum and the The Sukachev Estate. As unique extra, there’s a small tucked away residential area named Nerpinary which is home to two Baikal Seals. For a tiny price, you see the seals perform a presentation and paint a picture, which later on you can purchase. Local citizens and experienced travelers agree upon the fact that Irkutsk, in many ways is the heart of Siberia. As many citizens say it beautiful “To miss seeing Irkutsk is to miss Siberia.”

Russian tourist visas are issued to tourists looking to visit Irkutsk for a duration of 14-30 days. The total validity for a trip to Irkutsk or any part of Russia cannot extend longer than 30 days. Americans can obtain their tourist visas from the travel agency which can also provide them with other supporting documents such as tourist acceptance confirmation and the tourist voucher, both containing the signature of the hosting travel agency.


Jeddah (جدّة) also commonly spelled as Jiddah is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after it’s capital, Riyadh as well the largest city in the Makkah Province. The city is situated on the coast line of the Red Sea, in the west of the country. As of latest measurement the city Jeddah has a population of 5 million people.

The city of Jeddah is not a popular travel destination, mainly the millions of pilgrims along with several travelers that dear to go beyond regular destinations. Travelers that enjoy to explore the unknown will find out that Jeddah besides cultural and historical sightseeing also offers a complete different side. Other than mosques and other holy places the city also has several shopping and nightlife districts as it’s the major commercial center of Saudi Arabia. Malls, markets, restaurants and cafe’s can be found near the Jeddah Corniche (waterfront area) which is the largest in the kingdom, clustered around the area there’s accommodations such as hotels and resorts with private beaches.

There’s an old city side in Jeddah too, which is a protect area nowadays. Within the area you can find traditional houses which are built of coral taken from Red Sea reefs. In the old city you can also find several museums such as the Municipality Museum, it’s in fact the only remaining building of the British Legation in Jeddah since the first World War. In order to enter the museum you need a permit from the Jeddah Municipality, if permitted you’re free to entrance only after making an appointment.

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.