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Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is the capital, wealthiest and the largest city of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Its located at the confluence of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap rivers. The capital city of Cambodia has a population of one million people. Phnom Penh is a great introduction to Cambodia since its almost as dirty, dusty and chaotic as the rest of the country.

Travelers to Phnom Penh / Cambodia must understand, even for those who visited other Asian countries that there will be a culture shock. Forget about convenient stores, 7-11′s or a supermarket near your guest house. Once arrived in at the airport, a taxi ride in town with the airport taxi service will cost you $9 US. Since large or international hotel chains are rare it’s most convenient staying at a guesthouse. Cambodia does not seem to have many laws, for example it’s local gun range where tourists can fire a large variety of guns isn’t further than a few minutes from the Phnom Penh International Airport landing strip.

Transportation within the city is widely available. Choose to travel by motorbike, rickshaw, tuk tuk or a regular car taxi. It’s recommended to hire a taxi driver by the day rather than per individual ride. Cambodian people are referred to as Khmer. Khmer people love to be outside therefore the city has several spacious parks and markets, one of the most famous parks is Wat Phnom referred by tourists as “monkey park” where, as you can guess monkey walk freely in city center. There’s also a boulevard which goes along the Mekong river with several small restaurants and bars where both local Khmer & European food can be ordered. A specialty being served here is Marijuana Pizza which can be ordered in three “sizes” named, happy, super happy and super super happy pizza.

For travelers that enjoy cultural and spiritual Phnom Penh offers several museums, for example the National Museum of Cambodia, which is the country’s leading historical and archaeological museum. The museums houses the world’s largest collection of Khmer art, including ceramic, bronzes, sculpture and ethnograhpic objects. In total the museum’s collection is greater than 14 thousand items, from prehistoric times and periods before, during and after the Khmer Empire, swhich was strechted from Thailand, across today’s Cambodia, until southern Vietnam.

Travelers to Phnom Penh need a valid passport and visa. American Citizens will receive a visa upon arrival valid for 30 days in exchange for $20.00 US. There’s also an exit fee of $25.00 US when leaving the country. As petty theft and crime are common.

Chiang Mai

A 700-year old city, Chiang Mai is the capital of Thailand’s Chiang Mai Province. Its name can also be written as Chiengmai. The largest city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai also offers the most cultural and historic importance. This does not mean, however, that Chiang Mai is restricted to past influences; the city has also become quite modern. This modernization is appropriate to the meaning of its name: new city. Chiang Mai is a new city for 700 years already though. According to the latest measurement, it is home to 148 thousand people.

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Dhaka (ঢাকা), formerly spelled as Dacca and formerly named as Jahangir Nagar, is the capital city of Bangladesh. The City of Mosques, as Dhaka is known as, is Bangladesh’s largest and also known as the top producer of quality muslin. Despite all of this, Dhaka continues to be considered as one of the most difficult places to live in. It must be because of the continuous chaos that pervades the city. If the movement only involved only pretty things, it might have been a power house. However, Dhaka is all about a mix-clash of everything. Its 60 square miles is filled with 6.7 million people according to the latest measurement.

Chaos should have been Dhaka’s name. Though considered practically unlivable, the city is definitely unforgettable. Set your foot in it and you probably will experience something different from a previous visitor: there is just too much activity going on. You see both the ugly face of poverty and the charming accents of passion and intelligence in just one vibrating city. It can be overwhelming, maybe even completely appalling, but definitely interesting. As with any other place, make sure you keep your belongings close to yourself. Bag snatchers do exist and can run away with your things via taxis.

You can reach Dhaka via the Dhaka International Airport. When you are in the city itself, you can get around by bus or tram. You can also go by rented car or motorcycle. It is not that easy to drive yourself around Dhaka, however. Some locals can drive around dangerously. You can go around by taxi; note though that taxi drivers do not really want to put their meters to use. Add to the chaos is Dhaka’s hot and humid weather having a monsoon climate. Expect the temperature to vary from 58 degrees Fahrenheit to 89 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are from the United States, you need not just a passport which is valid for three months but also a return ticket and a visa. You can obtain a 30-day or even a 90-day visa upon your arrival at the airport.


Astana may not be your typical capital city. Instead of having obvious charm and glamor, it is slowly being transformed to that idea of a modern city once it was already officially the capital. Announced by President Nazarbaev as the future capital of Kazakhstan by 1994, it did become the capital city by 1997. However, Astana is more like a rural area then just being developed into a city; it is also just the second, not the, largest city in the country. By name anyway, Astana is a logical choice. The name literally translates to capital in the Kazakh language. The capital’s 274 square miles is home to 700 thousand people according to latest count.

Today, Kazakhstan’s people are proud of their capital city. Billions of dollars spent on the city have managed to create a sophisticated new city. The building of this city is not without criticism, however. Surrounding the opulence of Astana are villages that are experiencing extreme poverty. So, knowing that the government is spending so much on providing fares for officials traveling to and from the former capital Almaty is unthinkable and considered cruel. The billions of dollars shelled out by the government are also completely directly towards architecture and not poverty alleviation.

Enter Astana by flying to Astana International Airport, only 9 miles south of the city center. Getting around the city is best done with a taxi ride. It may be for the best to be in the shelter of a taxi because Astana is the second coldest capital city in the world. Early winter temperature can be as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. You may want to visit during the summer, instead; July temperature averages at 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

To enter Kazakhstan, you need a passport valid for at least six months and a visa. A tourist visa can be good for 30 days or for 60 days. If you are visiting for business purposes, you can avail of a business visa which may allow you multiple entries of up to two years maximum. You do not need to present your return ticket though you should still keep one handy.

Port Moresby

Port Moresby is the largest city in the South Pacific not to mention the capital of Papua New Guinea. Also called Pot Mosbi, the city is located on the Gulf of Papua. It is dubbed as the least livable city in the world. It was named in honor of the father of Captain John Moresby, the first European to have discovered the city. Though just discovered by Europeans in 1873, Motu-Koitabu had been living in the area for centuries. As of latest count, the city’s population is estimated at 260 thousand people.

Dangerous and in-your-face, Port Moresby can be a frightening city to visit. With its high levels of crime, you cannot help but wonder why you have decided to embark on such an adventure. The smoky haze coming from small lit fires can give the city an apocalyptic look. Remember that this is the city that has been dubbed the worst and the least livable. The crime may be due to the 60 to 90 percent unemployment rate it is suffering from. Yet a visit to the place can be surprising because of the people’s gentle manners. Just do not show off expensive stuff in the city and try to have a calm demeanor. You may enjoy taking pictures of orchids in bloom at the National Botanical Garden or bird-watching at the Varirata National Park.

If you are planning to visit other spots in Papua New Guinea, you will still end up in Port Moresby. It is the main point of entry and flights from there to other areas are scheduled far apart. You can get around the city by taxi. You can also rent a four-wheel drive or a car. Note that you cannot just walk the streets at night because it can be dangerous. In Port Moresby, temperature highs range from 82 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit while temperature lows range from 73 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

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.


Colombo is the capital and the largest city of Sri Lanka. Found in the western coast of the country, Colombo is 14.4 square miles of colonial ruins and modern establishments. The name Colombo was given by the former Portuguese colonizers, in 1505. It is thought to have been derived from a classical Sinhalese word meaning “port on the River Kelani.” There are yet other theories as to how the capital city’s name came about. Colombo is home to 6.5 thousand people!

Colombo at present is a mix of several cultures and ethnicity. The most populous city in Sri Lanka, it is a real melting pot of races and cultural influences. This is because it has been under three countries at various points in history. It has been under Portugal, the Netherlands and the British Empire. The people of Sri Lanka were already made up of several ethnicity; the colonial periods added Europeans to the mix. In the end, it is great for tourists: modern and colonial thriving side by side. Though troubled in the past, Colombo now welcomes visitors; this is made possible by peace talks.

If you really want to visit Colombo, you will have to book interconnecting flights ending at Katunayake. From there, you can take a taxi to Colombo; the journey by land will last about an hour. To get around the city, you can travel by bus, train or taxi. Do not take the bus if you cannot understand Sinhalese, however; you may not get to where exactly you want to go. As for the weather, expect steady temperatures all year round ranging from 74 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

If you are visiting Sri Lanka, you will need a passport valid for at least six months. You also need to present your return ticket from Sri Lanka. Make sure you have other pertinent travel documents ready, just in case. However, you are not required to get a visa if you are from the United States and staying for only up to 30 days. If you want to extend your stay, you have to consult the nearest embassy for a visa.


Kashmir is found in the northwest of India. The word Kashmir means a land that has been dried off of water. This is because Ka means “water” while Shimir means “to desiccate” or to be dried off. There are other theories as to where exactly Kashmir got its name but cashmere is definitely a variant of the Indian region. The region is populated by approximately 13 million residents.

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Moalboal may have a name that is difficult to pronounce but the town is familiar to scuba divers near the region. The name means “bubbling brook.” Located 55 miles away from Cebu City, the Philippines’ Queen City of the South, Moalboal is better known for its two beaches: Panagsama Beach and White Beach. Unfortunately, typhoons have made Panagsama a beach only by its former status because it no longer has sand. Moalboal is not exactly a tourist paradise except for serious scuba divers. The population of Moalboal is estimated at 27 thousand.

The town of Moalboal is better appreciated by actually trying scuba-diving. There are no longer bars around to cater to clubbers. Better stick to Cebu City if you are looking for busy urban life. However, if you enjoy natural wonders such as corals, anemones and other underwater life, you will discover that deeper into weather-beaten Moalboal there are treasures that have to be seen by your very own eyes. For a great beach experience, you may visit White Beach and have a barbecue with friends and locals alike.

To reach Moalboal, you first have to fly to Cebu City. From Cebu, you can only take a bus or rent a van. Buses are, of course, much cheaper. You have to take the bus at the Cebu South bus station just like locals. If you are willing to pay more, you can rent a van just for you and your companions. Because of the tropical weather, you can enjoy scuba diving all year round. Temperature is usually in the low 86 degrees Fahrenheit or high 68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you do have to avoid typhoon season if you want to make the most of your Moalboal experience.

If you want to visit Moalboal, you have to follow general Philippine requirements. You need a valid passport. If you are from the United States, you can stay for up to three weeks without a visa. If you want to extend your stay, you have to consult the Bureau of Immigration. If approved, you may get two months extension every time; the total period of extension, however, should not exceed a year.


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.


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.