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Angeles City

Angeles City is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines. It is a first-class high-urbanized city, located within the province of Pampanga. It has a population of around 314 thousand people. The city once was the home of the largest United States Air Force, Clark Air Base. This base was abandoned in 1991 after the eruption of Mopunt Pinatubo. Angeles City and Pampanga are also referred to as “the culinary center of the Philippines”.

The history of Angeles City is a long one with a great heritage. The city started in 1796 as Culiat and became a separate municipality in 1829, renamed as the Town of the Angels. In 1899 the Philippine Army battled with the American forces over the city. It was then that the Americans founded their Clark Air Base. After the Second World War the Philippines gained independence from the United States. Tourists can visit lots of historical sites in the city, such as Fort Stotsenburg, Founder’s Residence, Camalig, Santo Rosario Church, Clark Museum.

Angeles City is very popular thanks to its booming nightlife and entertainment. Balibago is the center of the city and has fine restaurants, hotels and shopping malls. It has a neon-lit Fields Avenue where tourists can go to bars, nightclubs and go-go bars. The city also consists of Clark Freeport Zone, an area with world-class resorts, duty-free shops, casinos and golf courses. There are no beaches in Angeles City, but many resorts for swimming. Adventurous people can choose for Mount Pinatubo Trekking, skydiving, drive off-road challenge.

Travelers to Angeles City must have a valid passport and visa. You need to follow general Philippine requirements. American citizens can stay for up to 21 days without a visa, provided your passport is valid for six months and you have valid return tickets. The best time to visit Angeles City is in the dry period from November through April. There tend to be typhoons from the east during summer and fall.


Pattaya (พัทยา) was a simple fishing village until it was discovered as a beach resort by Bangkok residents in the 1960s. Located just 1.5 hours outside Bangkok and with a city population of just over 100 thousand people it ranks as one the smallest tourist cities in Thailand. Nowadays, the city counts more than 5.4 million tourists per year.

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Dubbed as hedonistic by some because of the island’s prurient associations, Phuket remains a dream vacation destination. Thailand’s largest island is about the same size of Singapore and has a reputation that bypasses its island status. It has been named Tha-Laang or Junk Ceylon in Western translations. Its present name comes from the Malay word “bukit” which means hill. In turns both cosmopolitan and exotic, Phuket is home to 315 thousand people, mostly of Chinese or Malay ancestry.

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Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island is also known as Ko Phi Phi Don, part of the Phi Phi Islands between Phuket and mainland Krabi in the south of Thailand. Phi Phi Don is the largest and only permanent populated island of the six Phi Phi Islands group. The island is truly a tropical getaway with white sandy beaches, palm trees and turquoise waters.The island is surrounded by the Andaman Sea. Another well know island is Ko Phi Phi Leh.

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Hua Hin

Hua Hin is a small beach resort which is located about 125 miles southwest of Bangkok. It is located on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand. The city has a population of 60 thousand people and is home to the summer palace of the King of Thailand. Due to this fact there is high security with lots of cops. It is also a popular getaway for people from Bangkok.

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The Vietnamese kitchen has been influenced by alien domination and exchange of products. China, Mongolia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and France have left their culinary marks. Despite this the Vietnamese kitchen has its own character. It is less sharp than Thai kitchen, but qua taste less pure than the South-Chinese kitchen. However, if you only eat in a hotel you will never learn the Vietnamese kitchen. Simple, cheap and tasty are the dishes in soup kitchens alongside the streets and on the markets.

Rice is a life symbol for the Vietnamese people. On any market you will see many different qualities and varieties of rice. The grains differ in length, shape, color and scent. Normally rice is steamed. You should eat white long grain rice with a sharp tip. As a tourist you will almost by itself get fork and knife. You will also find fish and sea fruits at the markets.

The Vietnamese barely use oil, but they add the spice nuoc mam to almost all dishes as a replacement for salt. A typical feature of the Vietnamese kitchen is the merging of complementary ingredients. The quality of beef isn’t always as good, but you can be sure that pork and chicken is very tender and tasteful.

Every region in Vietnam has its own specialities and menus. However, some dishes are found everywhere: Pho (bouillon) served with bo (beef), tom (shrimps) or ga (chicken) – banh cuon tom viet nam (Vietnamese egg rolls with pork and shrimps) – chao tom voi thit lon xay (mix of cut shrimps and pork). In Hue you should try banh khoai and bun bo or bun ga (bouillon with stuffing).

When it comes to drinks, mineral water, coke, beer (333) and alcohol are available everywhere. You should avoid wine because of the poor quality. Tea and coffee aren’t common drinks for the Vietnamese.


Beijing (北京) is the capital of the most populous country in the world named China with a total population of 1.3 billion people. The capital city Beijing is massive and has a population of 17.5 million people, it’s the second largest city after Shanghai. With time Beijing turned from a traditional structure to a busy commercial district that matches Western standards.

China’s ancient majesty continues to draw travelers to the city. A famous tourist attraction for both local and international travelers is the somber Tiananmen Square, surrounded by Soviet-style buildings & guarded by four marble lions. The square is also the location of Mao’s Mausoleum. Another landmark destination while visiting Beijing is The Forbidden City. The city was the center of Eastern society for about five centuries and nowadays the seat of the Ming & Qing dynasties. To this day, it has remained untouched by the modernity surrounding it.

The Great Wall lies about 70 miles from the city. This majestic wonder can be viewed from Jinshanling and Simatai, where the wall has been kept authentic. A trip here is only meant for the sportive traveler since it involves steep climbs and crumbling stones, which are worthwhile to reach the stunning spectacle view.

Travelers to Beijing need a valid passport and visa. While the city is relatively safe, the common travel concerns include presence of pickpockets, thieves and thick city smog. The best period to visit Beijing is between May and September when there’s the best temperature. On average it does rain more in these months than in periods throughout the year.


The capital city, Taipei, is located north of Taiwan. The mountainous island of Taiwan is quite large, spanning three major climatic zones. Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, is known for its unique combination of business vibe and leisurely beauty. Taipei city itself boasts a population of almost three million but Greater Taipei is populated by about double the city’s population.

The people of Taipei are fighters. They did not settle for the poor quality of life that used to describe the city despite its wealth. The people of Taipei had made demands that led to the improvement of their formerly squalid environs. Though the basic vibe of the city remains as can be seen from night markets, painted umbrellas, and snake soup, the overall effect is more organized. You will now experience the benefits of both a rich culture and a welcoming, dynamic environment. This will make you feel right at home in Taipei without missing out on the exotic. Moving about the city is now comfortable but still immensely exciting.

You can go in and out of Taipei through the Taipei Chiang Kai Shek International Airport (now known as the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport). While inside the city, you can make use of the high-speed railway system or of the bus transport system. Buses are available right at the airport. Once inside the city, be careful of your belongings as you would in any place. However, Taipei is a fairly safe place for both locals and tourists. Still, if you do run into some trouble, you can call the Office of Foreign Affairs, where you can speak with an English-speaking officer. Taipei is a great place to visit at any time of the year as long as you avoid the typhoon season. The city’s climate is semi-tropical.

Regulations for visas to Taiwan can be changed so it is best to consult Taiwanese embassies for the latest updates. For Americans, no visa is required for stays of up to thirty days. You must present proof that you are planning return or further travel. Your passport must be valid for at least six months.


The Vietnamese know that they can make a lot of money with kitsch and small things. Therefore for a long time they forgot about traditional art handwork. Fortunately this craft is beginning to come back again. The Vietnamese souvenir business is still small compared to neighbor countries. There is limited offer expect for cities as Saigon, Hanoi and Hue.

The most important craft for the Vietnamese is pottery art and lacquer work. These handwork crafts are centuries old. All kinds of products as cupboards, plates and vases are being lacquered with resin. Wooden or bamboo objects get eleven layers of resin. The last layer is polished with chorister powder and limestone. Sometimes people engrave ornaments into the resin layers.

In souvenir shops you will also find many silk painted products. The fine scars and blouses, rags or postcards are less than what you should pay for them at home. Most beautiful are the special aodai, traditional clothing of Vietnamese women. Silk weaving is also very popular. You should go to Hanoi for good tailors.

In the north of Vietnam they make jackets or coats of heavy, shiny velvet, stitched with silk and fitted with sequin or gold stitching. When you would like to buy such a jacket or coat, you should take your time for fitting!

Other crafts in Vietnam are embroidery, lacework, painting and woodcraft. Embroidery and lacework is mostly offered in Hanoi. There are also more and more art galleries in Hanoi. In Hoi An, a place south of Danang, almost all streets are covered with art galleries. In Saigon there are artists who are experts in copying famous paintings. So you could get your Van Gogh, da Vinci or Gauguin from them.

Don’t buy antique and products made of turtles and ivory or protected animals and plants! Also make sure you are well informed about which products you can’t import to your own country.


If you think of Nepal, images of spirituality and cloud-covered mountains may arise. Temples and even the mountains may still serve as backdrop in its capital city of Kathmandu, but the capital has a character all its own. Kathmandu is more of a snapshot of a developing country, complete with the chaos and pollution. It is found northwest of Kathmandu Valley. Being in the midst of Nepal’s largest city can be very overwhelming to the senses; there are many things going on around. According to the latest measurement, there are 675thousand living in and contributing to the activities of bustling Kathmandu.

Unfortunately, tourist numbers have declined lately. Those who do come to Nepal’s capital city are no longer just interested in finding enlightenment. The place can already offer modern entertainment and Western dishes. When you do get there, however, remember that you are there to see Kathmandu not another familiar corner you can find near your own home. Remember that it is hailed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Explore its unique cultural spots and natural wonders. Still, look out for your things. Though violence is rare in Kathmandu, you are still in danger from pickpockets.

You can reach Kathmandu through a stop at the Tribhuvan International Airport. It is actually Nepal’s only international airport. From the United States, you have to stop at one of the nearby Asian cities to get connected to Kathmandu. In the city, you can get around fast by bus or taxi. However, you may also enjoy getting around the city on foot. You may have to wear a sweatshirt if walking around during winter; the temperature can dip as low as 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer temperatures, on the other hand, range from 66 degrees Fahrenheit to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. On average, Kathmandu experiences mild temperature.

To get into Nepal, you will need both a valid passport and a visa. Multiple-entry tourist visas can allow you up to 90 days of stay in the country. Visas are, however, generally valid up to 60 days that is if you are on your first visit for the year. A second visit within the same year can only last up to 30 days.