Bangkok or Krung Thep (City of Angels) as the Thai’s call it themselves is the capital of the Kingdom of Thailand. The city is located at the Asian river the Chao Phraya-river and nearby the Golf of Thailand. With a population of over 13 million people its a ever lasting 24 hours cycle of traveling people by car, bus, subway, sky train, taxi, motorbike (taxi) and tuk tuk’s.

Travelers to Bangkok might feel lost inside a big Asian jungle at first. The huge office buildings, impressive condominium and hotel skyscrapers, the many commercial shopping malls, the heavy traffic you immediately notice after leaving Suvarnabhumi airport (Bangkok’s international airport) shakes you awake from the airplane journey and makes you realize made it to Thailand, Bangkok.

Bangkok is a good destination all year round. Raining season or not, its always hot in this pure Asian city. Travelers can find the joy of visiting the huge shopping malls such as Union Mall Ladprao, Central Ladprao and India Emporium, day & night markets such as Patpong, beer bars, traditional Thai massage parlors, go-go bars, gay bars, packed night clubs, street food stalls and other modern public buildings. For those in search of history of Bangkok’s colorful past the city offers temples, old homes, the floating market and museums can visit the Bangkok, Chinatown area.

Travelers to Bangkok must have a valid passport and visa. American Citizens will receive a visa valid for 30 days upon arrival. Bangkok is safe for tourists, though its advised to look after your belongings and stay away from occasional scam artists who might approach you offering; tours, sex massages and shows, cheap Viagra or cigarettes.


Pattaya 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.

During the Vietnam War servicemen from all over Southeast Asia, including United States Air Force where based in the Pattaya province which caused a huge increase in prostitution. Because of this fact Pattaya has pushed hard to raise its family friendly image again. It has build family resorts, and the nearby beaches Jomtien and Naklua increased it’s number of family friendly restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The opening of the Pattaya City Walk which is completely free of bars or nightclubs, and the opening of the new shopping mall The Avenue are great examples of this.

Pattaya City offers several fun day-time activities other than sitting on the beach and taking a ride on the banana boat or jet ski. If you’re into sports you can choose to go diving or deep sea fishing, riding horse, go-karting and bungee jumping or taking airplane lessons on the nearby domestic aiport. More  known tourist attractions include the Mini Siam, Pattaya Water Park, Tiffany Show, Riply’s Believe it or Not and The Sanctuary of Truth.

Travelers need a valid passport and visa. American Citizens will receive a 30 days visa upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok’s international airport). Pattaya has a good climate all year, yet the least rain falls in the months December till April.

Photo courtesy of Marc Walker


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.

When in Phuket, you will find yourself in what seems like a version of Bangkok. However, even if the island is this developed, it can still catch you off guard by glimpses of the Andaman Sea and of bits of rain forest. Do not sell your trip short by heading towards the expected, such as a bar-and-beer-vacation. Instead, discover more of what Phuket can really offer as a tourist island: enjoy the luxuries of top-class resorts or the simplicity of night markets. To keep safe, you should stay by well-worn paths, where the crowd is.

You get to enter the island at its north, through the Phuket International Airport. You can book flights coming from various countries in Asia, North America, Europe and Australia. If you are from a nearby island such as Phi Phi island or city, you can visit Phuket via a boat or domestic flight. Within Phuket, you can get around by minibus or metered taxi. Because it is an island after all, you will not get to use Thailand’s railway system. Phuket is hot all year round. So if you cannot tolerate extreme heat, it is better to visit from May to October. During this period, you may at least be able to tolerate the temperature which may range from 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 91 degrees Fahrenheit; you can think of Florida’s weather for comparison.

If you are visiting from the United States, you must at least have a tourist visa to Thailand. The visa may last up to three or six months. To apply for the visa, you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months. You must also show proof of sufficient funds and your return ticket. You may also avail of a temporary visa, which is a visa you will get upon arrival, but it will only allow you to stay for up to 15 days.

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.

Phi Phi Island is made of limestone and it has no volcano’s. It features limestone cliffs, a look-out point and clear waters. The island is for most tourists part of their visit to the province of Krabi. The island is popular for day trips, but it also has its own beach side bungalows and chalets. Most hotels are in the north. The largest town on the island and the accommodations are located on a strand of flat land. Tourism has made its mark on the island. There are restaurants, shops, internet cafes and shanty towns now. Beaches are the Ton Sai Beach, Long Beach, Bakhao Bay, Phak Nam Bay, Sea Gypsy Bay and more.

The island has known a fast development, but is still nothing compared to Phuket and other islands. There is little done about the destruction of reefs and the litter all over popular beaches. The litter is from the locals, not tourists. The locals did stop with dynamite fishing since diving and snorkeling are popular activities for tourists. This way the reefs are a bit more protected than before.

Travelers to Phi Phi Island require a valid passport and visa. American citizens don’t need a visa for stays up to 21 days. There are two tropical weather periods on Phi Phi Island. Visa regulations change regularly however, so be sure to look them up before traveling. There is a hot season from January to April and a rainy season from May to December. When it rains on the island, it falls heavily over short period.

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.

Hua Hin has one of the lowest rain falls in Thailand. Together with a lovely sea breeze, the resort attracts visitors all year round. Unlike most beaches in the country however, you won’t find bright lights and all night action here. The small beach resort is mostly a family resort area with (night) markets, shops and boutiques and multicultural restaurants and bars.

Tourists will overall mostly visit Hua Hin for its many sand beaches and relatively clean sea. Other popular activities are kite-boarding, walking, cycling, go karting, horseback riding, water sports and golf. Tourists can also visit the temples of Khao Takiab, feed the monkeys, ride an elephant and enjoy the sunset on the Kao Takiab Bay.

Travelers to Hua Hin must have a valid passport and visa. American citizens don’t need a pre-arranged visa. You can buy your visa for a stay up to 30 days after arrival on the airport. If you arrive by land or sea, you will only get a visa for 15 days. The regulations for visas for Thailand change regularly, so inform before you go there. The best period to visit the beach resort is the cool season from November to February.

Vietnamese Food & Spices

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.


Tunis is the Tunisian Republic’s capital and biggest city. It is found on the Gulf of Tunis behind the lake of the same name and the port of La Goulette. Though located on the coast, the capital city does not have much beaches to boast of. Even though it is the republic’s center of modern development, it is not necessarily the most interesting place in Tunisia. Tunis is said to be a variation of an Arabic name, but has also been linked to the name of the Phoenician goddess, Tanith. It is home to 1,2 million people according to latest measurement.

If you are visiting with your family, you may just fit into the Tunis nightlife. The city’s nightlife is all about families getting together for a quiet evening out; a few couples may also join in the throng of people. The days are much busier. You may want to find something unique to bring home. For this, you need your bargaining skills to get your great deals at the markets.

You can reach Tunis by booking a flight to Tunis-Carthage Airport. This airport is about eight kilometers away from Tunis’ center. In the city, you can get around by bus or the metro. It would help if you can speak either French or Arabic. You may also get around by taxi; the fares are quite cheap so you can use the transport as your official transport when you are in Tunis. If you are not used to the heat, riding in an air-conditioned taxi during the summer can help you avoid the direct heat. The temperature can also go down during January and February.

To visit Tunisia, you need a passport valid for at least six months and a ticket proving that you are moving on to your next destination or that you are returning to your home country after a certain period. If you are from the United States, you do not need a visa to stay in Tunisia for up to four months.


The Netherlands Antilles is composed of the ABC islands: Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. The capital of and the largest city in the whole Netherlands Antilles is Willemstad, which is located in Curaçao. However, its position as the capital may not be solely dependent on being the largest city. Willemstad is also home to a harbor, which is recognized as one of the biggest oil handling ports not just in the Antilles but also in the whole Caribbean. It is near the South American oilfields. Willemstad is home to 125 thousand people according to the latest measurement.

The big city-small town effect on Willemstad is not quite what you will expect. In other countries, the cities offer the most fun and variety, while the towns offer peace and quiet. In Willemstad, city life is very ordinary that you would crave for the “town” sector where Dutch heritage is most evident. In this area, you could feel like you are in a tiny portion of its ruling country, the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

It is better to get in and out of Willemstad through flights from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, from Aruba or Bonaire, and from the United States. Though you may expect to pass by the island of Curaçao via cruise ship, you will not find a regular trip via boat or ferry. Inside the city of Willemstad, you can get around by bus or taxi.  Ask about fares at the airport because taxi fares are fixed. If you want to see more of Willemstad or the whole of Curaçao, you may opt to rent a car. Because the climate is tropical in Willemstad, expect steady warm temperature from morning to night. The average temperature ranges from 73 degrees Fahrenheit to 87 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you want to visit any part of the Netherlands Antilles, you need to have your passport ready and valid for at least three months. This is because you cannot stay in the region for up to three months without visa.  You also have to present your travel documents, proving that you are planning to leave by a certain date.

Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands are an archipelago found in the Leeward side of the Caribbean. Some of the islands are territories of the United States, while others are territories of the United Kingdom. The British Virgin Islands are located to the northeast of the US Virgin Islands. The archipelago’s name was derived from Christopher Columbus’ founding name for it: Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Virgenes. The name directly translates to Saint Ursula and her 11 thousand virgins.

What is the difference between the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands? It seems that the American territories, except for St. Croix, are more developed than their British counterparts. Whether American or British in ownership, the islands are definitely West Indian in flavor. Put together, both American and British islands seem like one archipelago under the same ownership. Expect a lot of fun in the sun in the whole Virgin Islands, through swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. If you are tired of the sea, you can always drive around the lush countryside surrounded by green rain forest and sugar plantations.

To visit the Virgin Islands, you can fly to any of the international airports in the area. You can always go island-hopping by cruise ship or ferry if you are not content with just one island. Within any of the islands, you can get around by bus, taxi, or by rented car. The islands boast of a tropical climate. Avoid visiting during the peak of hurricane season in the area.

To get into the Virgin Islands, consider whether you are visiting the US or the British part. This is because you will be following the same entry requirements as the ruling country. If you are from the United States, you do not really need a visa or a passport to get into American territories. If you are entering a British territory, you do not need a visa but you will need to present a valid passport. You can stay in the territory for up to 30 days without a visa.