Moscow is the capital and largest city of Russia, as well as the largest city in all of Europe. It ranks among the largest urban areas in the world and is home to around 12 million people. The city is Russia’s economic, cultural, educational and communications center, easily accessible from all parts of the country due to its location in the Central Federal district on the banks of the Moska River.

Moscow’s pre-Soviet era art and architecture stands with modern monuments, testaments to the success of Moscow’s rapid shift towards modernism. Despite the push towards Western ideas and trends, Moscow still likes to look back and appreciate its past, personified in the renovation of old historical structures such as the Bell Tower and the ever-dominant Red Square and the opening of cultural establishments such as the Moscow International Performing Arts Center. The people of Moscow are laid back and friendly, the main reason for the city’s bohemian flavor further enriched by the locals’ love for art, as seen in the many art galleries sprinkled all over the city.

Getting around Moscow can be done by car or by train. A ride on the Moscow Metro is already an attraction unto itself. Other options include trams, trolley, buses and route taxis. Tourists may also fall victims to bad cops who are on the look-out for tourists to bribe. The best way to handle this is to call your embassy. Pretending that you are doing so is usually enough to make your dirty cop back off.

Russian tourist visas are issued to tourists looking to visit Moscow for a duration of 14-30 days. The total validity for a trip to Moscow 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.


Bucharest, known as ‘the little Paris’ in the past is Romania’s biggest city as well as its capital and its industrial and commercial hub. The city is home to over 2 million people and is expected to become even larger in the next ten years. Bucharest is port of entry to Romania because of its location on the banks of the Dambovita River.

The city is an interesting mix of the old and new. Bucharest is a city with a rich tradition but the recent economic boom is seeing new and modern high structures rising next to Belle Époque buildings. A leisurely stroll through the city’s tree-lined boulevards is perfect after a day of shopping at the city’s trendiest shopping spots. The nightlife is as equally as colorful and sophisticated as the Old City Center is old and charming. A walk through the city’s own version of the Arc de Triomphe at the Soseaua Kiseleff Avenue is enough for a whiff of Paris.

A cheap means of going around Bucharest is by bus or by train. The Metro is quite cheap, although it can sometimes get crowded. If you must take a taxi, take those operated by official taxi companies, as those driven by independent private drivers can charge you higher rates. Tourists are also advised to be wary of taking taxis to areas where large tourists congregate such as the Gara de Nord, since some of these taxis are operated by con men. The best time to visit the city is from April to June and from September to October.

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.


Warsaw is the capital of Poland, the country’s center of commerce, entertainment, and finance. The city quickly made a name for itself as one of the fastest-growing economic and cultural centers in Europe with the emergence of the free markets and democracy, directly followed by Krakow. Home to more than 1.6 million people according to the latest measurement, Warsaw sits on the banks of the Vistula River, right between the Baltic Sea and the Carpathian mountains.

Warsaw is a beautiful and refreshing mix of palaces and park lands, and no visit is complete without seeing the structures that define both the modern and historical Warsaw such as the Palace of Culture and Science and the Royal Castle. A trip to Warsaw wouldn’t be complete without a stroll through the cobble stoned streets of the Old town for a unique medieval experience. Indeed, Warsaw has perfected the non-contrived but cosmopolitan look that most cities fail to achieve with its eclectic mix of traditional and international restaurants, bars, and shops. Such an eclectic combination of local and international establishments is set in a city with a skyline defined by high-rises of modern and contemporary architecture.

The city is accessible through public transport options such as buses, trolleys, and trains. Taxis are also a good choice, especially if your Polish is good enough to use for directions. However, be careful with the meter because Polish taxi drivers do not have the best reputation when it comes to the fair charging of passengers. Rentals are also available although Polish road signs can be hard to understand and parking spaces are hard to find, especially in the Old Town. The best time to visit the city is from June to September, when the days are warm but are not very humid.

Only a valid passport is required of American tourists who want to visit Warsaw for three months or less. Confirmation of travel itinerary and proof of accommodations may be required at the border.


Kiev is the capital city of the Ukraine. It sits on the banks of the Dnieper River, the home of 2.7 million inhabitants. The city has a varied and colorful history, the center of East Slavic civilization in the 10th and 12 centuries until it become relatively obscure after the invasion of the Mongols. Kiev is one of the most important industrial, commercial, and cultural centers in Eastern Europe.

Young and old thrive in Kiev, where the modern is enjoying a seamless blend with the past. Historical monuments dot the city, which is also a storehouse of world class art and architecture such as the Cathedral of St. Sophia, known for its 11th century frescoes, and the Ukrainian Baroque Church of St. Andrew. The city’s varied past is not only seen in the arts and architecture but also in the cultural events, where dramas, musicals, and plays are held on a regular basis in venues such as the Ivan Franco theater and the Kiev Opera House. The people of this charming city are hospitable to a fault, ever ready to acquaint any willing visitor with the best that the mother of all Russian cities has to offer.

Kiev’s inhabitants love their public transportation. The three metro lines serve 1.7 million of the population every day. Taxis are abundant and relatively cheap although flagging down private cars for a short jaunt across town will prove to be cheaper. The city is relatively safe, with thieves and pickpockets making up most of what tourists should be wary about. Money scams are also common. The best time to visit Kiev would be during the summer months from June to August.

A Visa Free Regime is now applicable to US citizens for a period of 90 days, with a valid passport from a country with an embassy in Ukraine. Other necessary papers include travel documents confirming that the purpose of the trip is tourism, as well as proof of accommodations and the itinerary of the trip.


Celebrations were almost prohibited in the strong-communistic period. Only political feasts were an exception. Since Doi Moi the Vietnamese got back to feasting again. Festivals involve impressive wealth of colors, a lot of spectators and a colorful program.

The Vietnamese calendar is a mix of the sun calendar (Western Gregorian year of 365 days) and the moon calendar. A moon year has 355 days. The Vietnamese moon calendar is a match with the old Chinese moon calendar and they started counting 2637 years before our calendar. The sun calendar is established through the republican revolution of 1912.

Vietnam celebrations & festivals include,

Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. People feast for a whole week (three official festival days): family meetings, annual fairs, parades and lots of presents. Since a few years fireworks are forbidden. If one can afford it, people let the champagne corks pop. This is for the Vietnamese our form of Christmas. When you travel through Vietnam in this period, you should take full hotels, transportation, sights and closed shops into account.

Thanh Minh, the fifth day of the third month is dedicated to the ancestor honouring. Graves are decorated with flowers, incense candles and paper objects.

Phat Dan, on the eight day of the fourth month the Vietnamese celebrate the birth date of Buddha. Religious people spend this day in the pagoda that is decorated with lanterns. In the evening processions are held.

Tet Doan Ngu, the highest point of the sun Is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month. The Vietnamese believe that their energy reaches its highest point. They offer gifts to the angry spirits that spread diseases. They throw dolls into fire as a sacrifice for the god of death.

Trung Nguyen, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month people celebrate the movement of the soul. In houses and temples people give sacrifices in form of gifts and food to the restless souls of forgotten dead.

Trung Thu, this is a feast for children on the fifteenth day of the eight-month. In a procession the children walk through the streets with lanterns in the shape of boats, unicorns, dragons and more.

Birth date of Confucius, the 28th day of the ninth month.

Thong Tan Tet, this is the celebration of the harvest on the tenth day of the tenth month. Children will give their parents presents, patients to their doctors, pupils to their teachers and so on.

Oc Om Bok, on the fifteenth day of the tenth month the Khmer people in the south of Vietnam have their traditional celebration of the harvest. They hold spectacular boat races, in Soc Trang for example. In the next night they have the ceremony in honor of the moon, Le Cung Trang.


Honiara is the capital of the Solomon Islands and the Guadalcanal region, although it has a separated administrative town. Its situated on the north shore of the mountain island Guadalcanal. The capital was previously called ”Nagoniara” but the English colonialists found it to hard to pronounce, Nagoniara meant ‘in front of the wind’ in the Guadalcanal language.

The city of Honiara, and the Solomon Islands in general are popular travel destination for snorkeling and scuba diving lovers. Even for those who enjoy diving but don’t have their certificate, this is the place to learn it. The waters are surprisingly warm so there’s no need for wet suits, its underwater vision is extremely clear so you wont have to miss a second of the wonderful sea life. Coral and fish of every description and imaginary color swim around as a few lazy moving sharks pass you by. Honiara and the Solomon Islands are among the most beautiful dive sites world wide.

Honaira is a small city with a bay used as harbor, with a population of 50 thousand people its a small city yet the biggest on the Solomon Islands. The city is crossed by the 18.5 miles long Kukum Highway running from Hederson Field in the east to the village White River in the west. From the harbor ferries leave every thirty minutes to the provinces, night clubs and restaurants. The houses in the city are combined by slums and houses at the waterfront, and the neighborhood settlements away from the shore.

Most nationals do not require a visa to enter the Solomon Islands, just a valid passport as long the stay does not extends 30 days. The average daily temperature is 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit year round, the sea water temperature on average is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Honiara is a safe travel destination, petty crime and theft are not common against tourists and locals.


Majuro is capital and largest city of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and has a small population of 25 thousand people. Its main business district, banking and tourism are great importance for Majuro. The major population center is the D-U-D community, which are the Delap, Uliga, Djarrit islands combined (listed from south to north).

Majuro has a pleasant feel of tropical lassitude and is home to expert fishers, navigators, divers and surfers. The blue wind and waves of the Pacific determine the life of the islanders, as traditional boat building still pass on from father to son, as well the wisdom of sea and stars. The nation’s historical connections with various American, Asian and European powers are nowadays still visible, for example the availability of international foods and museums left behind.

The Marshall Islands consists of 64 islands and has several shopping districts, hotels, a port and international airport. Majuro has the best climate December through March. Yet, the true charm of the Marshall Islands lies in the surrounding islands, where you can find world class underwater sights.

Travelers to Marshall Islands require a valid passport and visa. American citizens are required a passport, with return ticket if the stay does not extends 90 days. Majuro is a safe travel destination, petty crime and theft not common against tourists and locals.

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