The United Arab Emirates (UAE) consists of seven Emirates, Dubai is far by the most popular destination of them all. It is situated on the southern shore of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula. Dubai’s population is estimated at 1.5 million people which is a huge growth since 1975 when it was 183 thousand people.

Sheikh Mohammed is the ruler of Dubai, his primarily goal is to make Dubai what is today; a modern high standard city thriving from commercial investments. The relatively young city of Dubai focuses on tourism. In it’s 25 years of industrial and commercial growth, the city has allowed development of startling infrastructures against a backdrop of sand, sea and olden Middle Eastern traditions and architecture.

Old Dubai remains untouched with the cultural mainstays of the city. For one, The Dubai Museum showcases traditional Middle Eastern reed houses and other mementos. Every visitor gets a tour which begins as the al-Fahidi fort, where the houses are, down to the unbelievable high-technology extension built under the fort. The Bastakiya District is another popular and old Dubai destination, one of the few remaining communities where traditional style homes still are the norm.

Travelers to Dubai need a valid passport and visa. American citizens need only a valid passport, other nationalities may require to get a valid visa. The city is generally safe for travelers, although Americans are advised to be aware of their surroundings. In Middle Eastern countries threats to US citizens are of concern.


The mountainous town of Sapa is located in the northwest Hoang Lien Son mountains of Vietnam, known as “the Tonkinese Alps”. Sapa is situated in the Lao Cai Province along the border with China. The town was built in 1922 and it used to be a hill station. Sapa is rapidly growing into a hot tourist spot where tourists can enjoy a world of mysterious minority cultures and beautiful landscapes. Sapa has a population of 7 thousand people.

The surroundings of the picturesque town of Sapa includes rice terraces, lush vegetation and Fanispan, the highest peak in Vietnam. Simply follow the steps up to the Sapa Radio Tower to take a view over the magnificent valley. You will often find the mountains shrouded in mist that rolls back and forth along the peaks. You can also visit the tourist attraction Ham Rong Resort with various viewpoints, gardens, dance performances and restaurants. Remember that you will have to pay entrance here. The town of Sapa is small enough to reach everything within by foot.

In and around Sapa there live many ethnic minorities and hill-tribe people, such as the Hmong, the Dao and the Red Zao tribe. They come wander in to town to buy, sell and trade. Trying to get a conversation started can be very rewarding, but don’t try this in the town itself. Many of the ethnic people will only smell a potential sale. If you like adventure, sign-up or a trekking trip through the mountains with an overnight stay at one of the villages nearby. These villages can also be reached via jeep, motorcycle and van.

Travelers to Sapa need a valid passport and visa. Make sure you respect the wishes of the ethnic groups living in Sapa and the surrounding valleys. It is also important to bring your foreign currency notes as new and crispy as possible. Although it is obliged to turn over your passport to your hotel, guesthouse or hostel, a photocopy of this document or your visa will do the trick.


The small town Sisophon is located in the northwest of Cambodia. It is the capital city of Banteay Meanchy. The town is officially named Serei Saophoan, which is generally transliterated as Sisophon. The name Serei Saophoan is Khmer for “beautiful lady”. The area used to be inside Thailand before the French gave it back to Cambodia. Sisophon is strategically situated at the intersection of National Highway 5 en National Highway 6.

Sisophon makes a good first stop when traveling from Poipet in the west. It is also a good place to start exploring some sights around. It is about fourty minutes to get to the Khmer temple of Banteay Chmar, to the north of the town. You can also visit the Angkorian temple of Banteay Top. More to the northeast there is a special bird sanctuary, called Ang Trapeng Thmor Reserve.

Sisophon is connected to many other cities in Cambodia through the National Highways. Traveling from the town to other cities is easy, but be aware of the state of the roads. Highway 69 for instance to Banteay Chmar is impassable during raining seasons. Battabamg to the south, Poipet to the west and Siem Reap to the east are more accessible by driving on Highway 5 or Highway 6.

Travelers to Sisophon and Cambodia require 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.


The Thai cuisine has among the largest variety of food in the world, as well its famous for being spicy. The key to secret lies within the mixture of spices as garlic, chili, lemon grass, basil, coconut milk and ginger. The believe that every Thai dish is spicy, is false. There’s a wide selection of choices such as sour, sweet, salty or bitter.

What is a fact, as tourist of Thailand you should try at least several dishes out of Thai kitchen. You should not fear the colorful look and sharp smell of the food. Thai cooks are aware most foreigners do not wish to eat spicy and will adjust the meal. Therefore there’s no excuse for not trying. Eating from local street vendors is absolutely safe and responsible yet the best choice over a first class restaurant when trying Thai food at first. In case the meal is too spicy it’s best advised to eat sticky rice and a banana.

Each of the four regions in Thailand has it’s own specialties. Where in Central Thailand the Thai enjoy noodles and curry, in the North dry yet spicy sausages are consumed. During your travel through Thailand, Thai people will always be eating. Let it be in a spacious shopping mall, on local markets or in the big city. Food is sold on every street corner, it’s part of Thai lifestyle, it’s suggested to try several meals and enjoy the remarkable tasty dishes of Thai kitchen.

Singapore City

Singapore is the capital city of the smallest country (city-state) in Southeast Asia: the Republic of Singapore. It lies close to the southern extremity of the Eurasian tectonic plate and the northeast extension of the Sumatra-Java oceanic trench. It has a population of 4.8 million people.

Since it’s independence Singapore has become one of the world’s most prosperous countries and sports the world’s busiest port. To picture Singapore’s skyline combine in your mind the many skyscrapers and subways of a modern city with a mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay influences and climate, including tasty Asian foods, fabulous shopping, vibrant nightlife and busy markets.

Singapore counts many nationals with different backgrounds. Therefore the capital is split up in different areas, each area is unique to it’s own. Fortune tellers, calligraphers and temple worshippers are part of everyday life in the crowded streets of Chinatown. In Little India, you can buy the best freshly ground spices, sari materials or picture of your favorite Hindu god. In the tiny shops of Arab Streets, the cry of the imam can be heard from the local Sultan Mosque.

Traveling to Sentosa Island is one of the highlights of a Singapore trip. The island was originally meant for the British to defend the city from the Japanese. Since it has been transformed into a beach resort with amusement park, golf club and a soon to be opened casino.

Travelers to Singapore need a valid passport and visa. American Citizens will receive a 90 days visa upon arrival. The best time to travel to Singapore is from June to August, travelers should be aware it might be still rainy and humid and should pack accordingly. Travelers with laptop can consider themselves lucky, the whole city has free WIFI.


The people of Thailand celebrate life with the philosophy of ‘Sanuk’, which means ‘enjoying pleasure’. Celebrations are seldom ‘ceremonious’ and serious but always frivolous and colorful. Yearly celebrations, religious celebrations and celebrations within certain seasons are an essential part of the daily Thai culture. Thai people feast every month, as much as possible, according to a 13th century motto: ‘Who wants to be happy, should do it’.

Songkran is the celebrating of New Year and Water on the 13th April. People clean Buddha statues in festal ceremonies and young people show their respect to monks and older people by visiting them. At the end of Songkran Thai people on the street throw buckets of water at each other. Tourists are popular victims here.

Particular pleasant and cosy is the celebration Loy-Krathong that takes place around the end of October. This celebrating comes from an old tradition of believes. The rivers are wild after the monsoons between June and October and they threat the life and belongings of rice farmers. To avert floods, as well as to thank the rain that promises a good rice profit, people sacrificed goods to the gods.

The water spirits and water goddess had to be soothed. During Loy-Krathong rivers, ponds and creeks are transformed into true gardens of light. The Thai are dressed festive and come together among the banks. Crafts made of banana leaves and shaped in the form of lotus are set in the water to travel. The crafts are extensively decorated with flowers, incense, burning candles, coins, foods and personal belongings.

Other Thai celebrations and festivals

in February Makha Puja. Religious people come together at the temples for a procession of light.

in April Day of Chakri. In memory of the inauguration of the first king of the Chakri-dynasty, Rama I.

in May Visakha Buja. Most important festival of Buddhism. Thai people celebrate Buddha’s birth, relief and dying day.

in July at full moon Asanha Buja. Yearly remembrance of Buddha’s first lecture that starts the Lent of three month for monks.

October 23rd Birthday of the King Bhumibol. Thai decorate houses and temples with candles.


The city of Manila or simply Manila is the capital and second most populous city (after Quezon City) of the Philippines. The city is located on the eastern shore of the Manila Bay just west of the National Capital Region in the western side of Luzon. Manila has a population of 1.6 million people.

Manila is a still developing world city with common problems such as choking smog, traffic and poverty. However, this should not dissuade anyone from traveling to Manila. It’s a diverse and excotic place for the adventurous tourist that likes to discover on its own. Also low budget travelers will be satisfied with Manila as travel expenses are cheap compared to the experience & knowledge you will gain during the trip.

Manila’s rich culture, exclusive nightlife and shopping center’s shall impress you, seeing is believing! As the city is still developing itself there are a few downers travelers should be aware of. Decent European/American food in restaurants are rare to find and there’s a lack of working ATM machines (ATM machines that do work, will only allow you to take out maximum of 10 thousand pesos about $200 US a time).

Travelers to Manila must have a valid passport and visa. American Citizens receive a 30 day visa upon arrival. You don’t have to worry about getting lost in Manila as the English language is widely spoken by Philippinos. The best period to visit Manila are in the summer months from January till April when there’s the least rain.

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