The World Traveling Guide

View the world with different eyes


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12 Beautiful Places In Italy That You Must See This Summer

ITALY !!!

One of the most beautiful European Countries and all that we can say about it is that This country is really really amazing and full with beauties. Italy is really full with awesome places in which you can enjoy and relax but we just want to give you some intro of what you can see if you decide to travel this summer. This 12 photos maybe are not too much to present the whole beauty but we think that they are enough just to impress you to pack your stuff and visit it. Check out below and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Aeolian Islands
Aeolian Islands

Baia delle Zagare
Baia delle Zagare

Blue Grotto – Capri
Blue Grotto - Capri

Cala Mariolu, Sardinia
Cala Mariolu, Sardinia

Campione del Garda, Lake Garda
Campione del Garda, Lake Garda

Capri, Campania
Capri, Campania

Lake Como, Lombardy
Lake Como, Lombardy

Lazio
Lazio

Portofino
Portofino

Tropea, Calabria, Italy
Tropea, Calabria, Italy

Verona, Veneto
Verona, Veneto

Volpaia, Tuscany
Volpaia, Tuscany

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Main Cities in Egypt

Egypt is perhaps best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with its temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and – visible above all – its pyramids. Less well-known is Egypt’s medieval heritage, courtesy of Coptic Christianity and Islam – ancient churches, monasteries and mosques punctuate the Egyptian landscape. Egypt stimulates the imagination of western tourists like few other countries and is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations world-wide.

Cairo

Cairo  and its region are considered the heart of Egypt,  where you can spot almost every aspect of the country, including some of the most famous Pharaonic, ancient Christian and Islamic monuments. Cairo offers amazing choice for shopping, relaxation, culture and night life. Your first shopping stop would be no doubt the famous Han El-halili, unchanged since 14 century. There also enough modern air conditioned centers offering the latest fashion. The whole generosity of the East is here – perfumes, gold, silver, rugs, leather works, glass and ceramics. Try some of the most famous street shops like Mohamed Ali street for musical instruments, or the very colorful Camel Market, although it not likely to buy something from there.

Cairo2 Cairo

When you are in need of relaxation of the urban life, you can play gold, watch horse racings or to visit the zoo or the botanical gardens, sail on Nile or ride from Giza to Saqqara. For one day trip outside of Cairo, you can visit Haran and see the beauty of the tapestry, hand made from the local people. If you want you can rid of everything and to go on the top of the Cairo Tower, modern 187m tower with view to the whole city from all sides with restaurant on the top.

Cairo show its colors at night, when is the best time for shopping or going out of the town. There are cabarets with oriental dancers and musicians, even floating   in the Nile River restaurant. The Opera House complex contains few galleries, including museum of modern art, restaurants and concert halls. Listening to Arab music under the sky in the open air theatre is magical experience. And of course the biggest show after dusk is the show Light and Sound on the Pyramids.

Alexandria

The second largest city in Egypt, Alexandria , is famous like the  pearl of the Mediterranean . The social environment and cultural heritage of the city differentiate Alexandria from the rest of Egypt, although it’s only 225km from Cairo. In Alexandria is located one of the Seven Wonders of the World – Faros lighthouse. Except for the stormy relation between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Alexandria has been cultural center of the ancient world. But the city declined and by the time Napoleon came, he saw only fishing village. Today the city offers rich variety of choices for fun for the tourists and it ‘s preferred destination destination in Egypt. You can see a lot of museum, historical monuments, religious places, beaches, shopping and sports, and even a casino, which is open only for foreigners.

Alexandria skyline

Sharm el-Sheikh

Sharm el-Sheikh  is famous for its sun, five star hotels, water sports, shopping and fun. This is one of the most developed and easy reachable touristic resorts in Egypt. You can see the Bedouins everywhere around, colorful tents, mountain and water. There are small discrete hotels and big hotel complexes of famous international chains, plus all the good stuff typical for top touristic resort, like touristic center, casinos, discotheques, night clubs, golf courses, and health care. 4 miles south of the city there are ricks with magnificent view to the seaport. The Naama Beach is one of the touristic centers in the town. It is positioned north of Sharm, and the region around it looks like separate resort town. Most of the hotels there have their own private beaches with all extras included.

Sharm el-Sheikh 2 Sharm el-Sheikh

Hurghada

Hurghada  was found in the early 20 century and it was small fishing village until recently. But today, it is the most desired touristic resort on the coasts of Red Sea and international center for water sports, like wind surfing, swimming, diving and sailing. The unique underwater gardens around the coast are one of the most beautiful in the world, and most favored between the divers. The worm water are ideal for many different kinds of rare fish and coral reefs, which can be seen through the transparent bottom of some boats there. While you are in Hurghada, don ‘t miss the museum and the aquarium, where is gathered full collection of the flora and fauna of Red Sea. Hurghada is favored like city for party and fun, mostly among the Europeans. Everyone will tell you, that the life there starts at night, when the numerous night clubs open doors. Other thing that make the town famous are the beaches, where thousands of tourists are going with their families to enjoy the sun and the calmness of the clean private beaches of the hotels. Some of these hotels offer so many things that you may consider not going out in the town.

The islands around Hurghada are also offering big choice of how to have fun and the one day trips aren ‘t anything uncommon.

Hurghada2 Hurghada

Luxor

Luxor  is often called  the biggest open air museum quot’and it really is, and even much more. Luxor is divided into 3 parts, the city of Luxor on the east side of Nile, the city of Karnak north of Luxor, and Thebes on the west side of Nile just across Luxor. Today Luxor is very good prepared to meet tourists with its numerous hotels and attractions. In Luxor there are 3 main streets – Sharia el Mahata, Sharia el Karnak and the Coastal, right next to Nile River. The street in front of the train station is Sharia el Mahata which continue to the gardens of the Luxor Temple. Sharia el Karnak, continue from the Luxor Temple to the Karnak Temple. Along this street you can find many colorful restaurants and cafes, also bazaars where you can find most souvenirs. Most of the modern part of the town is actually made in the ancient architectural code. The National Bank of Egypt, the SPA centers and even the train station are all made to look like pharaonic buildings. This is consequence of the Egyptianization of the town that started after the Tutankhamon tomb was found. Although the town have all the extras – hotels, bars, night clubs and restaurants, as it ‘s expected from touristic destination.

In luxor, on the eastern side, one of your first stops would be the Temple of Luxor built from Amenophis II. South on Sharia el Karnak you can reach the temple, which was connected with the Temple of Karnak via long rock street. The street is enclosed with sphinxes on both sides. After leaving Luxor you can go trough Sharia el Karnak on north to Karnak. On the way, next to the police station is located the oldest mosque in Luxor – El-Mekashkesh where the remains of a Islam saint from 10 century are kept. There you can also see the Franciscan church and its schools, one for boys and one for girls. Down the road you can find  the Museum of Mummification, where you can learn everything for the mummies.

Luxor2 Luxor

Aswan

Aswan  is located on the east coast of Nile River and is animated touristic shopping center. This is one of the most dry places in the world, in the early 2001 the last rain was 6 years earlier. In many Nubian villages the people don ‘t even make roof for all of their rooms. Aswan is favorite winter resort since the beginning of 19 century. Every night Nubian dancers and musicians are making live shows in the Cultural center. Aswan was considered the frontier town in Ancient Egypt to south.

Aswan2 Aswan


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Cancun

Cancún is a coastal city in the tourist destination called The Mexican Caribbean, i.e., the state of Quintana Roo, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It is a popular vacation spot on the Caribbean coast. There are two possible meanings of Cancun, according to the Mayan language, the first translation is “nest of snakes or pot.” The second version and less accepted is “place of the gold snake”.

cancun1

Peak season in Cancun tends to run from December to April. Prices in both airfare and hotel increase dramatically during these times, while dropping in the summer and early autumn months. Late June is especially hot, so come prepared or try the off season. Hurricanes can be a major threat in late summer and autumn

cancun5

Downtown Cancun, especially once you get away from the ADO bus station and nearby hostels and hotels, is a real Mexican city. There are many restaurants (La Parrilla, Los Pericos, Los Arcos, El Timon de Cancun, Va que Va; all of them are really good restaurants, and the best much cheaper than Hotel Zone, and Mexican cousin), shopping centers (Plaza Las Americas, Plaza la Isla in Hotel Zone, Plaza Outlet), markets (Mercado 28 y 23) and clubs in the downtown area that you can visit during your stay (Cocobongo, Dady’O, Palazzo, Mandala).

Cancun Mexico

Like most resort areas in the Caribbean, Cancun gets hit with a really severe hurricane every 10 to 20 years. The last really bad one was Hurricane Wilma in 2005, which obliterated many of Cancun’s famous beaches.

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Thousands of hapless tourists spent their precious vacations jammed into hurricane shelters waiting for Wilma to pass, then waited days in the humid tropical heat (with no air conditioning) for transport home.

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As a result, from 2005 to 2008, most of Cancun’s tourist traffic went to Cabo San Lucas (triggering a massive construction boom there) while Cancun painstakingly rebuilt its resorts and dredged the ocean to bring the white sand back to its beaches.

cancun4

The moral of this story is to buy really good trip insurance if your trip is scheduled during hurricane season, have a backup vacation (or staycation) plan, and cancel promptly if a hurricane is forecast the week before your trip.


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Miami

Miami is one of the state’s – and the world’s – most popular vacation spots. Though destinations often are said to offer something for everyone, the Miami area offers multiple enticements for everyone.

miami

The trendy nightlife of South Beach, bejeweled by the eye candy of the Art Deco district. The bustle of Calle Ocho and the highly caffeinated energy of Little Havana. The plush hotels of Miami Beach and the historic hideaways of Coral Gables.

miami4

Seemingly endless shopping opportunities in modern, sprawling malls and the quiet, personal attention offered by the family-owned shops of Coconut Grove and many other corners of the region. The lures of deep-sea fishing and golf and tennis.

miami1

Major league football, basketball, hockey and baseball. Boat shows and auto racing. Art festivals and outdoor food and wine extravaganzas. An international airport and the world’s busiest cruise port. The Miami area offers all of this – and so much more.

Beaches

Of course, if you’re in Miami, you’ll want to spend some time on the beach. Miami Beach is on a barrier reef across Biscayne Bay, and its sandy, sunny beaches from party-hearty South Beach continues all the way north along the coast of Florida.

miami5

As Miami has pretty temperate weather, the beaches will be active all year round. Topless sunbathing is tolerated, if not strictly legal, in Miami Beach and South Beach. If you want to take it all off, go to Haulover Beach Park in North Beach.

miami6


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Australia

Geography

Australia is the sixth-largest country by land area. It is comparable in size to the 48 contiguous United States. Australia is bordered to the west by the Indian Ocean, and to the east by the South Pacific Ocean. The Tasman Sea lies to the southeast, separating it from New Zealand, while the Coral Sea lies to the northeast. Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Indonesia are Australia’s northern neigh bours, separated from Australia by the Arafura Sea and the Timor Sea.

australia1

Australia is highly urbanised with most of the population heavily concentrated along the eastern and south-eastern coasts. Most of the inland areas of the country are semi-arid. The most-populous states are Victoria and New South Wales, but by far the largest in land area is Western Australia.

Australia has an area of 7,682,300km² and the distances between cities and towns is easy to underestimate.

Australia has large areas that have been deforested for agricultural purposes, but many native forest areas survive in extensive national parks and other undeveloped areas. Long-term Australian concerns include salinity, pollution, loss of biodiversity, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.

Climate

As a large island a wide variation of climates are found across Australia. Most of the country receives more than 3,000°hr of sunshine a year. Generally, the north is hot and tropical, while the south tends to be sub-tropical and temperate. Most rainfall is around the coast, and much of the centre is arid and semi-arid. The daytime maximum temperatures in Darwin rarely drop below 30°C, even in winter, while night temperatures in winter usually hover around 15-20°C.. Temperatures in some southern regions can drop below freezing in winter and the Snowy Mountains in the South East experiences metres of winter snow. Parts of Tasmania have a temperature range very similar to England.

australija2

As Australia is in the southern hemisphere the winter is June-August while December-February is summer. The winter is the dry season in the tropics, and the summer is the wet. In the southern parts of the country, the seasonal temperature variation is greater. The rainfall is more evenly distributed throughout the year in the southern parts of the East Coast, while in the rest of the south beyond the Great Dividing Range, the summers are dry with the bulk of the rainfall occurring in winter.

Cities, States and Territories

Multicultural Australia

Australian society is made up of people from a rich variety of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds, and this is a defining feature of modern Australian society. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have inhabited Australia for tens of thousands of years. Most Australians are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants who arrived during the past two hundred years from more than 200 countries. The most commonly spoken language in Australia is English, and the most commonly practiced religion is Christianity, although foreign languages and other religions are also common.

Australia is divided into six states and two territories.

Canberra is the national capital and the centre of government. It is located approximately 290 kilometres south of Sydney in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Canberra lies on the ancient lands of the Indigenous Ngunnawal people, and its name is thought to mean ‘meeting place’, from the Aboriginal word ‘Kamberra’. It is home to important national institutions, including the Australian Parliament and the High Court of Australia.

australija3

New South Wales is Australia’s oldest and most populated state. It was originally settled as a penal colony on the shores of Port Jackson where the bustling capital city of Sydney now stands. More than a third of Australians live in New South Wales, and Sydney is the nation’s largest city.

Victoria is the smallest of the mainland states in size but the second most populated. Melbourne is the capital and is Australia’s second most populated city. During the gold rush of the 1850s, it became one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities. Melbourne is sometimes referred to as the “cultural capital of Australia” and is the birthplace of Australian film, television, art, dance and music. Victorians’ enthusiasm for sport is also legendary and this is where Australian Rules football began.

Queensland is Australia’s second-largest state in size. The state capital is Brisbane, the third most populated city in Australia. Queenslanders enjoy more winter sunshine and warmth than most other Australian states and it’s perfect for all types of outdoor activities and water sports. Queensland is also home to the world famous Great Barrier Reef as well as five World Heritage listed areas.

South Australia is a state in the southern central part of the country which covers some of the most arid parts of the continent. It is the fourth largest of Australia’s states and shares its borders with all of the mainland states and the Northern Territory. The state capital is Adelaide, the fifth-largest city in Australia. South Australia has a thriving arts scene and is sometimes known as the ‘Festival State’, with more than 500 festivals taking place there every year.

At the top end of Australia lies the Northern Territory. Darwin, on the northern coast, is the capital, and Alice Springsthe principal inland town. Alice Springs is the physical heart of Australia, almost exactly at the nation’s geographical centre. The Northern Territory is home to the famous Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Kakadu National Park.

Western Australia is Australia’s largest state by area. About three-quarters of the state’s population live in the capitalPerth, which is the fourth most populated city in Australia. The east of the state is mostly desert while to the west the state is bound by almost 13000 km of pristine coastline. In the 1890s gold was discovered and mining is still one of the state’s biggest industries.

Tasmania is separated from mainland Australia by Bass Strait and is the smallest state in Australia. The capital, Hobart, was founded in 1804 as a penal colony, and is Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney. One-fifth of Tasmania is covered by national parks and wilderness areas. It is one of the world’s most mountainous islands whose geology reflects Australia’s connection millions of years ago with Antarctica.

Australia also administers Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (or Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island and the Australian Antarctic Territory (covering 42 per cent of the Antarctic continent) as external territories.

Weather in Australia

Australia experiences temperate weather for most of the year but the climate can vary due to the size of our continent. The northern states typically experience warm weather much of the time, with the southern states experiencing cooler winters. Australia is also one of the driest continents on earth with an average annual rainfall of less than 600 millimetres. Like all countries in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring.

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Australia’s Plants

There are an estimated 27,700 plant species in Australia, including living fossils such as the cycad palm and the grass tree, and brilliant wildflowers such as the waratah, Sturt’s desert pea, banksia and kangaroo paws.

We also have around 2800 species of eucalypts (gum trees), and 1000 species of acacia, which we call ‘wattle’. The Golden Wattle is Australia’s floral emblem. Eucalypts make up almost 80 per cent of our forests. Acacias, melaleuca (tea tree), casuarinas (she-oaks), callitris (cypress pine), mangrove and rainforests make up the other 20 per cent.

Forests

Australia’s tallest trees can be found in the south-west of Western Australia in theValley of the Giants. Giant tuart, karri, and rich red jarrah which live for up to 500 years can be found here. The 1000 kilometre Bibbulmun Track traverses a variety of jarrah, marri, wandoo, karri and tingle forests as well as internationally significant wetlands.

The cool temperate rainforest of the World Heritage-listed Tasmanian wildernesscontains some of the oldest trees on the planet including the rare Huon Pine.

forests

The majestic Wollemi pine is a remnant from a 200 million year-old landscape, when Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica were joined together as the supercontinent Gondwana. It was thought to have been extinct for millions of years, until rediscovered by a bushwalker in 1994. Fewer than 100 trees exist in the wild, growing in the deep rainforest gorges of the Greater Blue Mountains.

Eucalypts

Gum trees (eucalypts) are the tree most commonly associated with Australia. They are found in areas from sub-alpine to wet coastal forests, through to temperate woodlands and the dry inland areas. The Greater Blue Mountains has the most diverse range of eucalypt species on earth. In fact, the Blue Mountains gets its name from the blue shimmer which rises into the air from the oil from the trees. In the Australian Alps, striking silver and red snow gums stand out amongst the snow-filled landscape. In South Australia’s Flinders Ranges ancient river red gums live in the dry creek beds. Koalas feed exclusively on certain species of eucalypts.

Tasmanian Blue Gum

Rainforests

Rainforest once covered most of the ancient southern super-continent Gondwana, and there are primitive plants found in these forests that are linked to those growing more than 100 million years ago. Australia’s rainforests stretch across the country and cover every climatic type. The Daintree Rainforest in north Queensland is the oldest tropical rainforest on earth, dating back 135 million years. An extraordinary 13 different types of rainforest can be found here. The Gondwana Rainforests of South East Queensland and northern New South Wales include the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world along with cool temperate rainforest. Pockets of dry rainforest live in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. There are monsoon rainforests in Kakadu National Park and lush fern gullies in Victoria’s Otway Ranges.

rainforests

Wetlands

Wetlands attract high numbers of migratory birds in Kakadu National Park and The UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve-listed Croajingolong National Park and Nadgee Nature Reserve in south-eastern Australia. Australia was one of the first countries to become a signatory to the Ramsar Convention for Wetlands of International Importance and the Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory, was declared the world’s first Ramsar site in 1974. Australia now has 65 Ramsar sites across the country covering around 8 million hectares.

wetlands

Wetlands

Wildflowers, including everlasting daisies, turn the arid and savanna grassland areas of Australia into carpets of colour in season. From June until September more than 12000 species of wildflower can be seen blooming across Western Australia. From late August to mid-October more than 100 varieties of wildflower can be seen on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, many unique to the island. In the Australian Alps, alpine meadows explode in masses of yellow billy buttons, pink trigger plants and silver and white snow daisies, once the snow melts.

Australia’s unique flora also includes the Proteaceae family of Banksia (bottlebrush), Grevillea and Telopea (waratah). Around 80 per cent of the plants and almost all of the Proteaceae species found in south-west Western Australia are not found anywhere else in the world. The heathlands along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria are one of the most orchid-rich sites in Australia.

Leseuer National Park Western Australian Wildflowers

Wildflowers are protected species in Australia, so don’t be tempted to pick them!

 

Australia’s Animals

Our unique animals are one of the many reasons people visit our country. Australia has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal.

More than 80 per cent of our plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia and are found no-where else. Some of our best-known animals are the kangaroo, koala, echidna, dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat.

Australia’s native animals can often be difficult to spot in the wild, but you are guaranteed to see them in our world-class zoos and wildlife parks across our major cities and regional areas. These include Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, the Rainforest Habitat in Port Douglas, Victoria’s Healesville Sanctuary, South Australia’s Cleland Wildlife Park and Queensland’s Australia Zoo, amongst others.

Mammals

Australia doesn’t have large predatory animals, the dingo, or wild dog, is our largest carnivorous mammal. Other unique carnivorous animals include the Numbat, Quoll and Tasmanian Devil, but none of these are larger than the size of an average house cat.

mammals

Dingoes are found all across Australia, except for Tasmania. Best places to see them are Queensland’s Fraser Island, Western Australia’s Kimberley and across the deserts of the Northern Territory and South Australia. Numbats are only found in Western Australia; and apart from wildlife parks, you can only see Tasmanian Devils in the wild inTasmania. Endangered Quolls are also difficult to spot in the wild, but inhabit the wet forests of southeastern Australia and Tasmania, and a small area of northern Queensland. The bilby, a member of the bandicoot family, may be seen in Francois Peron National Park in Western Australia.

Marsupials

Australia has more than 140 species of marsupials, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and wombats.

We have 55 different native species of kangaroos and wallabies. Kangaroos and wallabies vary greatly in size and weight, ranging from half a kilogram to 90 kilograms. The main difference between them is size — wallabies tend to be smaller. Estimates of Australia’s kangaroo population vary between 30 and 60 million. You should easily be able to see kangaroos in the wild in most rural parts of Australia. In Victoria see them in Anglesea on the Great Ocean Road and in the Grampians. Spot them in South Australia’s Kangaroo Island and Flinders Ranges. Get up close in Namadgi and Kosciuszko National Parks in the Australian Alps, in Pebbly Beach in New South Wales and Tasmania’s Maria Island. In outback regions, you will often see them as they bound across the road. Wallabies are widespread across Australia, particularly in more remote, rocky and rugged areas. Spot them in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, Tasmania’sFreycinet National Park and in Namadgi and Kosciuszko National Parks in the Australian Alps.

kengaroo

The koala is everyone’s favourite, but be aware – it’s not a bear. You can spot koalas all along Australia’s temperate eastern coast. Some of their top hangouts includeTidbinbilla Nature Reserve, near Canberra; Port Stephens in New South Wales and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Queensland. Observe them in the wild on Victoria’s Phillip Island and Yanchep National Park in Western Australia.

The wombat is another creature you’ll find here – stout, burrowing animals that can weigh up to 36 kilograms. Again they are difficult to see in the wild, but some of the best places are the Blue Mountains National Park and Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales, Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair in Tasmania, and in national parks in South Australia.

Monotremes

Another animal group only found in Australia is the monotremes, or egg-laying mammals. The most distinctive is the platypus, a river-dwelling animal with a bill like a duck, a furry waterproof body and webbed feet. Platypuses live in burrows which they dig into the banks of rivers. They are very shy and difficult to spot, but your best chances are in the eastern coastal areas in small streams and quiet rivers. Good places to see them are in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra, on Lake Elizabeth in Victoria’s Great Otway National Park, Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and in northern New South Wales and Queensland.

Echidna

The echidna, or spiny ant-eater, is another monotreme, which has a long sticky tongue and a prickly coat like a hedgehog or porcupine – so don’t try and pick one up! Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to spot them in the wild.

Birds

Of the 828 bird species listed in Australia, about half are found nowhere else. They range from tiny honeyeaters to the large, flightless emu, which stands nearly two metres tall. The best chances of seeing emus in the wild is in grasslands, sclerophyll forests and savannah woodlands.

A vast array of waterbirds, seabirds and birds dwell in our open woodlands and forests. Examples include cassowaries, black swans, fairy penguins, kookaburras, lyrebirds and currawongs. You can easily see penguins on Kangaroo Island in South Australia and Philip Island in Victoria.

The Albert’s Lyrebird can be seen in Mt Warning National Park and in the Gondwana rainforest around the Gold Coast hinterland. See the more common superb lyrebird in Dandenong Ranges and Kinglake National Parks around Melbourne and the Royal National Park and Illawarra region south of Sydney. You’ll also find them in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, near Canberra, Tower Hill in Victoria and a number of national parks along Australia’s east coast.

Sulphur-crested cockatoo

Kookaburras, best known for their hysterical, human-sounding laughter at dusk and dawn, are common, and you’ll most likely spot (or hear) them in the countryside and often in city suburbs.
The Broome Bird Observatory and Kakadu National Park are both excellent place to view many species of wetland and migratory birds.

There are 55 species of parrots in Australia, as numerous as they are colourful, including a spectacular variety of cockatoos, rosellas, lorikeets, cockatiels, parakeets and budgerigars. They 1are commonly seen in rural and urban areas.

Reptiles

Australia has more species of venomous snakes than any other continent, 21 of the world’s 25 deadliest in fact. But not all are poisonous; we also have some stunning pythons and tree snakes.

We are also famous for our crocodiles, both freshwater and saltwater varieties. Both the Kimberley and Kakadu National Park are excellent places to see crocodiles in their natural habitat.

There are five species of endangered sea turtles which nest and lay eggs on certain beaches in season; and eight species of freshwater turtle. Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia and Eco Beach in Broome are ideals place to see turtles.

Goanna

We also have an amazing array of lizards, ‘dragons’ and goannas (monitor lizards), including the spectacular Frilled Lizard and Bearded Dragon. The Kimberley has some 178 species of reptiles with the more notable ones being the Frilled Neck Lizard and the ubiquitous ‘ta ta’ Lizard. Thorny devils can be found in desert habitats including Shark Bay, Carnarvon and Exmouth in Western Australia.

A variety of reptiles including bearded dragons, perenties and blue tongue lizards can be seen in Central Australia and Flinders Ranges in South Australia.

Marine animals

Our marine environments support around 4000 of the world’s 22000 types of fish, as well as 30 of the world’s 58 seagrass species. We also have the world’s largest coral reef system, the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, where there are so many species of colourful fish, including the beautiful clown fish, that you’ll need more than one visit to try and count them all. We also have around 1700 different species of coral.

dolphins

Larger marine species include the migratory gentle whale shark, humpback, southern right and orca whales, the dugong, numerous dolphin species and a number of shark species. Whales can be seen along the east and west coastlines from May to November. Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia is one of the most reliable places in the world to see whale sharks and a number of operators run tours to swim with these gentle giants. Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to see Australian fur seals in the wild.


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Zermatt

The location of Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn and in the middle of an enormous hiking and ski region makes it one of the world’s most attractive vacation villages. The ski region encompasses 63 mountain railways and 360 kilometers of pistes. The region called “Matterhorn glacier paradise” is Europe’s largest and highest lying summer skiing region. Numerous national ski teams train here in the summer.

zermatt

The region is legendary amongst mountaineers: the Haute Route, a challenging international route that takes several days to complete, leads from Mont Blanc to Zermatt. Over 400 kilometers of hiking trails lead through and out of the Matter Valley, including the mule traders’ trails, which date back to the 13th century (a part of these paths is paved).

Summer

Walking, cycling, climbing and high-Alpine tours are popular activities in summer and autumn. Every year, the four-thousand-metre summits attract many Alpinists. 400 km of walking trails also guide guests who are not overly adept at climbing through the mountainscape around Zermatt.

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The cog railway operates between Zermatt and the 3089-metre-high Gornergrat. The summit offers up spectacular views of the Matterhorn, the glaciers and the Monte-Rosa massif.

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At 3883 metres in altitude, Europe’s highest vantage point able to be reached by cableway also offers a fascinating panoramic vista of the Matterhorn (4478 metres) and summits of the Swiss, Italian and French Alps. The glacier palace can be admired 15 metres beneath the ice surface. Six ski lifts as well as a cableway provide access to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, the highest summer ski region of the Alps on the Theodul glacier.

Winter

In winter, the snow-assured ski region offers 360 km of pistes in three varied ski areas: the Sunnegga-Rothorn, Gornergrat-Stockhorn, Schwarzsee and Matterhorn glacier paradise. Snowboarders are able to hone their skills in the “Gravity Park” freestyle fun park in which Olympic hopefuls also train. A crossover to the Italian ski region of Breuil-Cervinia is possible from the Matterhorn glacier paradise / Theodulpass.

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Those in search of something different can try their hand at paragliding or off-piste heli-skiing accompanied by an experienced mountain guide.

Family

Child-care is offered throughout the year in the Zermatt – Matterhorn family resort. And everywhere you see the fun loving «Wolli» mascot, children come first! Lamb Wolli accompanies you on the climate theme path, kids under 9 ski for free in the whole region – and whoever wants to ice-skate at the rink, investigate a cheese dairy or hang around in the climbing hall can! Crystal-clear mountain lakes to swim in further entice, adventurous nature days and exciting visits to the Forest Fun Park.

Top events

 

  • Horu Trophy Zermatt – The Horu Trophy is one of Europe’s largest Open Air Curling-Tournaments (January)
  • Swatch Skiers Cup – 16 of the best Freeriders and Freestyler face each other in two teams (February)
  • 1st Matterhorn Ultraks – Ski tour races in breathtaking mountain scenery (April)
  • Zermatt Unplugged – International stars at the Matterhorn (April)
  • Raiffeisen Open – International Tennis Tournament (June/July)
  • Matterhorn Eagle Cup – Golf Tournament in the alpine landscape of the Gornergrat region (July)
  • Swiss Food Festival – Feasting at the highest level (August)
  • Folklore Festival – Grand Folklore Pageant in the Village (August)
  • Zermatt Festival – The classical music and arts festival with soloists and ensembles of the Berlin Philharmonics (August/September)


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Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China. It is a place with multiple personalities, as a result of being both Cantonese Chinese and under a more recent contemporary ex-British influence. Today, the former British colony is a major tourism destination for China’s increasingly affluent mainland population. It is also an important hub in East Asia with global connections to many of the world’s cities. It is a unique destination that has absorbed people and cultural influences from places as diverse as Vietnam and Vancouver and proudly proclaims itself to be Asia’s World City.

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You can find Hong Kong on the southwestern coast of China at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta. So vibrant with life, there’s so much this city could offer, like its extraordinary blend of Eastern and Western cultures. The Central is Hong Kong’s popular financial hub. Here, spectacular skyscrapers hold the city’s high-end shopping districts, fine-dining restaurants, and world-class luxury hotels. Don’t worry if you are traveling on a student budget, though, because Hong Kong City’s streets and lane ways are filled with wet markets and traditional Chinese restaurants that cater mostly to the budget-wise travelers. There are a good number of historic sights and museums to visit in Kowloon; lush gardens and parks at the New Territories, countless shopping malls to indulge in mostly at the Central, Admiralty, and Wan Chai districts, and entertainment centers in these areas as well. Several reasonably priced hotels can easily be found at the Central or in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island––and getting around the city won’t be a problem since Hong Kong has a very efficient transportation system. Hong Kong has a mild climate mid-September to February, warm and humid come May, and rainy in August. But regardless of the climate, Hong Kong is an absolute year-round travel destination where students can easily avail of cheap flights and affordable accommodations anytime!

Climate

Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate, but is cooled in winter by sea breezes. Summer (June to September) is long, humid and hot with temperatures often exceeding 32°C (90°F) and with night time temperatures that do not drop below 25°C (77°F). Typhoons usually occur between June and September and can bring a halt to local business activities for a day or less (see natural disaster section).

Winters are generally very mild, with daytime temperatures of 18-22°C (64–72°F) but with nights dipping into 10°C (50°F) and below sometimes, especially in the countryside. Christmas in Hong Kong is considered warm compared with many other Northern Hemisphere countries. Chinese New Year is notorious for cold (10°C/50°F), wet weather; this is because winter in Hong Kong tends to start out mild and dry and then turn a bit cool and wet later, though the cool weather is brief.

Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November/December) have average temperature between 21-24°C (70-5°F). Autumn is probably a more comfortable season as spring tends to be more humid and rainy.

Things to Do in Hong Kong

There are so many things to do and sites to visit in Hong Kong, but you may want to start out by sampling some of the traditional cuisines, like dim sum. Hong Kong dim sum is considered a must-try experience, so go ahead and start your day with this delicious treat! After a satisfying meal, take a ride up Victoria peak to experience a breathtaking view of the city. If you want to take a closer look at Hong Kong’s majestic modern and historical architectural structures, you can join an architectural tour or visit the Taoist Temples. You could also take a trip to Lantau Island and see the largest Buddhist monastery in all of Hong Kong, or delight yourself at Stanley Market, where shops and stalls fill the streets with their inexpensive merchandise. After a long adventure-filled day, dine at the Aberdeen Harbor’s floating restaurants while enjoying the magnificent views of Hong Kong’s evening skyline!

Travel Tips for Hong Kong

  • Electronic fare cards are commonly used in Hong Kong for public transportation.
  • Aside from Cantonese, Mandarin, and other Chinese dialects, the English language is widely spoken in Hong Kong.
  • You only need a passport to get to Hong Kong. No Visa is required unless you want to extend your visit over the given visa-free period (length of period varies with country of origin).

Shopping in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, shopping is considered by many as a way of life, which is why this city has myriads of malls that can surprise even the most extravagant of shoppers. From expensive designer items to the inexpensive bargains, you will all find it here in this extremely dynamic city! Take a walk down Tsim Tsa Tsui’s Golden Mile or visit Causeway Bay and you will find many department stores, small boutiques and stalls that are wallet-friendly. However, if you fancy a splurge, make your way to the Admirality and Wan Chai areas where you will find a good number of exclusive brand name stores like Armani, Prada, and Dior. You will surely have a great time shopping in Hong Kong, so book your student flight now for an experience you will never forget!

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Most Popular Shopping Malls

  1. IFC Mall  – Located near the Star Ferry and Outlying Islands Ferry Piers in Central. Has many luxury brand shops, an expensive cinema and superb views across the harbour from the rooftop. Can be reached directly from the Airport via the Airport Express and the Tung Chung line.
  2. Pacific Place – Also a big shopping centre with mainly high-end brands, and has a wonderful cinema. Take the MTR to Admiralty.
  3. Festival Walk – A big shopping centre with a mix of expensive brands and smaller chains. There is also an ice skating rink there. Take the MTR East Rail to Kowloon Tong.
  4. Cityplaza – A similarly large shopping centre, also with an ice-skating rink. To get there, take the MTR to Taikoo on the Island Line.
  5. Landmark– Many the luxury brands have shops here Gucci, Dior, Fendi, Vuitton, etc. located at Central, Pedder Street. It used to be a magnet for the well-heeled but has since fallen behind in its management.
  6. APM – All new 24hr Shopping centre in Kwun Tong. Take the MTR to the Kwun Tong station.
  7. Harbour City [Huge Shopping centre in Tsim Sha Tsui on Canton Road, to get there take the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui, or take the Star Ferry.
  8. Langham Place – A huge 12 storey shopping mall adjacent to the the Langham Place Hotel in Mong Kok. Mainly contains trendy shops for youngsters. Take the MTR to the Mong Kong station and follow the appropriate exit directions.
  9. Elements – Located next to Kowloon Station. Just like the IFC Mall, there are many luxury brand shops, a cinema and an ice rink. The International Commerce Centre, the highest commercial building in Hong Kong starting from 2009, is right on top of this shopping mall.
  10. Times Square – A trendy multi storey Shopping Mall with some luxury brands, with food courts at the lower levels, and Gourmet Dining at the upper stories. Take MTR to Causeway Bay, and exit at “Times Square”. Crowded on weekends. A popular meeting point for teenagers.
  11. Citygate Outlet – Located right next to Tung Chung MTR Station, the Citygate is a rare outlet mall with tonnes of mid-priced brands, some of them being Adidas, Esprit, Giordano, Levi’s, Nike, Quiksilver and Timberland.
  12. Laforet, Island Beverly and Causeway Place. Best places to find cheap stylish clothes, Asian style. Mostly girls clothes, but also bags, shoes and accessories, highly recommended if you are looking for something different. Immensely popular with teenagers. These three shopping malls are all located near exit E, Causeway Bay MTR station.
  13. New Town Plaza, a 9 storey shopping mall covering 1,300,000 m² retail area in Shatin, New Territories. Diverse variety of shops, consisting of sports brands, luxury brand shops, cuisines from countries in different continents, sports, etc. can be found in the mall, which is estimated to be one of the malls with highest footfall. The mall is linked with a number of shopping centres nearby, including Phase 3 of New Town Plaza with a Japanese style Department store, YATA. 30 bus lanes are available for accessing the shopping mall. Taking the MTR East Rail to Shatin is another possible way.

Nightlife in Hong Kong

You’ll have fun clubbing at Hong Kong Island’s Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo’s upmarket drinking spots, where bistros, jazz clubs, and fantastic restaurants come alive when the sun begins to set. If you are looking for stylish night clubs to go to for a late-night party, then Wan Chai is the place to be. But if you want entertainment without spending too much, visit Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon, where bars, restaurants, cinemas, and shopping centers are abuzz until after midnight!

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Dining in Hong Kong

A visit to Hong Kong is never complete without having tasted their world-famous authentic Chinese cuisines. That is why most luxury hotels and fine-dining restaurants compete with each other, just for the glory. Though you’ll be traveling on a student budget, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy what these fine restaurants have to offer– there are still so many places around the city, especially in the Wan Chai and SoHo areas, that serve exceptionally delicious dim sums and other Chinese delicacies. If Chinese food is really not your thing, you can also find reasonably priced cafes and bistros that serve American and European dishes.

Museums

There are a variety of museums in Hong Kong with different themes, arguably the best museum is the Hong Kong Museum of History in Kowloon, which gives an excellent overview of Hong Kong’s fascinating past. Not the typical pots-behind-glass format of museums you find elsewhere in China. Innovative galleries such as a mock-up of a colonial era street make history come to life. Allow about two hours to view everything in detail.

Kowloon also includes a number of other interesting museums including Dialogue in the Dark, which is an exhibition in complete darkness where you should use your non-visual senses with the help of a visually impaired guide, the International Hobby and Toy Museum, which exhibits models, toys, science fiction collectibles, movie memorabilia and pop-culture artifacts from around the world, Hong Kong Museum of Art, which is a fascinating, strange and elusive place exhibiting Chinese ceramics, terracotta, rhinoceros horn and Chinese paintings as well as contemporary art produced by Hong Kong artists, Hong Kong Science Museum, primarily aimed at children, and Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre.

Central also has its share of museums including Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, which shows how the healthcare system evolved from traditional Chinese medicine to modern Western medicine, and Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre.

New Territories has the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, which will appeal to those who have a serious interest in Chinese culture, and the Hong Kong Railway Museum.

Theme parks

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  • Hong Kong Disneyland Resort opened in September, 2005. It is on Lantau Island, about 12km east of Hong Kong International Airport. The resort also features a Disneyland park, two resort hotels and a lake recreation centre. Though significantly smaller in size than other Disneyland-style parks elsewhere, the park has undergone an expansion to offer more attractions (including the recent-opened Toy Story Land and Grizzly Gulch). It offers some great attractions and short queues most of the year (except the week of Chinese New Year, Easter, Halloween and Christmas season).
  • Ocean Park is on the southern side of Hong Kong island, and is the park that grew up with many local Hong Kong people. With roller coasters and large aquariums altogether, it is still packed on weekends with families and tourists. The cablecar is an icon, though for those who are scared, there is now a funicular railway underneath the mountain that emulates a submarine dive. For many, the chance to see Hong Kong’s pandas would be a deciding factor. Young adults will be attracted to the wider range (and more adrenalin-pumping nature) of rides.
  • Ngong Ping 360 on Lantau Island is a Buddhist themed park that features Imperial Chinese architecture, interactive shows, demonstrations, restaurants and coffee shops. The highlight of this trip is the longest cable car ride in Hong Kong that affords stunning views. The ride also takes you to the largest outdoor seated Buddha. For details how to get there see also

Beaches

You are never far from the sea in Hong Kong and going to a good beach is only a bus-ride away. However, if you want a really good beach, then it is worth making the effort to travel, possibly on foot, and seek out the beaches of the New Territories. With more than 200 outlying islands, as well as an extensive coastline that is jam-packed with impressive bays and beaches, you will surely come across some good looking beaches to while the whole day away. Hong Kong’s urban beaches are usually well maintained and have services such as showers and changing rooms. Where beaches are managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Dept. shark nets and life guards are present. Dogs and smoking are not permitted on these beaches.

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The best beaches to use include:

Repulse Bay is a large urban beach on the south side of Hong Kong island. It has recently had money spent on its facilities and will appeal to those who have young children.

Middle Bay is popular with gay people and is a 20 minute walk from the crowds at Repulse Bay. Middle Bay has lifeguards, showers, changing rooms, shark nets and a decent cafe serving drinks and snacks.

Shek O is a beach popular with many young Hong Kong people. It is away from the bustle of the city but is well served by restaurants and has a good bus service from the north side of the island. The Thai restaurant close to the beach is worth a try.

Big Wave Bay This beach is smaller than others on Hong Kong Island but still has good services which include a number of small cafes close to the beach. Big Wave Bay, as the name suggests, has the sort of waves that appeal to surfers. From Big Wave Bay it is possible to take the coastal footpath to Chai Wan where you can find the MTR and buses. The walk to Chai Wan is about one hour, or more if you are not used to the steep climb up the mountain.

Hung Shing Yeh Beach is highly regarded as the most popular beach and is located on Lamma Island. This beach is Grade 1 and shows off powdery, fine sand as well as clear water. This beach is well-appointed by means of changing facilities, a barbecue area, and a refreshment kiosk. To arrive at this beach, take the ferryboat from Central Pier to Yung Shue Wan. Expect to walk around 20 minutes from the ferry terminal to the beach (buses and taxis are not an option on Lamma).

Sailing

You can rent out a Junk Boat for a sailing trip with your family and friends. A typical junk boat can accommodate more than 30 people and can be rented for the day to take you on a tour of your choice. Sai Kung is a popular spot for the trip to start and you can sail to nearby beaches for a more secluded time. A cheaper alternative is to hire a much smaller water taxi (水道) to take you to where you want to go

Hiking and Camping

Ham Tin beach is a great destination for campers in the Sai Kung East Country Park

Hiking is the best kept secret in Hong Kong, it is a great way to appreciate Hong Kong’s beautiful landscapes that include mountains, beaches and breathtaking cityscapes. The starting points for many hiking trails are accessible by bus or taxi. Hiking is highly recommended for active travellers who want to escape the modern urban world.

Hiking in Hong Kong can be strenuous because of the steep trails, and during the summer months, mosquitos and the hot, humid, weather combine to make even the easiest trek a workout. It is highly recommended that you wear suitable clothes, and bring plenty of water and mosquito repellent. It is fairly unlikely that you will have a close encounter with venomous snakes, although they are present in most rural areas. Most local people choose the winter months to undertake the more demanding hiking trails. If you are not especially fit you might plan your route so that you take a bus or taxi to the highest point of the trail and then walk downhill.

Campsites in Hong Kong are plentiful and free of charge. Most are located within the country parks and range from basic sites serviced with only with a drop-toilet, to those that provide campers with modern toilet blocks with cold showers. Some sites have running water and sinks for washing dishes. A few campsites have places to buy drinking water and food, whilst many are serenely remote. Weekends and public holidays are predictably busy, especially in the more accessible places close to roads. Many Hong Kong people like to camp in large groups, talk loudly and stay awake until very late, so if you are noise sensitive try to find a remote campsite or learn to keep your temper.

There are four major trails in the Hong Kong SAR:

  • Lantau Trail on Lantau.
  • Hong Kong Trail on Hong Kong Island.
  • Maclehose Trail through the New Territories. Oxfam organizes an annual charity hike of this 100Km trail every November. Winning teams finish in around 11-12 hours but average people take 30-36 hours to finish the whole trail, which starts from the eastern end of the New Territories (Sai Kung) to the western end (Tuen Mun).
  • Wilson Trail starting on Hong Kong Island and finishing in the New Territories.

Hong Kong has some exceptional rural landscapes but visitor impact is an issue. Please respect the countryside by taking your litter home with you. Avoid using litter bins in remote areas as these are not emptied on a regular basis and your litter may be strewn around by hungry animals.

Hong Kong Outdoors and Journey to Hong Kong are packed with information on hiking and camping, and other great things to do and places to go in the wilderness areas of Hong Kong.