Thursday, February 2, 2017

Chiang Mai, the City Million Enchantment

Executive summary by darmanjsah
DO you like the cool weather? If yes, Chiang Mai is a place worth visiting. In addition to convenient air, this city to save a million charm that can be explored.

Chiang Mai is a city in Thailand has the most Buddhist temples. Almost every corner of this city, you will find a place of worship Buddhist easily. Not to mention the culinary riches, cheap shopping center, and surrounded by the beautiful panorama of mountains. No doubt this city is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in northern Thailand.

Every day there are some trains that serve majors from Hualamphong Station to Chiang Mai. Additionally, intercity buses serving routes to the city, located about 700 kilometers north of Bangkok is set to the frequency which is quite often.

Chiang Mai would make a great family destination with cultural tourism. Friendly atmosphere offers the natural beauty and unique culture. However, for some reason, the area is not very popular among tourists Asia. The city has long been a favorite destination of backpackers from Europe and North America. However, tourists from China and India are usually thronged city of Bangkok in fact rarely seen.

The tourists can visit the Jungle North of City and see the activities undertaken by the elephants. Other Destinations is the Orchid Farm, where the cultivation of orchids that can be used as accessories such as necklaces and earrings. You also should not forget the trip to Long Neck Village, where the famous long-necked women with additional unique bracelet or necklace every year.

In addition to the very nature and culture, Chiang Mai has a shopping tour that should not be missed.
Take a moment of your time to stop in Sunday Market and Night Bazaar, no less merry with shopping centers in Bangkok.

All the comfort and pleasure of a short holiday this moment you can enjoy with existing tour operators in cities near you. Happy holidays!


Monday, January 2, 2017

Glenveagh National Park

executive summary by Darmansjah

The Park is now open daily from 9am to 5pm throughout the winter

(Services will close Christmas week)

Please note guided tours of the castle are not available on the 4th and 26th of November to facilitate staff training.

Free facilities: Car Park, Visitor Centre, Audio Visual, Nature Centre & Castle Gardens and Trails.

(check out the new walking trail from Visitor Centre to castle)

Castle Tea Rooms Open 11am - 4.30pm everyday

Gift shop at the Castle Tea Room

Visitor Centre 076 1002551

Bookings 076 1002556/37

Glenveagh (from Irish Gleann Bheatha, meaning "glen of the birches") is the second largest national park in Ireland. The park covers 170 square kilometres of hillside above Glenveagh Castle on the shore of Lough Veagh (Loch Ghleann Bheatha), 20 km from Gweedore in County Donegal. The network of mainly informal gardens displays a multitude of exotic and delicate plants from as far afield as Chile, Madeira and Tasmania, all sheltered by windbreaks of pine trees and ornamental rhododendrons.

The estate was established by John Adair, who became infamous for evicting 244 of his tenants and clearing the land so they would not spoil his view of the landscape. The gardens and castle were presented to the Irish nation in 1981 by Henry P. McIlhenny of Philadelphia who had purchased the estate in 1937.

The park is home to the largest herd of red deer in Ireland and the formerly extinct golden eagle were reintroduced into the park in 2000.

Glenveagh National Park:

Some 16,540 hectares (40,873 acres) of mountains, lakes, glens and woods, with a herd of red deer. A Scottish style castle is surrounded by one of the finest gardens in Ireland, which contrast with the rugged surroundings. The Visitor Centre houses exhibitions and an audio-visual show.
The Visitor Centre is accessible for visitors with disabilities.

Glenveagh Castle:

Built in the years 1870 - 1873, the castle consists of a four storey rectangular keep. Access to the interior is by tour only. Morning and afternoon teas are served in the castle tearooms all season. The ground floor of the castle is partially accessible for visitors with disabilities.

Location: 24km north-west of Letterkenny. Kilmacrennan / Termon to Dunlewy Road or Churchill to Dunlewy Road).

Guided Tours: Access to the Castle by guided tour only. (Videos/cameras not permitted on tour).
Max. No: 20
Duration: 45 mins.
Audio Visual Presentation: "Glenveagh"
Seating: 90
Duration: Various files to choose from ranging from 8 mins to 14 mins in length.
Languages: English, Irish, French, German and Italian.

Leaflet/Guide Booklet: English, Irish, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Spanish



Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bucharest, Rumania

Executive summary by darmansjah

Best For Architecture – The infamous Palace of Parliament was built in 1984 by order of President Ceausescu, Romania’s former dictator. Its 12 storeys and 1,100 rooms cover 330,000 sq metres. The opulent rooms can be viewed by guided tour only, which must be booked a day in advance (00 40 21 311 3611; B-dul Natiunile Unite; 10am-3.30pm; US$5.50).


Best For Culture – Bucharest’s hear – often  called the Lipscani quarter after one of its main street – is the centerpiece of efforts to revitalize the city’s historic core. At its western end, Str Lipscani crosses Calea Victoriei, one of Bucharest’s oldest streets, built in 1692.

Best For History – In 1941, 800,000 Jewish people lived in Romania, but around half were killed in the war. Housed in the beautiful Tailors’ synagogue, the Museum of Jewish History highlights Jewish contributions to the country (00 40 21 311 0870; Mamulari 3; 9am-1pm sun-wed and Fri, 4pm Thu; donation).


Best For Day TripsLake Snagov is a weekend retreat for city residents. A monastery said to be the resting place of Vald Tepes, the prince who inspired Dracula, sits on an island in the lake. Tours from Bucharest finish at the monatery (deltatravel.ro; US$225 for two people minimum).


Best For Art – The National Museum of Art houses Romanian icons and carved altars from pre-communist era churches. The European wing features Rubens, Rodin and Monet (00 40 21 313 3030; mnar.arts.ro; Calea Victoriei 49-53; 10am-6pm Wed-Sun Oct-Apr, 11am-7pm Wed-sun May-Sep; us$5).


Why Go – On the Wallachian plains, between the Carpathian Mountains and the banks of the Dambovita River, Bucharest was once a grand neo-classical City. Much damaged in WWII, it now combines a mismatch of architectural eras, from President Ceausescu’s 19970s, communist era housing blocks to medieval churches.

When to Go – the city suffers cold winters and stifling summers. Visit in May and June, and catch the Fete de la Musique, a free music festival to celebrate the summer solstice. Or go in autumn, when the climate cools.

How to Go – Henri Coanda is the city’s main international airport. From Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, fly thre with Lufthansa (Lufthansa.com), Qatar Airways (qatarairways.com) or Turkish Airlines (turkishairlines.com).  A shuttle train serves Henri Coanda (US$2.40), taxis are from US$16

Bistro Vilacrosse is a café-cum-restaurant, with sepia photographs, wooden floors and gingham tablecloths. The service is friendly and quick. The food’s good too, and includes wine-soakes Transylvania pork fillet on a bed of fries and cabbage (00 40 21 315 4562; Pasajul Macca/Vilacrosse; lunch and dinner; mains from US$3).

Fine clay-oven-baked pies-thin and crispy, with fresh ingredients – are served at Casa Veche. Enjoy them in a trellised courtyard or the wood-beamed dining room (00 40 21 312 5816; casaveche.ro; Str George Enescu 15-17; lunch and dinner; mains from US$6).

Despite a touristy atmoshphere, with peasant-girl waitresses and Roma song and dance, beer house Caru’cu Bere draws a strong local crowd. The interior dazzles with its stained-glass windows and the food is a treat, especially the mixed sausage paltter (00 40 21 313 7560; carucubere.ro; str Stavropoleos 3-5; lunch and dinner; mains from US$6).

The cuisine at St George tends toward the heavy, with lots of stews and pork dishes, but you can wash it all down with hard to-find wines. Dine out on the terrace in fine weather (00 40 21 317 1087; Str Franceza 44; lunch and dinner; mains from US48).

Balthazar is one of the city’s most upmarket restaurants, filling the ground floor and courtyard of a superbly maintained old villa. Locals and business lunchers come for the Thai/French blend and seafood (00 40 21 212 1460; Balthazar.ro; Str Dumbrava Ros, ie-2; lunch and dinner; mains from US$14).

Getting Around – Bucharest is served by buses, trams and trolleybuses. Buy tickets at RATB kosks, marked ‘casa de bilete’ (30p for a single trip; ratb.ro). the metro has four lines and tickets are sold at station kiosks (US$0.50). only use cabs with meters.

Hotel Amzei is a tastefully refurbished villa just off Calea Victoriei. The spacious reception has a refined feel and the rooms have the same understated elegance, with faux period furnishings, marble bathrooms and warm ochre colours (00 40 21 313 9400; hotelamzei.ro; Str Piata Amzei 8; from US$135).

Stylish beyond its three stars, the Rembrandt Hotel faces the landmark National Bank in the historic centre. Built in 1925, it has a characterful atmosphere. The rooms have been tastefully modernized, with wooden floors, contemporary furniture and white linen. Book in advance as the few tourist-class rooms go quickly (00 40 21 313 9315; Rembrandt.ro; Str Smardan 11; from US$145).

Hotel Capsa served as a bohemian hangout through the 1930s. its room have period features such as wood paneling, high ceilings and large French windows. The furnishings are in keeping: heavy mahogany, with fleur-de-lys print bedspreads and curtains (00 40 21 313 4038; Calea Victoriei 36; from US$175).
Vila Arte is a superb, art-stuffed boutique hotel. The ottoman room is in updated Turkish style, with deep-red bedspreads, fabrics and oriental carpets. The service is top-notch (00 40 21 2210 1035; vilaarte.ro; Str Vasile lascar 78; from US$190).

The queen of Bucharest hotels, the Athenee Palace Hilton is testament to a century-past infatuation with Paris. Like its grand, marble-pillared entrance, the hotel’s 272 rooms are dressed to impress, albeit less characterful than the public rooms. In summer, cocktails are served on the terrace (00 40 21 303 3777; www.hilton.com; Str Episcopiei 1-3; from US$190).

Contemporomania – forum users rate MNAC – the National Museum of contemporary Art. Located at the back of the Palace of Parliament, the museum’s four floors feature eclectic European artists’ installations and video art, often showing provocative, challenging works. There’s also a top-floor open-air café (mnac.ro; Calea 13 Septembrie; Wed-sun 10am-6pm; US$1.60).

Village in The City – forum users also rate the National Village Museum. On the hores of Herastrau Lake, this is a terrific open-air collection of several dozen homestead, churches, mills and windmills relocated from rural Romania. Opened in 1936, it is one of Europe oldest open-air museums and a must-see for children. Get here from the centre by taking bus 131 or 331 from B-dul General Magheru or Piata Romana to the Muzeul Satului stop (museul-satului.ro, in Romanian; Muzeul national al Satului; daily US$2.40).


Princely Home for a day trip that’s easily combined with Lake Snagov, forum users recommend the Mogosoaia Palace, nine miles northwest of Bucharest. It was built by Constantin Brancoveanu, Prince of Wallachia (one of the forerunners of modern Romania) in around 1700, in a style mixing Ottoman and Venetian elements. Most of the contents went in the communist era but the grounds are splendid (palatebrancovenesti.ro; closed Mon; US$1.60).

Learn about the revolution with Peter Siani-Davies’ book The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 or Corneliu Porumboiu’s lighthearted 2006 movie 12.08; East of Bucharest. For planning, visit romaniatouristm.com