Bloglikes - Travel en-US Fri, 22 Mar 2019 23:15:17 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter Where to eat at Hong Kong airport

The hardest part about deciding where to eat in the Hong Kong International Airport is choosing whether you want to get your food before going through security or after. Whichever you choose, there are outposts of Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury chains, and quality grab-and-go options. There are also plenty of fast food chains, but it’s too easy to avoid those and get one last taste of Hong Kong cuisine (as well as award-winning food from around China and Japan) before taking off.

These are the best places to eat at the Hong Kong International Airport, whether you’re in the non-restricted, pre-security area or already through and on your way to your gate. Quick note: Be sure to eat before security if you’re departing from Terminal 2.

Pre-security Terminal 1

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao: Specializing in Sichuan and Shanghainese dishes like xiao long baos (soup dumplings), hand-pulled noodles, and hot and sour soup. It’s sit-down, but the food comes out delicious and fast if you’re in a rush.

Maxim’s Jade Garden: Cantonese restaurant with local Guangdong food with options like dim sum, roasted goose, and crispy pork. Where to go when you want to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the normal airport environment for a solid meal.

Ho Hung Kee: Started in 1946 as a street stall wonton shop in Hong Kong. It’s now included in the Michelin guide. Get the dim sum and noodles.

Tonkotsu 8: An outlet that’s part of the Japanese Mitsui-Mirada Noodles Factory. The ramen is the obvious draw, but there’s also dumplings and fried rice.

Post-security Terminal 1

Putien: The food here is like what you’ll find in Fujian Province, and the name comes from a coastal town. Putien started as a street stall in 2000 and has expanded into a 50-plus chain without losing the qualities that made it so appealing in the first place. One of the original outposts has been featured in Singapore’s Michelin Guide from 2016 on.

Beef & Liberty: Burger spot with both gourmet options and options that’ll satisfy your need for a simple, down-home burger. It’s also one of the better bars in the airport, serving beer and cocktails.

Caviar House & Prunier: There are plenty of times when grab-and-go is best at the airports, but sometimes you arrive early or get stuck thanks to an extremely delayed flight. It’s times like the latter when you might feel the need for some luxury. Caviar House is a chain that sources its food from Bordeaux and Switzerland.

Baikohken: A quick takeaway ramen shop. The original opened in 1969 and won a best-ramen award. You don’t have to stick to just ramen (although no one would blame you if you did) as there are other options like fried chicken and dumplings.

Pre-security Terminal 2

Hung’s Delicacies: The original got a Michelin star three years in a row. Goose, duck, and noodles are the go-to options here.

Sorabol Korean Cuisine: A restaurant that puts quite a fair amount of care into its sourcing and ingredients. Seafood and vegetables are shipped in from Korea weekly, and the barbecue is always a solid option.

TamJai SamGor: Food options from Yunan Province like mixian (rice noodle broth), pork belly, and fried chicken. More like this: 15 ways to save money on your trip to Hong Kong

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Best late-night bars in Brooklyn

Manhattan is usually most people’s go-to when it comes to New York City nightlife. While you should definitely experience everything the island borough has to offer, from wine bars to dives to scenic rooftops, it’s worth getting out of the city for a night or two to experience the nightlife elsewhere. Brooklyn has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years and is most commonly known to visitors for being a hipster haven. While that’s true to a degree, and though it has led to the arrival of cool new hangout spots, there was a lively community there long before the hipsters moved in, meaning you can find everything from local dives to live music venues. And in true fashion for the city that never sleeps, many of them are open late. Here’s our list of the best places for a late-night drink in Brooklyn.

1. The Rookery

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A trip to Bushwick is worth it for a visit to the Rookery, where you’ll feel chill gastropub vibes and be able to have a conversation without yelling to be heard. There’s a long, oval-shaped bar in the middle of it all, with booth seating on the right and table seating on the left. If you need some fresh air, there’s an outdoor beer garden, as well. Drinks here are decently priced and actually taste good — none of that haphazard drink mixing you did in college. The food is a fusion of British and West Indian, with the kitchen staying open late enough to help curb those munchies. There’s also a number of board games available, but maybe avoid drunk monopoly unless you want to end some friendships.

Where: 425 Troutman St, Brooklyn, NY 11237

2. Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball

Sunshine Laundromat was actually just a laundromat at one point, but when the building’s owner collaborated with the pinball-loving laundromat’s proprietor, a speakeasy-like establishment was born. Past the working machines, you’ll come to an odd stack of washers, which is actually a door that leads to a beer and pinball heaven. Over 20 different classic pinball machines are scattered throughout the back room, and a long beer list matches it. There are also other quirky touches, like a vending machine that sells pregnancy tests and band-aids, and a fortune-telling chimpanzee in a booth.

Where: 860 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

3. Franklin Park

Near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Franklin Park is a laid-back bar to visit whether you’re in a group or flying solo. But it’s not so relaxed that it’s overly tame, however, as it still gets quite lively on weekend nights. Indoors are two separate spaces: the main bar room, complete with a fireplace and an attached game room, and a lounge area. And, as with many Brooklyn spots, there’s an outdoor patio for when it gets warmer out. Beers are cheap, usually ranging between $4 and $6, and the menu is comprised of mouth-watering burgers, hotdogs, fries, and shakes all under $12.

Where: 618 St John’s Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238

4. Skinny Dennis

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Skinny Dennis is a honky-tonk dive bar if there ever was one, and it’s dedicated to the musician of the same name, mentioned in the song “LA Freeway” by Guy Clark. There are 18 rotating beers on tap, with spirits and mixed drinks also on offer. Some of the mixes are things you wouldn’t have thought would go together, like the Dr. G, made with Guinness and Dr. Pepper; others, like the alcoholic coffee slushie, are sure to please the young at heart. It does get packed in here, so get there early if you want seats, and there’s usually live music every night of the week. It’s also located near the East River State Park, which offers fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline.

Where: 152 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

5. Our Wicked Lady

Everyone loves a good rooftop, especially one that’s reasonably priced, and Brooklyn’s got one of the best at Our Wicked Lady. The rooftop is enclosed by fencing, so it’s not so much a scenic viewpoint, but you do get the feeling of being on top of it all. This spacious spot is equal parts bar and artistic hub, offering studio and rehearsal space to any artist who needs it, so you might catch anything from an artist in the middle of their creative process and musicians rehearsing to a gallery and a live show.

Where: 153 Morgan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206

6. Brooklyn Public House

Somewhere between a saloon and a gastropub, Brooklyn Public House is well known for its long list of delicious food, from bar snacks like steak nachos to main entrees like bangers and mash. You’ll have no problem finding a space to post up in, but that doesn’t mean you’ll lack in the crowd department. It’s close to the Barclays Center, so if you find yourself attending a concert or sports game there, you won’t have to worry about where to go afterwards. All the really closeby places will be packed with people, so heading to BPH just a few extra blocks away will be your best bet for a good time with just the right amount of people.

Where: 247 Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205

7. St. Mazie Bar and Supper Club

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Several rooms make up St. Mazie: the main floor where there’s live music playing most nights, a garden lounge in the back, and a cellar that houses the supper club dining area. It’s cozy, busy, and spacious all in one neat package that’s perfect for a late-night drink (or several). On the food side, it’s known for its oysters and its namesake burger, made with prime meat (a veggie patty is available), egg, pineapple, caramelized onions, and beets. Cocktails will cost you $13, but we recommend springing for some of the absinthe on offer.

Where: 345 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 More like this: 9 best bars for a late-night drink in Manhattan

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South America Day 71 Quito to London Fri, 22 Mar 2019 18:10:14 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs End the night with alcoholic fruit Fri, 22 Mar 2019 18:10:14 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs ARGENTINE 7 Ushuaia un cadeau extraordinaire... ARGENTINA 7 un regalo fabuloso... Fri, 22 Mar 2019 18:10:14 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Alcohol rules while flying

The TSA is strict when it comes to liquids. Anyone who’s flown in the last decade knows all liquids must be in 3.4-ounce or less sized bottles. A mini bottle of alcohol, conveniently, is around 1.7 ounces. Which has led plenty of budget-conscious fliers to wonder if it’s legal to bring and drink your own alcohol on a flight to avoid paying for the expensive in-flight drinks.

While you can certainly get your minis through security, drinking them is another issue entirely. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations state that “No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage to him.”

Frontier, Alaska Airlines, and others directed me to these guidelines when asked about personal alcohol consumption mid-flight. Southwest noted that the regulation is listed in a disclaimer on its drink menu that reads, “In accordance with FAA regulations, customers are prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages onboard that are not served by Southwest Airlines.”

Yet for close readers of the regulation, there appears to be a loophole. It states that passengers can only drink alcohol that’s served to them by someone from the airline. This led to reports of JetBlue being a BYOB airline so long as you handed your drink to the flight attendant to open it for you. This way, the line of thinking goes, the flight attendant can still make sure a passenger doesn’t over consume. Only, according to the FAA, it’s not as simple as asking nicely.

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 has a section called “Enhanced Training For Flight Attendants.” Alcohol safety is a big part of said enhanced training “because most passengers do not understand the amplified effects of alcohol in a pressurized aircraft at cruising altitude,” and flight attendants need to manage anyone who appears intoxicated. Not being in control of the alcohol a passenger is drinking is an easy way to lose the ability to manage them.

In short, this means that passengers are not allowed to consume alcohol that they personally brought aboard the plane on any flight required to follow FAA regulations. Think of the plane like a bar with a roving bar cart. You can’t drink your own alcohol in a bar, and you can’t do it on a plane, either (even if you have those little plane-friendly cocktail kits).

“Bottom line is alcohol must be provided and served by the air carrier,” Ian Gregor, communications manager for the FAA Pacific Division, tells Matador in an email. “We don’t allow BYOB in air carrier operations.” More like this: The best (and worst) drinks to order on an airplane

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ADCB and UNB shareholders greenlight mega-merger Shareholders of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Union National Bank (UNB) have given their approval for a merger of the two banks and then to acquire Al Hilal Bank, creating an entity with Dh6.1 billion in net profit.
At the separate ADCB and UNB annual general meetings on Thursday, shareholders approved the terms of the transaction, under which ADCB will issue convertible bonds to Al Hilal’s shareholders as the acquisition price paid by ADCB for the privately-held bank.
The bonds will be converted into over 117 million new shares in ADCB, increasing the share capital of the bank to up to Dh6.9 billion on conversion of the bonds. ADCB said at the meeting the acquisition of Al Hilal Bank is expected to close in the second quarter, having earlier said that the merger with UNB alone is likely to be effective only by May 1.

[Author: (Rupert Neil Bumfrey)]

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:38:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
Art is alive and kicking in #Dubai — and so is the bigger business picture | Arab News Art is alive and kicking in Dubai — and so is the bigger business picture | Arab News:
There are several ways to feel the economic pulse of Dubai. You can pore over statistics from the Department of Economic Development; you can look at the sales and valuation figures from the property agents and the Land Department; you can look at the financial indices from the emirate’s two stock markets.
But by far the most enjoyable, and also maybe the most reliable, is to attend the opening night of Art Dubai, the annual cultural extravaganza that has been going for 13 years now and has made the emirate the main artistic center of the region. I’ve been to 12 of those, and in my experience the event faithfully reflects the underlying economic sentiment of the city.
In the early days, there was almost a feel of the California Gold Rush about it, with serious money chasing works at big valuations. Then, during the 2009 financial crisis, it all went rather flat, with investors keeping their wallets in their pockets for all but the most precious works.

[Author: (Rupert Neil Bumfrey)]

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:33:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
QSE index closes at 9,953.72 points - The Peninsula #Qatar QSE index closes at 9,953.72 points - The Peninsula Qatar:
Qatar Stock Exchange’s (QSE) benchmark index lost 16.83 points, or 0.17 percent, last week when the bourse closed yesterday at 9,953.72 points.
Trading value during last week decreased by 46.09 percent to reach QR1.33bn compared to QR2.48bn.
Trading volume decreased by 38.98 percent to reach 46.14 million shares, as against 75.63 million shares, while the number of transactions fell by 11.28 percent, to reach 27,553 transactions as compared to 31,056 transactions. Market cap rose by 0.40 percent to reach QR563.31bn as compared to QR561.06bn at the end of previous week, reports QNA.

[Author: (Rupert Neil Bumfrey)]

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:31:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
Oil dips further from 2019 highs on demand worries | Reuters Oil dips further from 2019 highs on demand worries | Reuters:
Oil fell about 2 percent on Friday, slipping further from 2019 highs as focus shifted to a lack of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and as grim manufacturing data from Germany and the U.S. reignited fears of a slowdown in the global economy and oil demand.
Wall Street’s main indexes tumbled between 1 and 2 percent on Friday after manufacturers in Europe, Japan and the United States suffered in March as surveys showed trade tensions had impacted factory output, a setback for hopes the global economy might be turning the corner on its slowdown.
Brent crude futures settled at $67.30 per barrel, 83 cents, or 1.2 percent below their last close and down about 0.2 percent on the week. The contract hit a four-month high of $68.69 on Thursday.

[Author: (Rupert Neil Bumfrey)]

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:20:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
Washington DC USA Pencils politics and protests Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:10:18 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs How to travel to Turkmenistan

There’s a fiery pit in Turkmenistan’s Karakum Desert that’s been ablaze since 1971. Ever since Soviet geologists seeking oil mistakenly drilled into a cavern filled with natural gas. The rig collapsed, the pit opened up, and the scientists set it on fire to burn off the dangerous, leaking methane gas. That was over 40 years ago.

Darvaza Gas Crater, Derweze, Turkmenistan

Photo: JoostP/Shutterstock

This scorching site is the Darvaza gas crater, but locals are more likely to call it the “Door to Hell” for obvious reasons. The same reasons that have intrigued travelers and made the massive crater a must-see for the intrepid in Central Asia.

Those lucky enough to make it inside Turkmenistan, that is.

Turns out hell doesn’t sit behind a wall of cackling orange flames but a seriously thick layer of red tape. Anyone brave enough to stand at the lip of the crater, its ashy mouth grinning 230 feet across, must first obtain a visa, an easier task almost anywhere else in the world.

Turkmenistan is up there with North Korea in terms of difficulty of entry. Granted, while the US government has banned travel to North Korea, citing its history of detaining US citizens under a tomato-red banner reading “North Korea — Level 4: Do Not Travel” on the state department website, Turkmenistan is officially open to tourism. Yet according to the Human Rights Watch, it’s among “the world’s most isolated and oppressively governed countries.”

Entry requirements for US citizens include getting a certified letter of invitation from the host government, applying for a visa, and paying a registration fee. Transit visas allow for three to five days of unaccompanied travel, but they’re increasingly hard to get. Longer stays require tourist visas, valid for up to three weeks; an accredited tour group or guide; and registration with the State Migration Service (SMS).

Rejection rates are high, particularly among dual passport holders as dual citizenship isn’t acknowledged, and registration issues could lead to deportation or even arrest.

Of course, the rules and regulations don’t ease up inside the country. Several areas are restricted to travelers without special permits granted by the SMS, particularly along the Caspian Sea and near the borders of Afghanistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan, including Daşoguz, home to the UNESCO-listed monuments of Kunya-Urgench.

The state department also discourages public displays of affection for all travelers and notes that same-sex relations between men are punishable by law. There are even regulations around photography, much like in North Korea, so travelers should always ask before whipping out their iPhones to capture the architecture.

But the North Korea comparison doesn’t end at visas and strict customs (in both senses).

Monument of Niyazov and Arch of Independence in sunset

Photo: velirina/Shutterstock

Like the East Asian nation led by Kim Jong Un, Turkmenistan operates under a dictatorship. At the helm is president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, under whom the country’s track record for human rights has been abysmal. Before him was totalitarian ruler Saparmurat Niyazov, famous for stoking a massive personality cult over his 16-year, post-Soviet-independent presidency.

Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan

Photo: Uwe Seidner/Shutterstock

Like Pyongyang, capital city Ashgabat is more a prop than a metropolis. A flashy piece of propaganda with gold-domed, white-marbled architecture; more green spaces than you’d expect; and grand boulevards that are almost always empty.

It’s like a ghost town decked out in Nashville’s neon lights.

Filmmaker David Farrier describes feeling “terribly alone” in the city (sometimes called “the city of the dead,” he notes) in an article for The Guardian on his travels through Turkmenistan while shooting his Netflix documentary series Dark Tourist. Farrier masqueraded as a sports reporter, reminding readers, “Turkmenistan doesn’t exactly embrace a free and open press.”

His is an unusual situation, of course. Tourism in Turkmenistan is limited, but it is possible. For some, like the dark tourists who inspired Farrier’s series by going places most people don’t like talking about, the country’s unattainability even gives it a certain allure.

Though most of us will probably never feel the heat of the “Door to Hell” up close, anyone who goes through the proper channels, finds a legitimate tour company, and manages to get approved for a visit to Turkmenistan will discover the sandy ruins of Silk Road cities like Merv, mesmerizing mosques, and an overwhelmingly hospitable people. For all its oddities, Ashgabat also has grand monuments and museums.

Turkmenistan is one of the most closed-off countries in the world for travelers. But it might just be worth a try. More like this: How to do the ultimate Silk Road trip

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Nanny job requires Disney costumes

The five-year-old twin girls of one British couple are about to become spoiled little princesses — literally. The children’s parents recently posted a help wanted ad on a British childcare website seeking a part-time nanny, with one unusual job requirement — the nanny must dress as a different Disney princess every month.

The family lives in the suburban town of Brookmans Park, north of London. The costume expenses will be covered as part of the job, which also comes with a generous $53,000 annual salary. However, whether you consider the costumes or the pay to be the biggest perk, there’s more to the job than just dressing up. The chosen applicant will be expected to act as a positive female role model and set a good example for the girls, showcasing the “determination, compassion, fearlessness, and ambition” of a Disney princess.

Loving Disney and its famous princesses is as important for the job as proper nannying skills. The expectation is that the nanny will bring their fervor for classic fairytales to work with them each day, essentially Disney-fying daily activities like cooking, arts and crafts, and getting ready for bed. You might even get to belt out a Disney song or two along the way. “We are looking for someone who can commit to a character and create a really fun atmosphere in our home,” the posting said, “but also won’t be afraid to be a disciplinarian if the twins are naughty or act out — they can be little terrors at times!”

H/T: Travel & Leisure

More like this: This job will pay you to travel the world, but your plans will be determined by social media users

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Sydney college mistaken for Hogwarts

There’s a rumor flying around Chinese tourist circles, one that has caught the eye of Harry Potter fans in particular. The false story claims that the Quadrangle building at the Sydney University in Australia was one of the filming locations for scenes involving Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the popular Harry Potter film series. As such, Chinese tourists are flocking to Sydney, with many asking the university’s front desk where they can find the film site.

“There’s been an astonishing increase in visitors throughout the university campus; in two years in February we’ve had more than a 4,000 people increase since 2017 to 2019,” said Dr Jamie Fraser to SBS News, senior curator of the Nicholson Museum, located inside the Quadrangle building.

The rumor caught wind largely because a number of unscrupulous websites serving travelers from China made the claim, which was then backed up by many tour guides escorting the tourists.

“Our tour guide told us this is where one of the scenes of Harry Potter was filmed,” a Chinese visitor told SBS News.

Instead, the series was filmed in the United Kingdom with many Hogwarts scenes taking place at Alnwick Castle in England. Misguided tourists disgruntled by their misfortunate quest will need to make the journey westward to visit this castle, as well as many other spots where the Harry Potter franchise was shot, such as the famous London Millennium Bridge featured in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the little village of Goathland in North Yorkshire with its train station, where the scenes of the Hogwarts Express arriving in Hogsmeade were shot.

H/T: Lonely Planet

More like this: 18 real-life places every Harry Potter fan needs to visit

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This Spain and Portugal Vacation Package Includes Your Airfare and Hotels Starting Under $1,000

There’s never a bad time to go to the Iberian peninsula, and you can do it for less than you might expect with this package from TripMasters (in partnership with Travelzoo).


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Thailand alcohol ban during election

If your weekend plans involve partying on the beaches of Thailand, you’re going to have to do a bit of rearranging. The country is heading to the polls this weekend for national elections, and in an effort to prevent manipulation or bribery at this critical time, the country is suspending alcohol sales from 6:00 PM on Saturday, March 23 to 6:00 PM on Sunday, March 24. Bars, restaurants, and other vendors that normally sell booze will be restricted from doing so for the full 24-hour period — including those near the country’s beaches and Bangkok‘s famed backpacker strip, Khao San Road.

The stakes of this weekend’s vote are quite high, and authorities are concerned that adding alcohol into the mix will cause problems. “The ballot (is) widely considered to be a vote between a return to democracy and legitimized military rule,” according to a report by CNN.

Those caught disobeying the ban face a fine of 10,000 baht, about $315, or a prison sentence of six months, says Phuket News. Though tourists can’t vote, they are still subject to the consequences should they fail to abide by the policy — so no matter where you are in the country, do everyone a favor and stay sober this weekend.

H/T: Fodor’s

More like this: The 7 most amazing temples in Thailand outside of Bangkok

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Auschwitz Memorial wants people

Some rules of travel etiquette are so obvious, they should not need to be spelled out, but here we go: Visitors to memorials or the sites of tragedies should not, under any circumstances, take grinning selfies, go into a headstand for their yoga-craze Insta followers, or attempt the perfect jump shot — that’s a matter of respect. Apparently, for some tourists to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, the preserved site of the concentration and extermination camp that is responsible for the death of over 1.1 million children, women, and men, this needs emphasizing.

On Twitter, the Auschwitz Memorial posted a plea to visitors asking them to please stop balancing on the Auschwitz train tracks for pictures.

When you come to @AuschwitzMuseum remember you are at the site where over 1 million people were killed. Respect their memory. There are better places to learn how to walk on a balance beam than the site which symbolizes deportation of hundreds of thousands to their deaths.

— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) March 20, 2019

Responses to the tweet have been largely positive, echoing the need for a proper show of consideration. “Our picture taking habits are completely out of control,” said Francesca, one respondant. “I don’t understand why people use Auschwitz as a photo op,” said another, “or how they take cheerful selfies at a site that saw the muder of thousands of innocent people.”

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum calls for solemnity and humbleness in the face of some of the worst atrocities ever carried out. Put away the phone, observe, and respect.


More like this: Why traveling for the #gram is a terrible idea

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Perfect Day at CocoCay Bahamas Cost and Price List Perfect Day at CocoCay Bahamas Cost and Price List

Years ago, and I mean years…a visit to CocoCay (when it was properly pronounced Coco”Key”) forecast a relaxing day at…

The post Perfect Day at CocoCay Bahamas Cost and Price List appeared first on Cruise Maven.

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Biarritz Fri, 22 Mar 2019 14:10:17 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Carmarthenshire 2 LaugharneDylan Thomas and Under Milk Woodthe writing shed and the Boathouse self destruct button Fri, 22 Mar 2019 14:10:17 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Best summer festivals in Canada

Canada is really the perfect neighbor. Quiet. Polite. And never does much other than say “Maybe you might not wanna do that, eh?” every time America gets drunk and starts yelling about burning the whole world down. Then once in a while, Canada throws a pretty good party too, and is always sure to invite us over.

Most of those parties go down in the summer, the perfect time to visit since the weather is actually above freezing. Whether it’s the world’s richest rodeo, North America’s most prestigious film festival, or one of the biggest jazz fests outside New Orleans, Canada’s summer festivals rank among the best in the world. Here are 16 worth planning a summer vacation around.

1. Great Okanagan Beer Festival Great Okanagan Beer Festival

Photo: Great Okanagan Beer Festival presented by The Train Station Pub/Facebook

Though BC’s Okanagan region is better known for its wines, during the second weekend in May it’s also home to the most scenic beer festival in North America, where thousands of people gather along the shores of Okanagan Lake to sample over a hundred beers in the shadow of the towering Columbia Mountains.

When and where: May 12 in Kelowna, British Columbia

2. Toronto Poutine Fest Poutine

Photo: Lobster Limo: Powered by Caudle’s Catch/Facebook

Whether you take your poutine slathered in classic gravy and cheese curds or topped with wild ingredients like lobster or buffalo chicken, you can find it at the Toronto Poutine Fest. This three-day festival in Yonge-Dundas Square draws some of the best poutiners from Eastern Canada, and also features a live music stage with concerts from Thursday to Saturday.

When and where: May 24-26 in Toronto, Ontario

3. Spock Days Spock Days

Photo: Vulcan Spock Days/Facebook

Throw on your Leonard Nimoy finest for this three-day festival of everything Vulcan…in Alberta! This tiny town about 85 miles southeast of Calgary has been welcoming Spock lovers for over 25 years during the second weekend in June, showcasing the city with a slow-pitch softball tournament, nine-hole golf tournament, pancake breakfast, and fireworks. It’s not a Trekkie convention in the traditional sense in that there are no Trek-specific events other than the name of the festival (though plenty of people wear costumes). But for fans, it’s a pilgrimage and the social highlight of Vulcan’s year.

When and where: June 7-9 in Vulcan, Alberta

4. Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival Dragon boat

Photo: Dragon Boat BC/Facebook

The majestic, ornate dragon boats that race through Vancouver’s False Creek are some of the most impressive vessels you’ll ever see, meticulously designed for both aesthetics and speed. Though the races aren’t exactly NASCAR, they are both peaceful and beautiful, a cultural experience that is quintessentially Vancouver. Boats race throughout the weekend, which also includes a concert series on Saturday and Sunday. All of which is free, a welcomed respite in this perpetually expensive city.

When and where: June 21-23 in Vancouver, British Columbia

5. Montreal International Jazz Festival International Festival of Jazz

Photo: Festival International de Jazz de Montréal/Facebook

Outside of New Orleans and Montreux, the world’s most popular jazz festival is this one, which kicks off a month of world-class festivals in Montreal. This year marks the 40th edition of the festival, and will feature headliners like Bryan Adams, Buddy Guy, George Benson, and Norah Jones.

When and where: June 27- July 6 in Montreal, Quebec

6. Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Tattoo festival

Photo: Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo/Facebook

Unless you’re strangely familiar with 17th-century Dutch, the name of this festival might be a little misleading. It is not, in fact, a weeklong celebration of sometimes ill-advised body art, but rather an indoor festival of bagpipes, military demonstrations, highland dancers, and other northern European traditions. It began in 1979 celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Nova Scotia, and continues today as the largest indoor tattoo show in the world.

When and where: June 29-July 6 in Halifax, Nova Scotia

7. Quebec City Summer Festival (FEQ) Feq

Photo: Festival d’été de Québec/Facebook

The absolute best summer music festival value in North America is in uber-French Quebec City, where for a scant 95 Canadian dollars you get 11 days of music across ten venues and 250 performances. These aren’t obscure Canadian bands either, as previous headliners have included Foo Fighters, the Dave Matthews Band, Neil Young, and The Weeknd. It’s also the perfect chance to check out Quebec City, the largest walled city north of Mexico with narrow stone streets and brick buildings reminiscent of 19th-century France.

When and where: July 4-14 in Quebec City, Quebec

8. Complement Cirque Circus Festival Cirque festival


Montreal is the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil, so you know this isn’t just going to be a festival of tigers jumping through hoops. Quite the contrary, the 11-day festival is when cirque-trained acrobats take over the city, turning Montreal into a giant grand chapiteau with daily public performances, and aerial acrobatics breaking out of nowhere in public spaces. You can also attend the ticketed performances, where you’ll see the greatest stunts and offbeat clowns.

When and where: July 4-14 in Montreal, Quebec

9. RBC Bluesfest (Ottawa Blues Festival) RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest

Photo: RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest/Facebook

Like a lot of festivals who tie their names to a specific genre, the one-time Ottawa Blues Festival has branched out to other types of music to increase its appeal. Yes, you’ll still see blues legends like Buddy Guy, and newer blues acts like River City Junction. But if you wanted to see DJ Pauly D at a blues festival, well, this is your year. Other headliners include The Killers, The Offspring, Kygo, Chvrches, and Snoop Dogg. So yeah, “blues” is a loosely used term.

When and where: July 4-14 in Ottawa, Ontario

10. The Calgary Stampede Calgary Stampede

Photo: Calgary Stampede/Facebook

Perhaps the best-known Canadian summer festival is the Calgary Stampede, the world’s richest tournament-style rodeo that draws the biggest names in the sport, and hundreds of thousands of others to watch them. It’s a little like going to the Super Bowl, in that the rodeo itself is secondary to the 10 days of parties, concerts, and general mayhem. If you’re into watching rodeo, spend your days watching everything from bull riding to barrel racing,.Then at night catch chuckwagon races and fireworks. This year you’ll also get a closing night concert from Tim McGraw, whose dad once went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu.

When and where: July 5-14 in Calgary, Alberta

11. Just for Laughs Montreal Just for Laughs

Photo: Just for Laughs/Facebook

The biggest comedy festival in North America descends on Montreal throughout the last few weeks of July, when the brightest stars in stand-up come to town during Just for Laughs. This year’s lineup isn’t fully set yet, but already on the bill is Daily Show host Trevor Noah, Jim Jeffries, and Bobby Lee.

When and where: July 10-28 in Montreal, Quebec

12. Winnipeg Folk Festival Winnipeg Folk Festival

Photo: Winnipeg Folk Festival/Facebook

A visit to the Canadian plains might not be at the top of your northern to-do list, but hitting this mid-July camping festival in Winnipeg is as good an excuse to go as any. The four-day festival lets you live in the warm Manitoba summer, perusing the large outdoor art gallery and taking home crafts as souvenirs. There is, of course, plenty of music, which extends beyond American folk music to African, Asian, and other genres, plus a headlining performance from Death Cab for Cutie.

When and where: July 11-14 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

13. Dawson City Music Festival Dawson City Music Festival

Photo: Dawson City Music Festival/Facebook

Dawson City might be the last frontier town left in North America, a place where old wooden buildings line dirt streets, people gamble past sunrise, and limited cell service means what happens there truly does stay there. This last bastion of the Wild West also has over 20 hours of daylight during the height of summer, and it’s best experienced during this weekend festival that brings the biggest party of the year to Canada’s best party city. You won’t find huge names, but you will find free concerts with great crowds and daylight well after midnight. If you can handle the perpetual sun it’s worth the epic trip.

When and where: July 19-21 in Dawson City, Yukon Territory

14. Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival Edmonton Fringe

Photo: Edmonton Fringe Theatre/Facebook

After the famous fringe fest in Edinburgh, this is the largest fringe festival in the world, where creative thespians and street performers take over this oil-and-cowboy town for 10 days of zany performances. As the name might imply, you won’t find big names, so the fun is scanning the program and seeing what looks interesting, provocative, or just plain weird, then exploring what’s there. You’ll be entertained, surprised, and possibly even revolted, but one thing it will never be is boring.

When and where: August 15-25 in Edmonton, Alberta

15. Canadian National Exhibition Canadian National Exhibition

Photo: Canadian National Exhibition/Facebook

The Ex,” as it’s colloquially known, is like Canada’s version of a Midwestern state fair, complete with all the livestock, midway rides, and obscenely fried food. Here you can sample stuff like cronut burgers, then ride mousetraps and Gravitrons until you throw it back up. You’ll see the latest in gadgets at the At Home Pavillion/Shoppers Market before taking a sky tram over the whole thing. You’ll also find cat and dog shows, a women’s fastpitch softball tournament, and nightly concerts at the bandshell. Plus this year will feature the 70th anniversary of the Canadian National Air Show.

When and where: August 16-September 2 in Toronto, Ontario

16. Toronto International Film Festival TIFF

Photo: TIFF/Facebook

See some of 2020’s top Oscar contenders at the Toronto International Film Festival, generally considered the film industry’s summer launching pad for big-time, non-superhero films. Both Green Book and If Beale Street Could Talk launched here last year, as well as the gut-wrenching rock-climbing documentary Free Solo.Toronto stargazing for people other than Drake.

When and where: September 5-15 in Toronto More like this: The 5 best places to celebrate Holi outside of India

The post 16 awesome Canadian festivals you should check out this summer appeared first on Matador Network.

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 13:30:48 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs All Canada Canada Festivals Festivals
Check Business Class Prices Before Booking an Economy Ticket

My typical experience with business class on a flight is my very brief walk through its aisles—as I make my way toward the back. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Seats that become beds. Plenty of leg room. And hot nuts! Hot nuts everywhere.


Fri, 22 Mar 2019 13:30:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Travel Flight Airline Airfare Ticket
How to Switch Out (and Store) Your SIM Card When You Travel

One of the benefits of having an unlocked iPhone is that you can switch out your SIM card when you travel. International phone plans are expensive, and it’s often much cheaper to buy a new card and a local data plan than to pay a daily or monthly fee or per-use rate to your carrier.


Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:45:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Iphone Sim Cards Travel Hacks Travel
How to register for your honeymoon

Life doesn’t get boring the moment you say “I do” — in fact, it’s about to get much better. No more Tinder, for one, so you’ll now actually have conversations that stretch deeper than your upcoming promotion at work and the sweet deal you found on that uptown apartment. Getting married also means that you can take that trip to the one destination that you and your partner lie in bed at night talking about. And, you don’t even have to pay for it — your friends and loved ones will gladly foot the bill. All you have to do is trade in that wedding registry for a honeymoon registry. It’s the ultimate way to Marie Kondo your wedding, because how much joy is that new toaster actually going to spark? Here’s everything you need to know about registering for your honeymoon.

It works like Kickstarter. Honeyfund honeymoon registry

Photo: Honeyfund/Facebook

A honeymoon registry is pretty simple to set up. There are a number of sites where you can register, Honeyfund being the most well-known. The process is similar to running a Kickstarter or GoFundMe campaign. Create your account and you’ll be prompted to build items that wedding attendees can donate toward. The more you have the trip planned out in advance, the smoother this process will go. Try to develop a general idea of how much the trip will cost, and break the items down with the goal of reaching that amount. Unlike Kickstarter, Honeyfund won’t leave you empty handed on your wedding day if your effort falls a bit short — you get the money whether or not you reach the total goal.

Once you’re ready to send out the registry, you can direct people to your campaign. They can then select which item they’d like to donate to. Don’t freak out if you’re two months from the wedding and only 25 percent funded. People are procrastinators. Plan to see a rush of donations in the final weeks, even days, leading up to the close of your campaign. Campaign timing is where the process can get tricky, depending on how soon after the wedding you plan to leave for your trip. If you’re taking off the next morning, be sure to close the campaign early enough that you get the money in time to book your travel. If you want to leave the campaign open until closer to the wedding day, your trip may need to be a delayed honeymoon unless you can front the costs and then repay yourself when the campaign funds come in.

The registry shouldn’t cost anything to set up — if a site tries to charge you an upfront fee, you probably want to consider shopping around. Honeyfund, for example, only charges you on the backend when you receive the money, and even that is dependant on how you receive it. For example, if you want a direct deposit into your bank account, the fee is 2.8 percent plus 30 cents per deposit. On a $100 deposit, you’d pay $3.10. This is likely how you’ll receive the money, though there is a hack you can employ — if someone wishes to write you a check or give you cash instead of donating through the site, you can handle that offline and avoid any charge at all, and then mark the cost toward your end goal manually in your account.

People want to donate to specific parts of your trip. Happy young couple sitting on road looking in camera

Photo: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Part of what makes buying a wedding gift satisfying is that the gift fulfills a specific need that the couple has. You should adopt this same mentality with your honeymoon registry. People are far less inclined to donate into a general pot than they are to donate toward one thing, like a night in the honeymoon suite or a safari tour. They’re giving you money, so give them the satisfaction of knowing what it’s for. Sit down with your partner and list out your itinerary with notes on how much each step will cost, and then create the registry around it, from start to finish.

Make sure there are multiple levels of donations. Consider noting on more expensive items that you aren’t expecting someone to pay for the entire cost, but that multiple people can donate toward the item, for example, your airfare or the cost of an all-inclusive resort. Then, create items that are smaller like a dinner or a museum tour. Having fun options like a splurge on street food is a good idea too because it gives someone the option of donating a small amount and knowing that, in theory at least, that’s where their money went.

Get ready to explain your trip over and over. Couple enjoys beautiful scenery in New Zealand

Photo: SkyImages/Shutterstock

Planning a wedding is all about answering a seemingly endless list of basic questions. Unfortunately, a honeymoon registry only adds to the list because odds are your relatives are much more familiar with the process of buying a new set of dishes at Bed Bath & Beyond than they are with taking a night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. When that’s what their $50 is going to, they’re going to want to know how it works, how you’re going to book the tickets, and whether it’s safe, and your ability to fund the trip depends on adequately providing them answers. They’re also going to want photos of you on that train, so be sure to snap plenty throughout your trip.

You can minimize questions by getting as thorough as possible in the descriptions of your itinerary items, but don’t count on avoiding the confused looks and questions (and possibly some judgment at your life choices) altogether. It’s inevitable.

Collecting the money Couple boating on a quiet lake


The money comes in one of several ways. For donations that go through the site, you can either have the money deposited into your bank account or in some cases it can go directly to your travel agent. You can also sometimes shop through the registry site with its specific partners to score a deal. Guests can, in some cases, buy you gift cards or directly organize a part of your trip through the registry site, though it’s important to remember that the more streamlined your process is, the easier it’s going to be for you when it comes to booking and executing your trip. Having one lump sum of money after your campaign is often much more convenient than dealing with an amalgamation of gift cards, donations, checks, and booked tours. Plus, it gives you and your honey total control of booking your trip, and after the chaos of planning the wedding itself, control might not be a bad thing to have. More like this: 15 of the best destinations for LGBTQ weddings

The post Everything you need to know about registering for your honeymoon appeared first on Matador Network.

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:30:12 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs All Honeymoon Honeymoon Guide Honeymoon ideas Honeymoon Registry
Maidenhead on the River Thames Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:10:18 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs 40.den bukittinggi maninjau lake Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:10:18 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs PolyU Study Revealed Mainland Chinese Visitors’ Motivations for Shopping Mainland Chinese tourists visiting Hong Kong tend to visit different shopping outlets to buy luxury goods according to their different motivations, conclude Dr Sam Kim of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and his co-researchers. In a recently published study the researchers revealed that mainland tourists who shop for luxury goods are motivated by "materialism, a desire for social status or to conform with others", and these differences in their nature influence not only what they buy, but where they buy.]]> Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:10:06 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Horwath HTL Industry Report: Singapore Hotel Market Review March 2019 Singapore's tourism industry performed significantly better in 2018, with visitor arrivals exceeding earlier forecasts and its hotels reversing a persistent downward trend. Visitor arrivals hit a record 18.5 million, driving occupancy levels (86 percent) that helped raise RevPAR to SGD189. As the market enters a period of compression and supply growth remains slow, how will the market respond to the changed dynamics? Benjamin Oh from Horwath HTL Singapore provides the lowdown.]]> Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:10:06 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs HSMAI Foundation Launches New Initiative to Build Hospitality Industry Talent Pipeline in Sales, Marketing and Revenue Management The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation today announced a new mission to tackle head-on a compelling, timely issue the hospitality industry is facing: talent and leadership development in sales, marketing, and revenue management. The foundation's reenergized efforts include an initiative with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring our Heroes, a new partnership to help better qualify interest with Aethos' respected skill assessment psychometrics, and a joint effort with International CHRIE to help better attract and educate hospitality talent. In addition, a new fundraising campaign has been launched to help support the talent needed to continue driving the industry's top-line revenue goals - spearheaded by the Foundation's new chairman, Agnelo Fernandes, chief strategy officer, and executive vice president for California's Terranea Resort; Honorary Campaign Chair Mike Leven, CEO, Georgia Aquarium; and Campaign Committee Chair Michelle Woodley, president, Preferred Hotels. The Foundation will collaborate industry-wide throughout 2019 to implement initiatives that attract, develop and engage talent in sales, marketing, and revenue management.]]> Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:10:06 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Horwath HTL Industry Report: Asia Pacific Sustainability Trends 2019 The hotel industry is poised to move into a next phase of sustainability, where new technology, innovative programs and solutions needed to solve climate change become more widespread across the region's portfolio and pipeline. Next generation best practices such as renewable energy and water recycling are still nascent in the region, but we see the trend toward them.]]> Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:10:06 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs