An Unforgettable African Safari Afloat A Hot Air Balloon With Awesome Scenes Of The Plains Full With Wildlife.

Serengeti-Balloon-safari-1An African safari is not complete without going on a flight on a hot air-driven balloon. In 1976, Alan Root and his spouse Joan- wildlife film makers, used a hot air-driven balloon to shoot movie clips of wild animals. It was more convenient, to use the balloon to discover places where an auto could not reach, to shoot sensational aerials of wildlife.

After that, the concept drew the curiosity of visitors who were ready to pay top-dollar for this rare adventure. This gave birth to balloon safaris in Kenya Tanzania safaris.

Its dawn in the Masai Mara. The canopy of darkness is quite heavy on the morning and makes the red orange flame from the furnace of the hot-air balloon beam vividly bright.

As the sun emerges from behind the mountains, the 100-foot high balloon is afloat across the Masai Mara plains with every one of us lodged in a woven carrier installed on the massive balloon.

Simply put, it’s seducing! The air currents lift us out of track, above the edge of the Ngama hills and across directly into the Talek River. Directly below, a couple of gray-back Jackals hurry haphazardly among the shrubs and a hare flits to its underground hideaway.

Adrift, we have a vantage eagle’s eye scenery of the expanse of the Masai Mara and the Serengeti Parks extending to the extent where the eye can perceive. It seems infinite.

We take 90 degrees turn and below we sight the heads of giraffes through the canopies of acacia bushes as they nibble the leaves, scarcely noticing us drifting in the air in the sky above.

After one hour or so adrift, the journey comes to an end with a bouncy landing bringing us back to the ground. Next we crawl out of the basket to a champagne breakfast. The beauty is that this breakfast occurs in the wild, wherever you land, and it’s made as you watch with the burners that a short while before held you suspended in the air. What a way to start our day! Ask Daniel, a guy who know very well how to organise a tour here

“In recent times, there has been improvements in hot air balloon technological innovation. The furnaces are far better and less noisy than the first balloon safaris” explains the captain.

“One thing that amazes a good number of first-time balloonists is the absolute stillness, the serenity as you cruise above the savanah, the woodland and the rivers of the Masai Mara. The sounds below drift clearly up-wards: a lion’s bellow, elephants crashing through the bush, baboons perched on the tops of the trees and shrubs. If you’re fortunate you will scale high above for the view of a lifetime. ” the captain offers.

After year end rains, the vegetation is lush green as we drive back to our camp watching wildlife en-route. It is contrasting as these are the same plains which, in November, were golden, dried out and hash.

Unexpectedly we encounter a mother cheetah marking her tree, spraying the area with urine. Once done, she checks our group and then makes a soft tweeting sound as she makes her way through the thicket. Most probably she is looking for her litter.

The grasslands are packed with elephants, buffaloes, topi, wildebeests and other antelopes and the scene is just great.

What to do in Hanoi ?

Imagine a city where the exotic elegance of old Asia blends with the dynamic face of new Asia. Where the medieval and the modern coexist. A city with a blend of Parisian grace and Asian pace, an architectural museum piece evolving in harmony with its history, rather than having the effect of a steamroller as in many capitals of the continent. Hanoi is where imagination becomes reality. Your stay here will be very nice, but only if you know what to do:

Old Quarter of Hanoi Vietnam

No trip to Hanoi would be complete without spending time in his old neighborhood, and fortunately, your hotel has a great chance to be in this area or nearby. The area is configured as to its origin with its streets and architecture of its own and is the last neighborhood merchants throughout Vietnam. It was founded under the Tran dynasty (1225-1400) and at the time there were 36 streets. Each of them has one of the corporations and bore the name of his business, which is still the case today. Hang Bac focuses goldsmiths and silversmiths,  Lan Ong you can buy all kinds of products based on medicinal plants and Hang Ca is the place for fishmongers. While these names do not necessarily represent what is being sold, it is still the best place in Hanoi to buy souvenirs or products of traditional medicine and Buddhist objects for example. Even if you’re not too “shopping” is ideal place to immerse yourself in Vietnamese daily life.

Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi Vietnam

Named after an old legend, the Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword) is the epicenter of old Hanoi and is a sort of focal point for the public life of the city. Early in the morning, you can watch some local practice Tai Chi on its shores.

It is also a popular spot for young couples who spend time on a park bench. Ngoc Son Temple is located on a small island at the northern end of the lake in which it is available during the day via an old red wooden bridge, the Pont du Soleil Levant. The pleasant surroundings of the lake will be for you a significant break after the tour of the old quarter. There is also the Tower Turtle located on a small island south of the lake.

The Temple of Literature and the University of Hanoi

About 2 miles west of Hoan Kiem Lake, you will find the Temple of Literature in Hanoi. It was built in 1070 and was dedicated to Confucius, whose influence still plays an important role in Vietnamese culture. The temple honors the best scholars and literary men of Vietnam. A few years later the first university of Vietnam was founded here. The temple is a perfect place to walk, relax and discover the many pavilions, pagodas, courtyards and gardens. Is not too busy, the temple is a good refuge from outside traffic.

The Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh

This is the place where the body of Ho Chi Minh is preserved. The mausoleum is an impressive building in Russian style always guarded by two soldiers dressed in white. It is located at the exact place where Ho Chi Minh made his speech of independence in 1945. You can visit for free, but the queues are long and you have to follow many rules by entering (respect, clothes, not bag or camera, etc …). But it is still the father of the nation of Vietnam … Attention, the mausoleum is closed from 5 September to 10 December each year.

Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison was built by the French in 1896 and was used to incarcerate “revolutionary anti-colonial.” After the French were ousted in 1954, the prison was used primarily to detain American pilots during the Vietnam War. It was then that the latter dubbed: the “Hanoi Hilton” in reference to the hotel chain. There are many photos and instruments of torture. Nothing, however, is translated into either French or English. Input: 10 000 VND

The St. Joseph’s Cathedral

The cathedral was built in 1886 by the French. Located right in the old quarter, a look at the neo-Gothic style worth the small detour. Sunday Mass is 11 am in French.

Tran Quoc Pagoda

Certainly the most beautiful pagoda in Hanoi, but also the furthest from the center. Curiosity on the spot is his big red stupa 15 meters high and consists of 11 floors. Tran Quoc Pagoda is the race taxi or rickshaw from the center. This is a bit of a foot, see this map.

A cruise on Halong Bay And Lan Ha  Bay

Halong Bay is about 4 hours drive from Hanoi and can be done one day or over several days on site. This is a great destination in Vietnam so enjoy to be in the capital to get there. Read this site to learn how to cruise on Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay, and how to visit Halong Bay without going through an agency.

How to go to Hanoi?

If you come from South Hue, it is best to take the train. It will drop you at the heart of the city. If you arrive by plane directly from France or other Asian countries, it is best to check on Skyscanner the cheapest flight tickets for Hanoi. Regarding the Trael budget for Hanoi and Halong Bay, everything is explained here (including how to get from the airport to the center or the reverse).

Please keep in mind that , to visit the country, you are required to get a vietnam visa on arrival or before arrival , so don’t forget this detail while preparing your trip to Vietnam

Where to stay in Hanoi

Prefer a hotel in the center, preferably in or near the Old Quarter Hoan Kiem Lake. This will facilitate your stay in Hanoi since everything is in the neighborhood or surrounding areas (either to visit or to find travel agencies, restaurants and bars).Have you been to Hanoi? What do you prefer?

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Explore the Top 7 Places of Israel

Despite being small, Israel has magnificent scenery with high altitude areas around Mount Hermon and the lush green Galilee in the North; Negev and Arava arid plains with adjacent Dead Sea in the South; Mediterranean Sea in the West and the Judean Rocky Hills in the East.

Many historical and archaeological sites, forests, coastal beaches are also some of the things to savour while in this country of great historical facts.

Masada

MASADA NATIONAL PARK

  • Masada is an ancient fortress that was built during the time of the rule of King Herod as documented in the Bible and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
  • The fortress is built atop a natural rocky plateau on the Judean desert and overlooking the Dead Sea.
  • A museum displaying archaeologicalartefacts found in palaces and villas built between 37-31 BCE are part of the package found on this site.

MEGGIDO NATIONAL PARK

  • Also a World Heritage Site, Meggido is an archaeological mound that has significant historical importance with over 26 layers of ruins having been found indicating long periods of human settlement in the past.
  • The Sea of Galilee, Mount Carmel, and Northern Valleys are also seen from Meggido.

NAHAL ME’AROT NATURE RESERVE

  • Also known as Wadi el-Mughara Caves, this site has 4 caves on location and they include Camel, Stream, Oven and the Young Goat caves.
  • This site has historical importance with evidence of human settlement for more than a million years with evidence of the first human burial.
  • Other sites visible from this point include Mount Carmel and Sea of Galilee.

THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM

  • The Old City in Jerusalem has rich historical past with the Temple Mount, al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Western Wall all found in this place.
  • Jerusalem has religious significance for the major religions in the world because Jesus Christ was crucified here, Mohammed rose to heaven and the Jews built a temple for God in this city.
  • Today the city is divided into four residential quarters; Christian, Muslim, Armenian and Jewish and is surrounded by a wall 4km long with 8 gates, a citadel and 34 towers.

THE GATES OF JERUSALEM

  • Built in the 16th Century, these walls continue to serve the inhabitants in Jerusalem to this day. The gates include; Lion’s Gate, Gate of Mercy, Zion Gate, Dung Gate, Jaffa Gate, Damascus Date, Herod’s Gate and the New Gate.
  • The Gate of Mercy is the only one open for use to the people while the rest remain locked with the Damascus Gate as the most popular.

THE DEAD SEA

  • Also known as the Salt Sea, this sea is one of the saltiest in the world and also has the lowest point on earth at -423 metres below sea level.
  • The Dead Sea has one of the saltiest waters on earth, about 10 times saltier than the normal ocean water and this makes buoyancy possible all through. The water is also utilized by people with skin diseases.

NAHAL ALEXANDER RIVER

  • A drive to the Nahal Alexander River will give you a break from the vast historical sites that you may have visited in Israel. This 45 km long river flows from Samaria to the Mediterranean Sea in the Hefer Valley.
  • The river is home to many soft shell turtles, coots, nutrias, swamp cats, catfish and tilapia.

Author Bio:

Stacy Eva lives in Birmingham, UK and is an avid reader and blogger. Since her early years she had a passion for writing. Her articles have been published in leading UK newspapers. Her areas of interest are Culture and Tradition, Food and Travel, Fashion and Lifestyle. As of now she is working as a freelance content manager for Australian Visas.

 

Throwing a Wild Bucks Night in Sydney

While many a best man just gets a bunch of the grooms mates together for a night out at the pub with a couple of strippers, with a little planning and imagination you can throw him, along with his family and friends, a truly memorable bucks night in Sydney for his last hurrah.

An evening-long adventure can start with hiring a stretch hummer to take you around town, just so there will be no worries about hailing taxis or run-ins with the law for driving and drinking.

Consider starting the evening by blasting across Darling Harbour on a jet boat. As an added touch, you can hire a few bikini-clad girls to go along for the ride. Several companies around the harbour offer group rates, or hire a private boat for a more personalized experience.

A game of paintball is a tried and true option for a buck’s adventure and there are several venues around Sydney that provide great opportunities for a rousing match. There are several paintball venues around town that offer challenging courses, reasonable rates and a 100-percent safety record.

A buck’s party need not just be about the tried and true and should have something for a little out of the ordinary adventure. The Sea Life Aquarium offers a “Shark dive Xtreme” where visitors can experience the huge, but totally harmless, endangered Grey Nurse Sharks, giant stingrays, turtles and other underwater marine life at the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, which is just a short ferry ride away from Sea Life Aquarium, on the north shore of the harbour. No diving experience is required and the aquarium provides all the diving gear.

Let’s face it, not every guy is lucky enough to own a Porsche. However, for a special bucks-party thrill organize a full or half day tour with Drive Porsches where your mate of honor can experience one of the ultimate driving experiences.

After the early evening activities, start the night with a nice dinner or barbeque. There are so many nice area restaurants to choose from and many will offer private rooms for large groups so you can go a little wilder than what would be “acceptable” in the main dining room.

Of course, for most men, no bachelor party would be complete without a few pints of amber and some lovely naked lassies. If your party is of the mindset, ending the night with a gentleman’s club tour of Sydney will provide a virtual unending supply of both cold drinks and hot strippers to cap off the night’s activities.

If you would rather have some of the work done for you, “XXX Bucks” has put together a “jelly wrestling and pillow fight” package that is touted as three hours of the most fun a man will ever have while drinking a beer in public. The package includes: coach transport; drink vouchers; a steak, chips and salad lunch; private topless waitresses for your party; a fully nude striptease for the buck; two very sexy ladies wrestling and pillow fighting; a shower show, to wash off the jelly; and entry to Kings Cross nightclub or strip club.

Why go to China ?

Here you will find the results of travelers as well as some comments on various aspects of China surveys.We asked travelers who have stayed in China for more than three weeks to answer the following questions:

Do you like China? 97 % of travelers surveyed ( 69 ) say yes !
For various political reasons, China and Chinese are sometimes the victims of a negative image. Therefore, some travelers refuse to consider China as a holiday destination , “Why go to China while Thailand is not far ? ” Maybe because almost all travelers who have had the courage to appreciate China would happily come back and recommend … For a “global” experience , few countries can compete with China !

Are you happily come back ? 96 % of travelers surveyed ( 69 ) say yes !

China is such a huge country it is difficult to see everything at once . Four months barely enough to go around the ” tourist ” sites. However , most of the travelers surveyed would return with pleasure only … pleasure ! It’s that simple .

Would you recommend China? 94 % of travelers surveyed ( 69 ) say yes

Not only the majority of travelers surveyed were happy with their experience , but they were willing to promote this incredible adventure destination .

We also asked to note the following :

Attractions travelers (67): 16.30 / 20 (+)
Excellent overall rating for Chinese attractions. But given the size of the country and its unique culture , China is clearly an attraction in itself . For many travelers , this is the most interesting Asian country : landscapes of dreams, delicate temples , massive monuments , exquisite gardens, … The potential of China is so important that the World Tourism Organization expects China to become the first country visited in the world in 2020. It would be a good idea to get there before the crowd …

Travelers cities (69): 11.19 / 20 (+)
Basically, we’re not going to China to cities. With few exceptions , the idea behind the planning process is more related to considerations of efficiencies (how to get the most people in the shortest space ) than aesthetic or ecological precepts. The urban basic model consists of a good set of towers with concrete , a park in the middle ” of the people” paying and shopping centers . Fortunately, the bustling streets and the different cultural shock rajoutent interest in the scene. And , in some cases as in Chongqing , one is surprised to discover that even the ugliness can be charming …

Landscapes travelers (68) : 17.35 / 20 (+)
A priori , China visit primarily for its cultural heritage. This is the ” traditional” tour : Beijing , Shanghai , Xi’an … In fact, if some visitors are disappointed by the cultural attractions , landscapes put everyone agrees. The choice is extensive and the quality appointments : sand dunes ( Dunhuang ) , snowcapped ( Songpan ) , Alpine Lake ( Tianchi ) Rice Terraces ( Longsheng ) , karst peaks ( Yangshuo ) , canyon (Tiger Leaping ) meadows (Mongolia) , mountains, caves, … With the exception of exotic beaches or jungle , China could be the yardstick of Asia …

Cultural opportunities travelers (67): 14.63 / 20 (+)
Whether monuments, temples , museums and Chinese culture in general , China is well worth a (very) long visit . However, China may leave some people frustrated . Here is a country that prides itself more than 5,000 years of history but the people too busy to make money , not give a damn to live their cultural heritage everyday. ” What strikes the visitor is the monumental failure of the past ” wrote Simon Leys . The past, he explains, is ” both spiritually and physically active invisible ” (1). The cultural atmosphere is definitely better today than it was during the ” Cultural Revolution ” of the late 60s ( the Chinese no longer climb the temples to be photographed ) but it keeps too often kitsch and superficial aspect of the restored monuments to attract the crowd …

Food travelers (69): 17.10 / 20 (-)
This is one of the great pleasures of a trip to China ! The order is sometimes problematic but Chinese food , except may be the most exotically extreme dishes, is undoubtedly one of the best in the world . One of the most varied too, because of all the regional variations. Sichuan dishes are particularly famous ( and spicy ) with specialties such as chicken with peanuts ( gongbao jiding ) , found in most restaurants at the national level , but with more or less success . Prices are generally those of a developing country , that is to say very reasonable. Note however that some dishes “foodies ” and banquets to the taste and high cost pronounced …

Infrastructure travelers (69): 12.17 / 20 (-)
China is on the highway development and improve its infrastructure at the speed of its trains . The roads were considered evil and dangerous there two years are probably in an acceptable condition today and travel times of the year are reduced to year. This does not mean that the roads are safe (but the French roads are they ? ) Or travel in some areas is less about adventure before. But , except during Chinese holiday , you will always find a transport to your destination and it is already a performance.

The cost of traveling (69) : 14.38 / 20 (-)
Just a note: East Coast and major cities are expensive but remote regions or minorities are extremely cheap used ; attractions are expensive but the food is of an excellent quality / price ratio , the transport is not given but local beer costs nothing … Avoid the most expensive places, save your money for what really interest and China becomes a true land of travelers!

Security community ( 69): 16.93 / 20 ( up)
From a Western perspective , China is a relatively safe country. However, criminality ( and executions associated with it ) is increasing. Be on guard is not a bad idea, in large cities or places animated : Monitor your business and hide your ” luxuries ” . Physical attacks against foreigners are very rare and street fighting usually reserved for locals who had a traffic accident …

Cleanliness travelers (69): 9.04 / 20 (+)
If you come to India, you may be impressed by the cleanliness of the streets will be Chinese . Otherwise, this is what a developing country is expected … Whatever : the tourist areas are relatively well maintained and the main streets of major cities may be even cleaner than the streets of Paris … But leave the crowd or push you in a small driveway and you will discover the real dirty China!

Pollution travelers (68): 6.94 / 20 (-)
The lowest score of all the survey! And yes , China is polluted ! According to the World Resources Institute in Washington, nine of the 10 most polluted cities in the world are Chinese ! Overall, air pollution is 300,000 deaths each year . This is due to the unfortunate fact that China uses coal to generate 75 % of its energy . These static , however, should worry more if you plan to work in China that if you pass through some ” black ” cities to visit in the mountains or in the countryside …

The sellers attitude of travelers (33): 11.15 / 20 (+)
An average score for an average behavior. Chinese vendors are usually not aggressive but they can be pressing (when you want to watch ) or asleep ( when you want to buy ) . Moreover, they almost always try to scam their customers , whether Chinese or foreign ( no racism ! ) . This is certainly annoying but it’s somehow part of the rules of shopping in Asia …

The attitude of travelers minorities (49) : 15.27 / 20 (-)
A difficult question with a wide range of responses. Indeed, note how the 55 ethnic minorities in China, which accounted for 7 % of the population ? Most people are friendly but some are clearly more interested in your wallet than your smile … Anyway , the minority areas generally offer / best cost report experiences of China : wild landscapes, charming villages , colorful costumes , traditions , specific dialects … But some regions also have their problems : poor hygiene, poverty , difficult transportation , basic housing , … Getting there is sometimes an adventure. But what an adventure!

The attitude of the Chinese “Han ” travelers (68) : 14.06 / 20 (-)
No, the Chinese are not the ones ” highly ” civilized and sociable some authors ( sadly manipulated ) were presented. But on the other hand , they are not the ” dog eaters who spit on the ground and destroy the temples !” In fact, most travelers recognize that , despite the difficulties to communicate ( if you do not speak Mandarin) , Chinese are friendly, welcoming and helpful. That said, any prolonged stay in China will reach your nerves in one way or another : Chinese live naturally and are still little attention to the genes they may pose to others ( other that is to say ” foreigners ” ) … I invite you to read my essay ” 1.2 billion Mars ” in Culture Shock section for more juicy details .

Entertainment travelers (63): 10.60 / 20 (-)
Travelers do not usually go to China to celebrate and it’s better : they will be less disappointed! In large cities , bars and nightclubs offer some distractions , but in the more remote areas , nightlife means going to shout loudly sing karaoke or watch a kung fu movie . The best factories in the evenings paradise travelers such as Lijiang and Yangshuo but is still really China?

Shopping travelers (66) : 14.61 / 20 (+)
If the products “made in China” Westerners are sometimes tempting for cheap, they are not always in good condition … Better to be limited to what China does best: traditional Chinese products. At a trade and when prices are not labeled ( ! Let ) approach , negotiation takes an important place : the seller will always try to get more. You should try to get less … Regarding memories , China has probably the most beautiful object catalog of bad taste in the world!

Overall, the country travelers (69): 16.35 / 20 (+)
A good overall score for Greater China : tourist sites in abundance, extraordinary scenery , friendly local , delicate cuisine , reasonable prices, … All spicy sauce of many cultures shock … The guarantee of a change of habits !

Value / price travelers (68) : 16.06 / 20 (+)
Overall , China is still a good deal. But it is a great country and development situations and costs vary by region . If your budget is limited , focus on remote areas rather than on the east coast …

Top 5 of the most beautiful beaches in Cape Town

Cape Town in South Africa is a magical city with a unique environment in which I have often spoken . The city owes its beauty in part due to the surrounding beaches and are as beautiful as each other .

Table Mountain on one side and the sea on the other and in the middle of Cape Town . Few large cities in the world can boast of being located in such an environment. The beaches of Cape Town are a major asset since many are very different but each with its own interest.I invite you in this section to discover my Top 5 of the most beautiful beaches in Cape Town :

1 ) Cape Town and its beaches – number 1: Clifton 4

Between the suburb of Sea Point  and the upscale neighborhood of Camps Bay , there is another point  Cape Town foot of Lions Head: this is where Clifton 4 found

All are accessible from the road, down some stairs and separated from beautiful granite blocks that can be crossed on foot. One can easily switch from one to another. Clifton 1 is mainly frequented by surfers,2 by students , the 3 by the gay community and 4  by  families.

I have a preference for Clifton 4, which offers a beautiful space and the most beautiful view .. The others are a little more urbanized even if it is reasonable . Clifton Beaches are just a few minutes from the city center of Cape Town which is very convenient to move from one part of town to vacation in a few moments . The water is very cold against .

2 ) Muizenberg beach for surfing

You want to start surfing? or you’re already an expert ? This is the place to go . The waves are still and very easy to surf … Even as a novice , I managed to get on my board in a few minutes while I struggled for hours in Biarritz !Muizenberg beach is actually about twenty kilometers from Cape Town in False Bay Bay. Here the water is much warmer than Clifton but watch great white sharks : it seems it is in this bay there would be the largest concentration in the world … Not too much concern anyway because people continuously monitor the beach from the hills and a siren sounded in case of emergency .The framework is there as beautiful with a view of the mountains and the famous colorful cabins that come to add some charm.

3) The beach of Cape Landudno

Slightly outside of the city, very residential neighborhood Landudno also has a beach breathtaking . Here we find a view of the mountains and large granite blocks at each end.I love to come late in the day with a glass of wine and admire the sunset .

4) Table view

The Northern Cape , on the beach of Table View . This one offers a huge expanse of white sand. His main interest is the breathtaking view of Cape Town and especially Table Mountain ( which I recommend climbing here).There are many surfers but also kite surfers as the winds here frequently and many seas ….

5 ) Camps Bay

Camps Bay beach is probably the most famous Cape . Overlooked by 12 mountains ( the 12 apostles ) , bordered by a row of palm, it has everything a dream beach .It brings on the avenue that runs along the many bars , restaurants and nightclubs making it very popular with the gilded youth of the city instead . The atmosphere is great and you can not come to Cape Town without visiting the beach of Camps Bay.

There are many others and I have struggled to select only five . We could add the most beautiful beaches of the Cape Nordhoek , the Cape Point ( at the end of the world … ) or Houtbay !Also note that the beaches of Cape Town are the location of numerous films and advertisements that are found every day in France on TV or in magazines ( Decathlon, Peugeot , Intersport , etc.).So if you still hesitate to choose a destination for your tickets , do not hesitate , this is the place to stay in Cape Town .