one of the drivers leaves the scene, it can complicate the insurance claims
health is the most important thing. Call 911 if you were in the vehicle when it
was hit, or if someone was injured in the accident.
medical attention even if you have no apparent injuries. It’s not uncommon for
car accidents to cause delayed injuries, where symptoms don’t
present until days after the incident. If you wait too long to see a doctor,
you hurt your chances of filing a personal injury claim.
you’re waiting at the scene, gather and write down as much information as you
can to report to the police, including:
The other driver’s license plate number
The make, model and colour of the vehicle
Approximate year of the car
Time and location of the accident
Direction the driver was heading
Contact information of witnesses
Jot down every detail – no matter how minor. This information may help the police locate the driver.
sure that you speak with any witnesses at the scene and gather their contact
information. Your insurance company may want to speak to these witnesses to get
an account of what happened.
it’s safe to do so, take photos of the accident scene and your vehicle,
especially if there is damage. Take some close-up photos of the damage to show
the police and the insurance company. If any paint has transferred to your
vehicle, take photos of that as well.
File a Police
the hit-and-run to the police within 24 hours of the incident. Fleeing the
scene of an accident is a crime and should be reported to the police.
sure that you get the name, badge number, and phone number of the officer so
that your insurance company can follow-up.
you don’t report the hit-and-run, you may be considered “at fault” by your
insurer and it could impact your premiums. Filing a report may also mean that
the police locate the fleeing driver who will then be held accountable for
reporting the incident to the police, call your insurance company to inform
them of the accident and discuss your options.
on your coverage, your insurer may be able to help with towing and getting you
a rental car if needed.
you were able to identify the fleeing driver, you may be able to get his or her
insurance information from your insurance company. With this information, you
can file a claim with the other driver’s insurer.
Kauai is an island located in the central
region of the Pacific Ocean. More specifically, it’s an island in the state of
Hawaii and the fourth-largest member of that archipelago. Most of its surface
is covered by tropical rainforest, giving it the nickname of ‘the Garden Isle’.
Even if you don’t know it, you’ve likely seen the breathtaking pinnacles and
cliffs of the Na Pali coast, since they’ve been a frequent setting for numerous
television shows and blockbuster films. If you happen to visit there and you love
hiking, you should check out the Waimea Canyon or the Nounou Trails that lead
to the Sleeping Giant mountain ridge.
Even though Kauai offers lots of
captivating sights on land, its real visual treasures are lurking under the
waters off her shores. While scuba diving anywhere in the state of Hawaii is a great
experience, it’s particularly special here in Kauai as it isn’t as touristy or
crowded as others. In fact, less than 100,000 people call this island home.
In recent times, scuba diving has gotten
popular due to its unique combination of unrivalled adventure, the opportunity
to see the glories of nature with your own eyes, and a strong workout along the
As a form of recreational activity, scuba
diving is truly exciting because you get the opportunity to get up close and
personal with marine life; and in some locations, it’s even possible to visit
coral reefs, caves, and underwater shipwrecks.
Although scuba diving is usually safe, it
does entail some risks and if you’d like to join other scuba divers to scuba
dive, find the best scuba diving instructor who will give you the best instruction
so that you can learn to scuba dive safely. Look for instructors certified by
professional bodies like The National Association of Underwater Instructors or
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Both NAUI and PADI can also
give you lots of information about scuba diving and as well as suggest good
places to go scuba diving around Kauai.
Although a diving certification is usually
required in most locations, you can learn to scuba dive while in Kauai. So, why
not begin your diving journey where it’s beautiful and memorable?
Alternatively, you can take basic lessons at a scuba diving school from where you are based and then transfer your partial certification to Kauai for your open-water dive.
If you’re new to scuba diving and affordability
is a concern, rent your scuba diving equipment instead of buying them. Some of
the scuba diving gears and equipment that are available for rental include the
snorkel, mask, fins, exposure suit, regulator, tanks, weights, and buoyancy
compensators. Owning or buying all of these could wind up costing you more than
a grand. If you’re just looking for a one-time or the occasional scuba diving
experience, then renting certainly makes financial sense. It’s also a lot less
to carry on the plane.
Anytime you visit Hawaii is bound to be a
good one, but if you visit Kauai, be ready for the beauty and adventure that
are waiting for you under those blue waves.
How are you doing? Today, I thought about doing some throwback on my recent
trip, but then I realised I’ve already done that. I wanted to do some review on
some island in the Philippines, but then I was not in the zone yet to cover
that story. So, while I was going through a mini writer’s block, I went online
and saw some news on Jetstar.
I haven’t been doing airline reviews for quite a while, so, why not spice it up a bit right? So, come with me on this journey to discover the Jetstar flight experience up close and personal. Okay, maybe not too up close and personal because I can’t get you on the plane now. Just use your imagination for now!
Where Can I Find Jetstar Flight?
That’s a good question! Nowadays, you can easily find best Jetstar flights online because as technology advances and develops, so does the opportunity for businesses that are connected to an online system. There are two places you can get cheap flight booking online for Jetstar – the airline’s official website, OR the various online travel companies, which there are plenty to choose from.
What Does Jetstar Offer?
Okay, bear in mind that Jetstar is a low-cost budget carrier; hence, don’t expect to be served a bottle of fine champagne when you’re on board. Heck, I would be the first in line to go for that if it’s available.
I don’t care if it’s a short-haul or a long haul flight because all I really want is to stay comfortable throughout the journey. So, Jetstar has this wonderful idea of assembling what they call “Comfort Packs” where inside, you will find all the necessary travel essentials that will keep you extremely comfortable throughout the flight. Now, these packs do vary between flights but you might more or less have the things listed below:
An inflatable neck support pillow
Lip balm and hand cream from Zenology cosmetics
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Eye mask (gift from heaven!)
Take-home blanket (another gift from heaven!)
Oh, the list is courtesy from Jetstar’s official website, so don’t call me out for plagiarising.
Apart from reading a book or heading to sleep, Jetstar has got a large collection of entertainment to keep you company.
The in-flight entertainment includes children shows (a big help for those travelling with children), games, music library, plus the latest movies from all over the world. So, you wanna know what’s currently in the movies department? Well, they have Aquaman, Captain Marvel, The Lego Movie 2, and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – good fun for the kids!
For passengers who are in Economy Starter Max or are members of the Qantas Club, travelling will always be comfortable for you even if your flight gets delayed for several hours. Why? Because you get to cosy up in the lounges, of course! But of course, if you have deadlines to meet and got delayed; yeah, I don’t think a first-class lounge will help cool down those frustrations.
Anyways, here in the lounge, you’ll be able to enjoy the unlimited food and drinks, the bar service, free Internet access and many more. If you are rolling with the Business Class, then, I bet you will get access to the highs and ups. Does anyone remember that fine champagne which I mentioned earlier? Maybe wishes can come true after all.
I think this is not something that you will find surprising. If you are a frequent flyer, you will get the VIP treatment that you want. The good thing is, Jetstar’s loyalty programme allows you to benefit from travelling frequently. With Jetstar, you will find varieties of flyer partners like the Qantas Frequent Flyer, Emirates Skywards, JAL Mileage Bank and Lotusmiles.
With quite a big net to collect and spend your points whenever you need it, I must say that this is quite a good reason to take Jetstar.
Alrighty then, I think I am at my wits end with this one and I’m already tired haha but that doesn’t mean you won’t be hearing from me any time soon. I have plenty of other adventures coming in the future and I cannot wait to share my experience so that YOU could pack your stuff and go experience it for yourself.
There is no
other summer like it. It’s not quite school holidays, it’s not quite whatever
the next thing is going to be. You’re not really a kid but you’re not grown up
either. That summer after the last year of school and before you go off to
study brings a unique level of freedom as you have no ongoing work for school
or university and there’s no career to be worried about yet. So, kick back and
enjoy the ride because it won’t happen again.
Here are 5 things you can do during
that one free summer:
Why not go
somewhere? Travel is
so much fun because you
get to educate yourself and gain experiences that you wouldn’t have at home. Travelling
is a classic thing to do and pretty much a cliché, but just because it’s been
done before and so many times doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. You don’t even
have to go on a long summer trip; even a blow-out holiday with your mates can
be quite a liberating experience at this age.
Be A Kid –
Maybe For The Last Time
you don’t consider yourself a kid but while you still have that tentative link
to childhood; make the most of being able to act like a child and do childish
things one last time. If you are under 18, you may get junior
or youth discounts in certain
Be Aware Of
While you’re having as much fun as you can possibly get, there is one serious day that you should have marked in the diary and that’s when the exam results are due. Be sure not to forget when it is A-Level results day because if you don’t get the results that you are looking for, you will have to get in touch with alternative options as soon as possible.
Get A Job
If you are going to have fun during the summer, it’s going to have to be paid for and you won’t be wanting to get into any sort of student debt before you’ve even matriculated for your first course. If you get a decent amount of work, you will be able to have a good time and also put a little aside for your first year of study. Getting a job over the summer can be fun and chances are, you’ll meet others of your own age there, thus making it a good social experience as well.
No matter what you do, be sure to make some fun memories; have new and exciting experiences and you’ll have a summer to remember. Try and take photos and videos to remember it by and with almost every phone having an onboard camera, this has never been easier. Just remember not to post anything that’s too embarrassing online because it will be there forever!
Non-Singaporeans relocating to this dynamic island state do so for
all sorts of reasons: for temporary or permanent employment, for business or
trading opportunities, for family reasons, or simply for a change of scenery.
Those relocating here for the first time inevitably endure some bumps along the way; no move is complete without drama but the acclimation process is far less difficult for those who’ve their common misconceptions cleared before their arrival. Immigrants to Singapore, for instance, are frequently surprised by:
Reasonable Cost of Basic Necessities
Outsiders assume that everything is expensive
in Singapore, but this isn’t the case. Street and public transport, in
particular, are cheaper when compared to other major global cities.
Sophistication of the Financial System
It’s difficult for locals to believe, but
Singapore’s deserved reputation as a financial and business hub for the
Asia-Pacific region hasn’t quite reached the four corners of the globe. North
American immigrants, in particular, are frequently shocked to learn of
Singapore’s global financial system. That’s down, in part, to the presence of
regional financial firms such as trust and corporate services provider Asiaciti Trust,
which serves clients throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Not-So-Reasonable Cost of Certain Luxuries
Immigrants accustomed to paying “North
American” or “European” prices for automobiles and housing may be in for a rude
awakening in Singapore.
Autos, in particular, are far more expensive
here than in many other parts of the world, since road space comes at a premium
and there’s no native automotive industry to speak of. Housing is expensive,
too, but that’s pretty common for a small but global city like Singapore.
Fines for Bringing Durian on the MRT
Many locals aren’t even aware of this arcane
restriction, although few well-mannered Singaporeans would think to bring the notoriously
stinky fruit into a crowded train car in any case.
The durian-on-the-MRT prohibition is
indicative of a basic truth about Singapore that’s likely to surprise immigrants
from places like China, the United States, and continental Europe because Singapore
is a very orderly place, and locals pride themselves for that. People are
polite here and the culture has found a way for tradition and modernism to
coexist quite comfortably.
Near-Endless Cultural Diversity
Singapore is the archetypal melting pot: a place where diverse cultures
and folkways mix to create something greater than the sum of their disparate
Although the majority of its residents are
ethnic Chinese, Singapore is also home to large communities of ethnic Malay,
Indian, and European. Its religious groups include Taoism, Hinduism,
Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, among many others.
Simply put, Singapore is a place where you
don’t have to look, eat, or pray a certain way to fit in. For immigrants
concerned by the city-state’s supposed culture of conformity, this must be a
relief to learn.
Difficulty of Securing a Work Visa (To Start)
Recent immigrants to Singapore should assume
that they won’t be able to work without first securing a job offer. In other
words, don’t expect to arrive in Singapore first and figure out your employment
situation later. Moreover, Singapore’s employment regime favours the highly
skilled; so, plan ahead.
Ease With Which One May Apply for and Earn Permanent Residency
On the other hand, applying for permanent
residency in Singapore is not as difficult as in most other first-world
countries. Notably, there’s no waiting period before you can apply; in theory,
you can begin the process on your first full day in Singapore.
Stunning Variety of Singapore’s Food Scene
The surprisingly reasonable cost of
Singaporean street and shop food is worth reiterating here. So too is its
stunning variety. This perhaps shouldn’t be surprising, given Singapore’s
status as a cultural melting pot, but it’s nevertheless a strong selling point
for immigrants not used to a wide array of cuisine choices.
to Make Your Move?
Do you like what you’ve learnt about moving to
Singapore? Making your move isn’t as difficult as you’d think — although you’ll
want to begin your job search before planning too far ahead. When you’re ready,
your soon-to-be-neighbours will be waiting with open arms.
Florida is known for its many fishing opportunities; whether both freshwater or saltwater, and deep sea saltwater fishing in Florida is simply awesome. Whether you are looking for that elusive yellowfin tuna, wanting to hook a monster grouper, or are seeking for a lot of good-sized eaters for the pan or grill; there are many options available, no matter what coastal area of Florida you may find yourself in.
Wide Array of Options
Depending on where your location is, you must understand that the type of fish available will vary. The type of fish available to anglers on the Atlantic side of the state is going to be very different from anglers who are fishing on the Gulf side, especially in cities like Tampa and St. Petersburg. In addition to this (and as you would have expected), The Florida Keys also offers its own variety of options for adventuring anglers.
If you know what species of saltwater sports fish that you are fishing for, make sure the city you are travelling to has access to that type of fish.
Here’s a short and non-exhaustive list of the popular saltwater species that are available:
on the Atlantic Side
There are multiple deep-sea charters found throughout the eastern part of the state (which is also referred to as the Atlantic side). Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, and of course Miami are all incredibly popular spots where thousands of saltwater charter captains are ready to guide paying anglers to the best saltwater fishing grounds the United States has to offer.
Wahoo and Mahi Mahi are common up and down the Atlantic coast and they are easy to find from any port on that side of the state. They are a hard-fighting saltwater fish that is delicious when cooked and they thrive on the Atlantic side. If you’re up north in Jacksonville or Daytona Beach, Sailfish is a great option because it offers itself as an enormous trophy and puts up an incredible fight. Jacksonville is particularly known for its king mackerel (and even some tuna) fishing. Going south to Daytona Beach opens up chances to go after the amberjack and triggerfish.
Cocoa Beach offers anglers plenty of opportunities to find quality-sized mackerel and the popular but rare marlin and tuna. Although West Palm Beach is a unique location that offers a little bit less than some of the other locations, it is the best spot to go to if you’re looking for a trophy-sized sailfish or that big-time bull shark.
offers anglers some top-notch saltwater fishing because they have a little bit
of everything; from amberjack to tuna to sailfish.
the Keys are more like each other than to any part of the rest of Florida, it
is worth remembering that there can be major differences from one major Key to
the other. Anglers willing to spend their money on a full day charter as
opposed to a half day charter will have the time of their lives as they chase
Goliath Grouper, Mackerel, Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Snapper, and even Tuna.
other words, there’s a shot at every type of big saltwater fish imaginable in
on the Gulf Side
Fort Myers, Tampa/St. Petersburg, and Clearwater are all outstanding ports from which to sail out into the Gulf. Grouper fishing is much more common on this side, as is shark fishing and as well as many of the other popular species like Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, amberjack, and more. This gives plenty of options for anglers who want to chase some serious trophies.
There are plenty popular saltwater fishes like the cobia, redfish, snooker, spotted trout, and many more that aren’t on this list (because they tend to be near the shore or in more shallow waters as opposed to out deep).
Even though this article is all about finding the right spot to enjoy some of the best deep saltwater fishing in the world; a day off by the shore at each of these areas can still offer plenty of opportunities for the determined angler.
The Napali Coast of Hawaii’s Kauai island
could without a shadow of a doubt be called one of the most beautiful stretches
of coastline in the world. Adding to the attraction of this wonderful and unspoiled
part of the island is the fact that Kauai has not been subjected to the sorts
of tourist pressures that many people believe has transformed the other islands
in the chain that makes up Hawaii. This makes Kauai the perfect destination for
those who simply want to enjoy the natural wonders of paradise – and nowhere
will this enjoyment be more acute than when exploring the Napali Coast.
A jewel in the crown of an island also known as ‘The Garden Isle’; the Napali Coast at Kauai Island itself boasts a galore of natural wonders.
A stretch of mountainous coastline that stretches beyond 16 miles in length, every mile of the Napali Coast is filled with wonder. Valleys stretch into the pristine forest and are the first stop of cascading waterfalls on their journey towards the ocean. Sea caves echo with the boom of the surf while pristine beaches and offshore corals beg for exploration.
For those wishing to take in this natural wonder, here are some travel tips!
The first of these is to hike the Kalalau Trail. However, be warned that this is an adventure that is not for the fainthearted, especially people who have a fear of heights. The challenge of the hike means that camping for at least one night will be part of the adventure. However, the sheer beauty of the natural surroundings and the brilliance of the stars overhead do not make this a hardship.
The second way to take in the majesty of the Napali Coast is to do so via the water. There are numerous tour operators that ferry visitors from the North and South shores of the island to take in the magnificence of the coast. Those embarking on these excursions will have the choice of watching intensely for signs of sea life (including whales) from the comfort of the deck or plunging into the clear azure waters to enjoy some of the best snorkelling experience that Kauai has to offer. The leisurely experience will have most captains skirting the edges of the incredible peaks and valleys of the Nā Pali Coast State Park. Refreshments are usually served onboard and it is one of the most perfect ways to enjoy the magnificence of this coast with the entire family. A Napali Coast boat tour is definitely one of the top ways to experience the coast.
Sometimes, taking to the air is simply the best way to appreciate the grandeur of nature at her very best. Those wishing to take in the entirety of the Napali Coast and its varied environments might wish to explore the option of an airborne tour in the comfort of a small plane or a helicopter. Visitors will be treated to a spectacle of plunging waterfalls and verdant valleys, as well as the edge of the coast where it meets the saltwater. Your pilot will be more than willing to accommodate your requests to view the varied landscapes. This lends an air of freedom to what is already one of the highlights of any trip to Kauai.
Kauai is simply one of the most beautiful islands in the chain that is Hawaii and the Napali Coast is one of the most stunning natural destinations in the world. It is the essence of what makes Hawaii and its islands a destination of choice for tourists from all over the globe. Make sure that you do not miss it on your trip to this paradise on Earth.
I have always been fascinated by Jing Yong’s novel, “The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre” and it was through this novel that I came to know about Wudang Mountain and Emei Mountain. Hence, when the opportunity to travel to Wudang Mountain came, I took the plunge and embarked on this epic journey that lasted 7 days.
Prior to this trip, I tried to do some research and get as much information as I could about the places that I will be visiting but it seems that most of the information available are written by Westerners who went there to learn martial arts. Hence, I decided to pen down my experience so that the information can be useful for those who are planning a trip to Wudang Mountain.
There isn’t any direct flight from Singapore to Wudangshan. For this journey, I took a 4-hour Cathay Pacific flight from Singapore to Hong Kong and then another 3-hour Cathay Dragon flight from Hong Kong to Xi’An. The flights would typically cost about SGD$746 for a return trip.
The Cathay Pacific flight CX 714 and CX 715 (B777) were rather uncomfortable as the seats were pretty cramped and the non-touchscreen in-flight entertainment was rather old-fashioned with the old-school joystick control. On the contrary, the Cathay Dragon flight KA 943 and KA 946 (A330) were more comfortable and the in-flight entertainment system was way better and more modern than the Cathay Pacific flight.
I put up at West Capital International Hotel for 2 Nights and Wudangshan Xian Guan (武当仙馆) for 4 Nights. Accommodation at Xi’An will cost about SGD$160 and accommodation at Wudangshan will cost about SGD$282.
Jinjiang West Capital International Hotel is located at the City Centre and I would personally recommend the hotel because of its location. There are multiple places of interests/attractions such as the Drum Tower, Muslim Quarter, City God Temple of Xi’An and etc, and they are all within walking distance from the hotel. Service was exceptional and the room was decent. The buffet breakfast spread is fabulous and I enjoyed it very much.
I really enjoyed my stay at Wudang Xian Guan. Although I couldn’t find the property listing on Agoda, I found it on Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency. If you visit the English version of Ctrip i.e. Trip.com, Wudang Xian Guan is translated as “Taihe Health Care Home in Wudang Mountains”. Don’t be taken aback by the English translation though. I personally feel that the more appropriate English name for the property should be, “Wudang Immortals Inn”. The room has an oriental vibe and I look forward to waking up every morning because of the amazing forest view. The food served is mainly vegetarian and there is a large space just outside the hotel where one can practise Taichi in the morning. As the property is located next to the Cable Car Station, access to Tianzhu Peak/Golden Hall is really convenient. If you are looking for a place where you can do some introspection, this is definitely it.
China uses the Renminbi and the typical exchange rate for 1 Singapore Dollar was about 5 Renminbi (RMB). As my flight transited at Hong Kong, I changed some Hong Kong Dollars as well and the exchange rate for 1 Singapore was about 5.8 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD).
What to Buy in Wudangshan
At Wudangshan, there are numerous martial art academies and temples; and at the various attractions/places of interest on the mountain, there are plenty of shops that sell local produce, swords, tea leaves, beads and etc. If you would like to buy some souvenirs for yourself or your family members and friends, I would suggest that you do that at the foot of the mountain where there are more varieties and it would also be cheaper.
Some items that I would also recommend getting would be tea leaves (from 20 RMB) rice wine (from 80 RMB), chrysanthemum flower tea, and zodiac sword souvenir (from 88 RMB). If you are into amulets (from 68 RMB), crystals, wooden beads, and the likes; it is widely available too. However, do exercise caution as some goods could be imitations/fake products.
What to Buy in Xi’An
Xi’An is very well known for its jujube dates, walnuts, almonds and sour plum powder. While you can’t tabao/pack back the freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice, you should really try it! There are also souvenir shops selling keychains, terracotta warrior figurines, and memorabilia for about 10 RMB per piece.
Places of Interest & Activities
To get to Wudang Mountain from Xi’An, I took a bus and the journey was about 5-6 hours long. A bus ride from Xi’An bus station (opposite Xi’An Railway Station) to Wudangshan Town will cost 120 RMB per person. The bus will depart from Xi’An at 09:30 am and should arrive in Wudangshan Town by 05:30 pm (information correct as of April 2019). Once you arrive at the visitor centre of Wudangshan, you will then have to purchase an entrance ticket to the entire scenic area (excluding Purple Heaven Palace and Golden Summit) for 243 RMB. The price includes unlimited bus rides to different venues at Wudangshan and insurance.
Wudang-Style 9-Form Taiji Quan & Ba Duan Jing
There are numerous martial arts academies at Wudangshan and it can be very challenging to decide on one that will be suitable for your learning needs. I was very privileged that we had a dedicated Teacher who taught us the Wudang Style 9-Form Taiji Quan & Ba Duan Jing.
Purple Heaven Palace
Purple Heaven Palace is a historical site designated for state protection and the coloured paintings on the timber of Purple Heaven Palace make the palace look beautiful and imposing. The Purple Heaven Palace is also where the emperors in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties often issued orders to construct altars to bless their ancestors in heaven, request the assistance of the deities to ensure prosperity and good weather for the crops to have a bumper grain harvest. Entrance to the Purple Heaven Palace cost 15 RMB per person.
Golden Hall /金顶
Located on the top of the Tianzhu Peak, the main peak of Wudang Mountain, Hubei Province; the Golden Hall was built in the 14th year of Yongle reign (1416) of Ming Dynasty. The Hall is the biggest gilded copper temple in China, and is 5.54 meters high, 4.40 meters wide and 3.15 meters deep.
All statues and tools are made of bronze. The most valuable statue is the bronze statue of Zhen Wu, another name for the Northern Emperor, Beidi, a popular Daoist deity. Between them, the statues and hall represent the best of Ming Dynasty copper work. Visitors can also revel in the natural surroundings, taking in magical sunrises and sultry dusks.
Entrance ticket to the Golden Hall cost 27 RMB per person.
Taihe Cable Car Ropeway
If you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountain ranges, you can get on the Cable Car from Qiong Tai to Tian Zhu Peak. A round trip ticket will cost 150 RMB per person.
Nanyan or “South Cliff’ temple is one of the most breathtaking sites of the Wudang Mountains. Devotees would view the cliff as a gateway to heaven, and it’s easy to imagine the cliff as the edge of the natural world. Situated on the cliff around the temple are over 500 iron statues of ancient figures and officials, blending traditional art and culture with the stunning natural surroundings.
Taizipo is one of the main scenic areas of Wudangshan and the ancient buildings of Taizipo were designed according to the legendary story of Zhenwu Practising Taoism. It was first built in 1412 during the Ming Dynasty and has been refurbished during the Qing Dynasty in the 17th century. The main scenic spots include Huilongguan Monastery, Chunyang Monastery, Laojuntang, and Baxianguan, and etc.
About 10 minutes down the road from Taizipo, the Carefree Valley is an extremely scenic area that will provide you with numerous hiking trails to keep you busy for a full day. There are ample spots for photo opportunities and there are various kinds of animals in the valley; especially the monkeys. It’s a holy and beautiful place for visitors to escape from the noise and enjoy the natural landscape.
If you cross the river and head to the plain-looking stage area, you can enjoy Kung-fu shows at 10 am and 4 pm. To the left of the stage is a small lake with a tea house.
I spent two days in Xi’An and I am really grateful for this opportunity to visit this beautiful city that has such a vibrant culture and rich history! Xi’an is more than 3,000 years old and was known as Chang’an (长安) in ancient times. For 1,000 years, the city was the capital for 13 dynasties, and a total of 73 emperors ruled here. Xi’an is the undisputed root of Chinese civilization having served as the capital city for the Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui and Tang dynasties. It has often been said that “if you have not been to Xi’an, you have not been to China!”
Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses
The Terracotta Army (Terracotta Warriors and Horses) are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum in Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi Province. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China.
Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his afterlife. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archaeologists immediately. They came to Xi’An in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artefacts were associated with the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC).
Life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigour.
The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China’s National Day – Oct. 1st, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back.
No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, is 20 meters northeast of No. 1 Pit. It contained over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994. Archaeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976, 25 meters northwest of No. 1 Pit. It looked like to be the command centre of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses.
Altogether, over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these pits. Most of them have been restored to their former grandeur.
Since 1 October 2010, the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses and the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum have been combined into one large attraction area, Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, which also includes three other small sites opened in 2011. The Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum and the nearby three unopened sites (namely the Museum of Terracotta Acrobatics, the Museum of Terracotta Civil Officials and the Museum of Stone Armor) constitute the so-called Lishan Garden.
Entrance ticket costs 120 RMB per person.
Bell Tower and Drum Tower
Dating back to the
1380s, the very beginning of the Ming Dynasty, Xi’an’s majestic Bell Tower and
Drum Tower are symbols of the city’s rich past and are some of the largest and
best-preserved of their kind in China.
Every Ming-era city in China had a bell tower and a drum tower to help signal the time and mark important events. The Bell Tower in Xi’an, located at the very centre of the old city, is an imposing 27.4 meters high and located in a busy traffic circle. Visitors need to take an underground walkway beneath the traffic circle to reach the tower.
Visitors can climb up
to the Bell Tower’s terrace where the wooden tower sits to get a bird’s eye
view of the surrounding area. However, the view is not very impressive since
the tower is surrounded by busy roads in all directions. Please note that getting
up to the terrace requires climbing many stairs. Inside the tower, there is a
small museum that houses a huge bell, as well as some handwritten memos about
the relocation and renovation of the tower. There are also bell and chime
performances at various times throughout the day.
As an iconic landmark of Xi’An, the Bell Tower receives many tourists and there may be long lines at certain times. While people can pay a small fee to go upstairs and visit the interior of the tower, most visitors find the exterior of the Bell Tower more impressive, especially in the evening when it is illuminated with colourful lights. Since the tower is quite tall and prominent, you can easily appreciate it for free from across the road.
Xi’An Drum Tower
The Drum Tower, located at the south end of Beiyuanmen pedestrian street and about 200 meters to the northwest of the Bell Tower, was built in 1380, even earlier than the Bell Tower. The Drum Tower houses many large drums and some antique furniture, as well as short musical performances featuring drums and other traditional instruments at various times.
Great Muslim Mosque
Bigger than many temples in China, the Great Mosque is a gorgeous blend of Chinese and Islamic architecture and one of the most fascinating sacred sites. The present buildings are mostly Ming and Qing, though the mosque was founded in the 8th century. Arab influences extend from the central minaret (cleverly disguised as a stumpy pagoda) to the enormous turquoise-roofed Prayer Hall (not open to visitors) at the back of the complex, dating to the Ming dynasty.
Facing west (towards Mecca) instead of the customary south, the mosque features classic Chinese temple features and memorial arches, not to mention the glazed-tile Chinese-style roofing.
It’s a beautiful place to visit in spring, as the white and pink magnolias burst into bloom; in the slow season, the mosque can also be a haven of solitude and an oasis of tranquillity in a very busy area of the city.
Entrance ticket costs 25 RMB per person.
Just as its name implies, the Muslim Quarter, also known as Huimin Jie in Pingyin, is the hub of the Muslim community in Xi’An. Located to the north of West Street in the city centre, the quarter covers several blocks inhabited by over 20,000 Muslims. There are about ten mosques in the area; among which the Great Mosque in the Huajue Lane is the most famous and popular.
Beiyuanmen Muslim Street has a long history. It is said that in olden days, foreign diplomatic envoys and merchants lived here and then they married and had children, so gradually, the population increased. Today, most of the inhabitants here are the descendants of those immigrants. All the Muslims here are the pious and devout followers of Islam so they form a tight-knit community, which maintains its own culture and traditions to this day even in such a modern society.
Xi’An City Wall and Yong Ning Gate
When Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), captured Huizhou; a hermit named Zhu Sheng admonished him that he should ‘built high walls, store abundant food supplies and take time to be an Emperor,’ so that he could fortify the city and unify the other states. After the establishment of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang followed his advice and began to enlarge the wall built during the old Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), forming today’s scale of Xi’An City Wall.
The wall includes four gates and they are respectively named as Changle (meaning eternal joy) in the east, Anding (harmony peace) in the west, Yongning (eternal peace) in the south and Anyuan (forever harmony) in the north.
The South Gate (Yongning Gate) is the most time-honoured and magnificent one among all the city gates. There are bicycles for rental up to the South Gate so it is popular for visitors to ascend here. If you stay near the Bell Tower, it is recommended that you take a 10 minutes’ walk along South Street to get to the South Gate.
Xi’An City God Temple
Located on West Avenue in downtown Xi’an, the Xi’an City God Temple is the largest city god temple in Shaanxi Province. As one of the only two remaining Taoist temples in downtown Xi’an, it has been listed as a key historical and cultural site under state protection. With a history of more than 600 years, the temple is still a magnificent site today.
First built in the twentieth year (1387) of the reign of Emperor Hongwu in the Ming Dynasty on the Jiuyao Street within the East Gate of the City Wall, the temple was rebuilt at its current location in the eighth year (1432) during the reign of the Ming Emperor Xuande. Being one of the three largest capital town god temples in China at that time, the Xi’an City God Temple, also known as Capital City God Temple, exercised control over all town god temples in China’s northwest provinces.
Originally, the temple was very grand and included a main hall, a sleeping hall, subordinate halls, the Music and Dance Building, and a memorial archway. As time went on, only the hall which was rebuilt in the first year (1723) of the reign of Emperor Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) remains.
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China. It was built in 652 during the Tang dynasty and originally had five stories. The structure was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian, and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the Ming dynasty. One of the pagoda’s many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveller, Xuanzang. Today, the interior walls of the pagoda feature engraved statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben.
I’ve been to China twice; the first was to Harbin and the second was to Beijing and that was more than 10 years ago! I am really glad to have been on this trip to witness the many rapid developments that are happening in China and being a history and culture buff myself, my trip to Xi’An was really an eye-opener.
Having said that, I enjoyed my visit to the Wudang Mountains the most and I really want to be back. The air there is really fresh and the next time I visit, I will probably be staying there for 6 months.
As soon as I landed in Melbourne, I met with an airport shuttle driver who offered to take me to Hotel Lindrum. I booked it since it had good online reviews and Furthermore, as a snooker fan, I was ready to pay just to see the famous Lindurm snooker table, but that’s another story.
Once I got in the cab, the shuttle driver told me, “I have both good and bad news for you. The good news is that you are spending your vacation in one of the best countries in the world. The bad news is that you will be in this country for a short time.”
Even though Australia has been on my bucket list forever, I still wasn’t quite sure that it will live up to this hype. I was a bit wrong on that note, because it did, and I’m happy that I got the chance to experience it. Indeed, that shuttle driver had been quite right.
Besides the beauty of the country, I was able to learn a few interesting things and acquaint myself with the Australian culture.
Here is a list of things that I learned from visiting Australia.
Fast Food Giants Have Different Names
It seems that when Jack Cowen, the owner of Burger King, had the ambition to expand in Australia; he was unable to use the name, ‘Burger King’ and so he opted for a different name, ‘Hungry Jack’s.’ So, whoopers are sold in Australia under the name, ‘Hungry Jack’s.’ Also, McDonald’s is popularly known by the term ‘Macca’s’; to the extent that this nickname is used in advertisements and product labeling.
The Celebration of the Queen’s Birthday is on a Different Date from the Official Date
Though Queen Elizabeth was born on 21st April, Australians mark the Queen’s Birthday on the first Monday of June. This first Monday of June corresponds with the time King George V was born. So, if you are planning to travel to Australia at around this time, please book early for your flight and accommodation since most of these are fully booked for the three-day weekend holiday.
Everything is Named Macquarie
According to Britannica, the fifth Australian Governor of New South Wales left behind a great legacy to the extent that many things in Australia are named after him. In fact, there is a common joke in Australia that if you don’t know the name of anything; just say the name Macquarie and you will be right. There is a Macquarie lighthouse, university, river, bank, street, lake…the list goes on.
Ugg Boots Have Been Worn for Ages
I was surprised to learn that ugg boots have been around for a very long time – from back in the 1920s. In fact, ugg boots originated from Australia in the 1920s, and they only spread to other countries, including the United States of America, in 1972.
Vivid Festival is Amazing
Vivid Festival usually takes place in the last three weeks of May to the end of the first week in June. When I attended this festival, I was amazed by the outstanding display of fireworks, art, and music. Thanks to Vivid Festival, I was able to see clearly some of the prominent places in Sydney such as the Central Business District, the Opera House, and the Harbor Bridge.
The Most Infamous Criminal in Australia is Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly is the most infamous criminal in Australia; having been convicted and sentenced to death in 1880. Surprisingly, I was told by the librarian in the Victorian State Library that Ned Kelly was fondly loved by many people. In fact, before he was executed, thousands of Australians had signed a petition in a bid to set him free. The suit of armour which Ned Kelly had worn before he was arrested is well displayed at State Library Victoria in Melbourne.
Koalas Sleep for Twenty Hours a Day
Since I love animals, I could not leave Australia without seeing as many koalas as I can. So I visited Maru Koala and Animal Park which is situated just next to Philip Island. When I finally viewed the Koalas, I realised that most of them were asleep and I was told by the game warden that they could sleep for more than 20 hours each day! Koalas are also quite choosy on the food they eat – they can only feed on two varieties out of the possible 600 types of eucalyptus leaves. At the park, I also managed to see Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, and wallabies.
Well, these are some of the things I learnt when I visited Australia. All in all, Australia is a beautiful country. Australians are naturally kind, friendly and trustworthy – I left my purse with an unfamiliar bartender, and I was able to get it back!
I enjoyed my visit to Australia, and I can’t wait to travel there again!
Written By Sam, Content Marketing Specialist Sam is an award-winning writer with a passion for providing creative solutions for building brands online. Since his first award in Creative Writing, he continues to deliver awesome content through his travel articles. When not enjoying freediving, he is managing marketing content for multiple brands online.
If you are anything like me and already have a bucket list of the places you want to visit, I bet that the Amazon River is at the very top of your list. Let’s be honest, there are few of us who would say no to such an amazing experience!
This mighty and majestic river attracts millions of curious travellers every year. If you can no longer resist your wanderlust, this is definitely the place to be!
Due to its close competition with the Nile, this ancient river can be considered either the longest or the second longest river in the world, but definitely the largest one by the volume of water it discharges.
As expected from one of the biggest rivers in the world, it does not have traditionally defined seasons. What this means is that you should plan your trip to the Amazon River according to what suits you better – the rainy season (December to June), or the dry season (June to December).
Whichever season ends up being your choice, you can be sure that you will enjoy all of its perks! However, before you pack up your bags and embark on this epic journey, you will want to know the best ways to explore the Amazon River; and that is just what we have prepared for you! Without further ado, these are the top five ways to get “lost” in this paradise on Earth!
This eco-friendly activity is one of tourists’ favourite because it allows you to witness the Amazon rainforest in a different light. Gliding through the trees via canopy tours or a zip-line without disrupting wildlife’s natural habitat is something that everyone visiting the Amazon should definitely experience!
If you are really looking forward to experiencing the Amazon River on an even more adventurous note, you should definitely book an expedition cruise. Alongside your experienced guide, you will be travelling and exploring via kayaks, small motorised boats, and, of course, on foot.
One of the best things when it comes to expedition cruises is the fact that you will be able to witness Amazon’s many indigenous animals and plant species up close. The Amazon rainforest is home to 427 mammals, 1300 birds, 378 reptiles, and more than 400 amphibians; which means that you are bound to see at least some of them while kayaking on the river or by taking forest walks!
Additionally, once you wrap up the day of your breathtaking expedition, you can go back to the main vessel and enjoy some mouth-watering local cuisine!
What better way to get to know the wildlife than to volunteer in a Wildlife Sanctuary? This is perhaps the most rewarding way to experience the Amazon and to truly immerse yourself into the surroundings.
The best thing about it is that you do not need to have extensive knowledge of animals, but the only thing you must have is a positive attitude. Essentially, you would be helping to take care of some animals that may have been injured by other animals, or animals that have suffered from some unfortunate accidents. What could be more rewarding and eye-opening than going home knowing that you helped save an animal’s life?
White Water Rafting
If you are an adrenaline junkie seeking to explore the Amazon river, this will be the perfect choice for you. You would start this intense adventure in the highlands of the Andes, and spend about 6-7 days rafting and camping on gorgeous beaches along the way. Lots of tours will also allow you to spend a few nights in their lodges where you would be able to shower, drink a cold beer, and sleep in a comfortable bed. Who said you can’t be adventurous and comfortable all at the same time?
If you are not really looking forward to sacrificing your comfort and would rather get pampered while witnessing the glory of this nature’s gem, you should probably book a luxury cruise. While you’re at it, visit Aqua Expeditions for private charter cruises for yourself and your loved ones!
Whether you are planning a bachelor/bachelorette party, a college/family reunion, or just an awesome birthday party, you can be sure you will get the best experience!
As you can see, the Amazon River has something to offer to just about any type of traveller. All that is left to do is to choose which experiences suit you best and head straight to your adventure of a lifetime!
Content Marketing Specialist Sam Hoffman is an award-winning writer with a passion to provide creative solutions for building brands online. Since his first award in Creative Writing, he continues to deliver awesome travel content. While travelling, he is also creating content for Aqua Expeditions.