3 Day Trip in Singapore

My Singapore Travel Guide

Singapore or, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian island city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres north of the equator. Singapore is a microcosm of Asia, populated by Chinese, Malays, Indians, and a large group of workers and expatriates from all across the globe. Singapore – with more than 50% of its area covered by greenery and with over 50 major parks and 4 nature reserves – is an enchanting garden city.

singapore night view

view from the stampford 34th floor facing the marina.

As befits the country’s main airport, major regional hub status, Changi Airport and officially the ‘best airport in the world’. Keep in mind Singapore cabs do not take Visa, in the end I had to get the doorman at my hotel to pay for the cab and charge it to my room.

Quick 3 day break down of my trip to Singapore:

- Stayed at Swiss Otel at The Stampford, breakfast buffet is the way to go, and a McDonalds and subway line attached to this hotel, you can not go wrong. It is also the tallest hotel in Singapore and the second biggest hotel in Singapore. The service is great and there are bars and clubs in the hotel as well. The prices for in-room dining is a bit ridiculous however.

- Clark Quay, great for night life, a lot bars and clubs and sheesha bars, this place is generally packed and people love their drinks. You will see a bit of ‘brown bagging’ and a lot of people sitting by the river on the ledge at night with friends sipping and drinking things, while music plays in the background. The entire place is very brightly light up, and keeps you awake without any difficulty.

- Marina Bay hotel is a obvious landmark in Singapore that everyone must see. Luckily for a fraction of the price you can see the light show at night, have a view of the lake (and the city) and visit the casino at the hotel along with the mall (with most western brands) by staying at Swiss Otel on Stampford. Which is near Raffles Hotel as well, who would have thought Raffles hotel would be so small. It definitely gives one a colonial era vibe based on the architecture of the building it self. One must see Marina bay’s roof top patio (which looks like a boat), check the mall here (it has a river that flows through it with a boat and restaurant on it), and the casino (you must have your passport to enter).

- Hawker Centre, what a shock it was to discover a place in Singapore where an entire meal can come to $5, I went to the hawker centre in the middle of town and it was great. Apparently this hawker center has gotten relatively expensive compared to the other ones, no-matter! The prices were still better then my $42 chicken tikka sandwich which I consumed at Swissotel in my room. $5 meal will give you approximately 400kcal worth of food (this is the way I measure found, it needs to be done in a dollar to calorie ratio). Near the end of the night, the side streets have chairs and tables laid out and has a beer girl who walks and serves beer. My favourite place was Satay stand #7, I think that was the name where the women lured me in and told me it was the best Satay in Asia based on Air hostess who have eaten across the world and rated her stall the best in the world. Needless to say, it didn’t disappoint.

- Sentosa island apparently has many things to do, along with a entire theme park. Unfortunately, I did not have time to visit the park but I did get a chance to hit up the Casino on Sentosa Island. It was a good hotel, a lot of tables, some setup in a style that seemed a bit like a sweat shop, I hadn’t seen this in any casino in Vegas or Canada. I think Bingo halls is the closest way to describe how it looked. The casino is not smoke free, and could be better ventilated. A beer will set you back $12 (which seems like a standard price for beer in Singapore) + Tip/Tax, comes to around $18. I can proudly say that, that must have been the most expensive beer I have ever had.

- Other things I checked out: Sri Mariamman Temple, which had a prayer going on when I was there, it was pretty inspiring. The temple is 200 years old and had been going on since the early 1800′s. On this same road you will see a church (Buddha Tooth Relic Temple) and a mosque. Truly multicultural indeed. I luckily took it upon myself to go both the temples and ended up lighting a incense candle at the Buddhist temple and planting it in sand. Following these places of worship are lots of shops and restaurants.

- You should also take it upon yourself to explore Singapore’s downtown and get a picture by the infamous Merlion. The lion head represents Singapore’s original name — Singapura — meaning “lion city” or “kota singa”. The Merlion (Malay: Singa-Laut) is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore.

Closing thoughts, I have heard everyone should see the night safari, however I did not have time to do so. Everything mentioned above was done in 1 full day and half of the second day with my flight the day after. Overall Singapore is a very clean and safe place. I say safe because no less then 5 people including 3 cab drivers alerted me it is safe to wander around at any time of day. So go ahead, wander and let us know how it goes for you!

Route Planner Germany

Route Planner for Germany

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in western-central Europe. The country consists of 16 states and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany has a total of 318 Airports and 23 Heliports. It is located in Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark.

Our route planner will guide you through 137,846 sq miles (357,021 km²) of Germany with ease. You can view things to do in Germany, or you can browse by cities. Use our Journey Planner to route through the top cities in Germany:

If we were to write a travel guide for you, it would start off with one visiting Northern Germany (Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony) then Eastern Germany (Berlin, Saxony, Brandenburg), followed by Southern Germany (Bravaria) and finally Western Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland). Feel free to use our Route Planner to really get a good itinerary made and a understanding of which way to travel and see the top recommendations.

Lodging in Germany (Berlin)

We also go out of our way to list the cheapest hotels in Germany for you to add to your Germany trip itinerary. For example, here are the top hotels in Berlin, Germany.

Neue Kantstrasse 1, Berlin

Rudolstaedter Strasse 42, Berlin

Enjoy Hotel Berlin City Messe is located in Berlin’s Wilmersdorf neighborhood, close to Schaubuehne, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, and Berlin Zoo. Nearby points of interest also include Schloss Charlottenburg and Victory Column.

Rankestrasse 35, Berlin

Hotel Berolina an der Gedaechtniskirche is located in Berlin’s Wilmersdorf neighborhood, close to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin Zoo, and Reichstag Building. Nearby points of interest also include Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie Museum.

Glockenturmstrae 30, Berlin

Alecsa Hotel am Olympiastadion is located in Berlin’s Westend neighborhood, close to Waldbuhne, Olympic Stadium, and Messe Berlin. Nearby points of interest also include Berliner Funkturm and Grunewald Tower.

Boxhagener Str. 73, Berlin

A&O Berlin Friedrichshain is located in Berlin’s Friedrichshain neighborhood, close to Simon Dach Strasse, Alexanderplatz, and TV Tower. Nearby points of interest also include Nikolaikirche and DDR Museum.

Things to do in Germany

You do not need to manually browse these sections to build your trip, you can go straight to our Trip Planner and start there. Some of the top places we suggest you visit in Germany are:

Pergamon Museum

Architectural Buildings, Museums, History Museums

Museumsinsel, Am Kupfergraben, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)

Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Monuments/ Statues

Unter den Linden | Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany

The Holocaust Memorial Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Monuments/ Statues, Educational Sites

Near the Brandenburg Gate | Information Center: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Memorial of the Berlin Wall

Monuments/ Statues, Historic Sites

Bernauer Strasse 111/119, 13355 Berlin, Germany

Marienplatz

Landmarks/ Points of Interest

Bounded by Kaufingerstr. | Rosenstr., Weinstr., Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Cologne Cathedral (Dom)

Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites

Domkloster 3, 50667 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

English Garden

Parks, Gardens

Englischer Garten 3, 80538 Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle

Castles, Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites

Neuschwansteinstrasse 20, Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, Germany

You can also check to see if someone has an ‘open’ trip planned out to Germany where you can tag along with like minded vagabonders. The Trips section helps you discover other people that want to travel to Germany and are looking for travel partners or buddies.

Once you have made used our Route Planner for Germany, your itinerary will show up in the Itinerary section at which point it may be shared with your family and friends. You can share your itinerary in a view-only mode where your friends will be able see where your going. If you want input on your trip, you can add travel partners to your trip and have them modify your itinerary making our itinerary planner very collaborative.

Trip Itinerary Builder

Why Tripmark should be your travel itinerary builder of choice.

Everyone should be using an trip itinerary builder, and TripMark.com can help for FREE.

We have two very useful features, one that allows users to quickly add different options such as: Flights, Hotels, Attractions and another that builds a custom itinerary via a wizard using simple questions such as: Ease of Travel, Luxury Level, Location and Time Frame.

Travel Itinerary Template‘s can also be found quite easily in the “Trips” Section, here you can explore two things as well, one being the trips that other travellers before have planned out and wish to openly share with everyone to get their opinion. Second being travellers looking for travel buddies to come along can set a trip to ‘open’ allowing others who want to travel to the same destination without partners to have someone to travel with.

Tripmark is the best Travel itinerary app website online as it allows you to customize your trip in hundreds of ways, from having the ability to drag and drop markers on the trip itinerary maker to set custom markers to having a printable copy of your itinerary that one can take with them on the go, this itinerary can also be emailed to yourself or saved for offline viewing on your mobile.

Travel Itinerary templates are generally listed and labeled following the following naming pattern: <Type> <# of days> Trip in <City>, which would yield a itinerary like: “Luxury 3 Day Trip in Monte Carlo”. The budget of this trip is taken into consideration when the trip is being auto generated using our algorithm.

The reason a user would keep coming back to TripMark is because we allow users to get help from their friends in building out their itineraries. This means, you can collaboratively develop an itinerary with multiple people at the same time without needing to meet and spend hours on different machines trying to plan out a trip (although it’s not that bad!). Once your friends and you have finalized the itinerary online, you can come back and share the trip with your family and acquaintances to let them see where you went or to further give them an idea as to where you went and what the must-see places are.

Itinerary building in this sense is a process that comes before booking any hotel rooms, airplane tickets or car rentals. We help you figure out exactly what you can do and if where you thought you wanted to go is even worth while by listing all attractions available to you. If you want to just relax at a beach resort, we make that easy for you as well by aggregating reviews from around the web and letting you pick the perfect hotel. Think KAYAK for hotel reviews.

Go ahead and explore our trips section, we have recently allowed for “travel itinerary around the world” trips (RTW). Keep checking this travel itinerary blog for more information. Until then feel free to explore some already made templates being shared by our users:

Travel itinerary Australia
Travel itinerary Amsterdam
Travel itinerary Argentina

Travel Rewards Points Simplified

The Guide

Airline miles are some of the most coveted credit-card rewards out there, but they’re also among the least understood. That’s simply because they’re hard to pin down. The value of the traditional reward mile is fickle, changing from one booking to the next and with each swipe of your credit card.

To get a handle on your miles and how to use them best, read on below, where we cover the basics on miles redemption. Who knows? You might be able to squeeze another summer vacation out of this.

Before we leap into the details, you should wrap your head around this concept: there are two types of miles out there, and they’re great for very different purposes (more on that below).

There’s 1) the traditional, airline-branded mile, whose value varies from booking to booking and from one day to the next. You’ll typically earn these on your airline-branded credit card. And then there’s 2) the more generalized, fixed-rate mile, which returns the same rate no matter the date. You also often have the option to redeem these for statement credit on your credit card bill.

Examples of the latter include Capital One’s No Hassle Miles, which are valued at a 1-to-1 ratio: 1-cent redemption for every mile you earn. That’s not an especially high rate – sometimes you can redeem for as many as 3 or 4 cents on each mile – but it’s a dependable one, and it can be clutch for certain types of travel.

When you book and where you go
The rule of thumb is this: during peak travel times, your miles won’t return as much as they would otherwise. It follows that holidays, when people travel the most, will give you the least flexibility with your points.

There are exceptions, but generally holidays aren’t a great time to redeem your miles – at least the traditional ones. This is the time when you’d use those fixed-rate miles, like those offered by Capital One. These are miles you’d earn on a more general travel credit card.

Other times it makes sense to book with your traditional miles, because you can redeem at crazy-high rates. You’ll usually find this is the case with international travel and on more expensive flights. There isn’t a clear breaking point in terms of price, or when miles are a good choice and when they’re not. But if a $100 ticket is asking for tens of thousands of miles, you should refrain from redeeming them, because a better deal will most certainly be around the corner for a pricier flight.

International travel won’t always be cheaper with miles, thanks to taxes and fees. Airlines will often charge you for miles redemption. And on international travel, those charges can be especially severe: as much as $1,000, and we’re not even talking about the cost of the ticket itself!

You can avoid those high taxes and fees, though, if your miles are versatile enough. Depending on the airline, you’ll have opportunities to transfer your miles to a partner, hopefully one that doesn’t gouge you for miles redemption.

Some carriers will give you more options for transfers from one airline to another. Delta is a notable winner in this arena: you can transfer to United, US Airways, American Airlines and others.

Got that? You’ve passed Miles 101. If you haven’t already picked up a credit card for rewards on travel, check out some of our favorites, namely the following:

• The Chase Sapphire Preferred: a 40,000-point signup bonus and 2 percent rewards on dining and travel – what’s not to love?

• The Capital One Venture cards: Two cards, one with an annual fee and one without. The former returns higher rewards – 2 points on every dollar you spend! – so the fee may be worth it to you.

• The British Airways card: The best signup bonus out there, with 50,000 Avios – that’s the British Airways-branded mile, redeemable on their flights as well as other carriers, like AA.

Travel Rewards Points Documentary

For the TD First Class Travel Visa Credit card

- You get 3 points for every $1 you spend

- Each point can be redeemed at $0.004 or 10 points are worth $0.048

- Thus, you have a “cash back” rate of 1.4%.

Example:

$123,000 spent giving you 369,000TD points

369,000 points = $1800 redeemable value (369000*0.0048)

$1800 / $123,000 = 1.46% ROI

 

Bonuses:

9TD points per $1 Travel spend, thus you get $0.036 as opposed to $0.012 per $1 spent

- ROI is 3.6% on Travel Expenses

Scams in Prague

Tourist Scams in Prague

Karls-bridge-Prague-Czech-Republic-Scams

On top of reviewing Anthony Bourdains, Parts Unknown (Los Angeles) TV show we decided we would give you review of another TV show that shows you a side that most shows, guide books do not talk about. The hidden underbelly of the tourist trade, scams, lies and general mistrust faced by tourists globally. Today I am reviewing, Scam City, Prague, I have embedded the full tv episode to watch below.

Cab Scams in Prague

- No Euro Taxi, AAA Taxi (Buttons speed up fee, ask fee before moving, $1.5 max per km) (50% of the cab drivers carry guns as well.)

- Make sure you know how much change you are handing over. 100 CZK note can be quickly replaced with a 10 CZK and you may be told you accidentally gave the wrong note.

Drugs in Prague

- Drugs are legalized to an extent, (buy/sell illegal, holding is legal).

- Cops often side with Drug dealers as they are ‘paid’ or general low amounts for this East European city is not considered a big issue.

- Usually drugs are a concoction of miscellaneous products and not safe to buy but generally available everywhere.

Pub Crawls in Prague

- “Drunken Monkey” pub crawl provides 2 hours of unlimited drinking for a low fee. Generally a rowdy crowd for college students from Western Europe.

- Count change always, a little different then from cab drivers. If you hand $2K, you will always get change back for $1K).

- Currency exchange scam (make sure you ask the amount you will get after the exchange including fees.) There are no ‘refunds’ here as well. Advice here, try to go directly to the bank at your home country or the Bank’s in Prague. Very few of these exchanges may include fake notes as well (Very common in other countries like Argentina).

Common Scams in Prague

- Pick pocketers everywhere, especially near the metro / subway in camera’s blind spots.

- Adult Entertainment (Note: Cabbies, door men and everyone is getting a kick back and you can get charged for anything, this includes having a drink and having to pay up to $100USD per beer before being ‘allowed’ to leave). Make sure you are going to the most popular pubs only and are not smaller, less touristy bars where these scams are more prevalent.

Closing thoughts

Prague is a beautiful city to travel to, it is great if you have a local friend to travel with as they would be less susceptible to scams. A slight proactive approach to keeping safe, and alert will ensure you have a great time. Always budget for unforeseen issues that may arise and have fun. Leave any issues you may have had/witnessed in Prague in the comments below.

Watch Scam City – Prague Full Episode on Youtube

Little History (Review) of Prague

Basic information about Prague
Area: 496 sqkm
Population: 1 262 000
Geographical situation: north latitude 50° 05′, east longitude 14° 27′, height above sea level 235 m (average)
Time: Central European (GMT+1), summer time – Central European +1 (GMT+2)
Climate: average temperature 9,0°C
summer season – July 19,0°C
winter season – January -0,9°C
Main river: The Vltava river flows through the city in the length of 30 km, its maximum width being 330 m
Electric voltage: 230 V
Parts of the historical centre: Hradcany, Mala Strana (Lesser Town), Stare Mesto (Old Town) including Josefov, Nove Mesto (New Town) and Vysehrad
Administrative division: 22 administrative areas

The capital of the Czech Republic, has always played an important role in the history of the country and Europe. Since the Middle Ages Prague has been famous as one of the most beautiful cities of the world and has been attributed adjectives such as “golden“, “hundred-spired“, “the crown of the world“.

The unique character of the city is also partly a consequence of its natural environment: Prague, similar to Rome built on seven hills, was built on nine hills along the Vltava river, which flows through the city for a distance of 31 km and forms a perfect unit with the city.

The dominant features of the city architecture are reflected in the river: towers, church spires and cupolas, palaces and town houses, along with the greenery of gardens, parks and islands.

It is regarded by many as one of Europe’s most charming and beautiful cities, Prague has become the most popular travel destination in Central Europe along with Budapest and Krakow. Millions of tourists visit the city every year.

Prague was founded in the later 9th century, and soon became the seat of Bohemian kings, some of whom ruled as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. The city thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century – many of the city’s most important attractions date back to that age.

What is ‘Delhi Belly’

Montezuma’s revenge, Aztec two step, mummy’s tummy, or Cairo two-step in Egypt, Kurtz Hurtz in Uzbekistan, Bombay belly or Delhi belly in India. A case of the sh*ts or Hershey Squirts or The McSh– in North America, Down Under Butt Chunder in Australia, Karachi crouch in Pakistan, Suryavarman’s Revenge in Cambodia.

Beaver fever in Canada, Thailand it’s Thai-dal wave. Peacekeepers to Arabic-speaking countries have called it yalla yalla (Arabic for “fast, fast”).

What is the best way to try and prevent the runs or “traveler’s diarrhea”?

  1. Properly cooked foods. Everything heated to a proper internal temperature (depends on the dish), no sampling the raw chicken dish, etc.
  2. Fruits and vegetables, if you can’t peel it, don’t eat it. A tremendous number of GI outbreaks are due to fruit and veg, rather than meat. This includes things like salads – since you can’t really peel lettuce, avoid it.
  3. Check if the local water is safe. When in doubt, assume no. You can stick to bottled water, though there’s always the distinct chance its being bottled from a contaminated source. Coke/Pepsi etc., and beer are good alternatives. Little known fact, the Coca-Cola company is hugely involved in clean water programs worldwide, because they need it for their product.
  4. Ice is bad. Its probably made using the local tap-water, and there are many beasties that can survive an encounter with an ice machine.

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown: Los Angeles

Sundays @ 9 pm ET on CNN

No Hollywood sign, no Beverly Hills. Instead, he zeroes in on a three square-mile area of the city known as Koreatown, where he finds a tight-knit community still marked by the 1992 Rodney King riots.

los-angeles-anthony-bourdain-map

Synopsis of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown Season 1, Episode 2: Los Angeles

  • Race Riots in Los Angeles and how it affected Koreans
  • Father son relationships for Koreans
  • BBQ becoming synonymous with Korean style of cooking
  • Popularity of Kogi Trucks growing through out L.A. and how their locations are tweeted daily
  • Facebook Millionaire (Artist) explaining how it was becoming an artist and not a doctor
  • Review of Sizzler restaurant’s buffet 
  • Explanation of Low Riding culture prevalent in Los Angeles (especially Imapala’s).
  • The first “Little Bangaldesh” popping up in North America
  • Jollibee (JFC) restaurant’s popularity and trying little big burger and halo halo pictured below

jollibee-los-angeles-halo-halo

Top 7 Florida Beaches

We have compiled a list of the top Florida beaches based on our research.

Daytona Beach

  1. Delray Beach - Delray Beach is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, USA. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 60,522. It is a city in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Metropolitan Area
  2. Clearwater Beach - Clearwater Beach is a resort area located on the Gulf of Mexico in Pinellas County on the west central coast of Florida
  3. Naples - Naples Beaches comprise seven miles of pure white sand that edge the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
  4. Sanibel Island Beach - Sanibel beaches attract visitors from all around the world, partly because of the large quantities of seashells that frequently wash up there. One of the reasons for these accumulations of shells is the fact that Sanibel is a barrier island which has an “east-west orientation when most islands are north-south. Hence, the island is gifted with great sandy beaches and an abundance of shells.
  5. South Beach –  South Beach, also nicknamed SoBe, is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach, Florida, United States, located due east of Miami city proper between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
  6. Siesta Key - Siesta Key is a barrier island off the central western coast
  7. Palm Beach - Palm Beach, like other areas of extreme southern Florida has a tropical climate, defined as having no month with mean temperatures below 64.4 °F (18.0 °C).

Other notable beaches include: Key West and Daytona Beach.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Review

Anthony Bourdain has been our connoisseur to the world in helping viewers learn about the world’s culture’s (by travelling extensively over many years) and the world’s culinary arts.

Episode 1 – Anthony Travels to Myanmar

Burma continues to be used in English by the governments of many countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. The United Nations uses Myanmar, as do the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Russia, Germany, Norway, China, India, Australia and Japan.

Anthony recently decided to leave the Travel Channel and join CNN to produce his new show “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” the show has Anthony travelling through Burma (Myanmar) as he explores the local cuisines and shows us the beautiful landscape of the country that has been off limits to foreigners for the last couple of decades.

“Holy ****! Almost no one else has SEEN this!” - Anthony Bourdain

Below are some very magnificient views of what he did in Myanmar (The country was renamed as it has over 100 different ethnicities and Burmese people are just one of them). The vast area where these temples are have had a mass exodus of locals because of the army government wanting to turn the area into a tourism hot spot.

anthony-bourdain-myanmar-parts-unknown-train anthony-burma myanmar-bourdain

You can catch the show on Sundays at 9pm ET on CNN. We rate this episode 8.5/10 in terms of the quality of the information (politics, gastronomical insights) and the quality of imagery & shooting which kept us very well entertained. Now, don’t forget to plan your next trip to Myanmar through our Itinerary maker.

If this has peaked your interest, here is a bit more history on Myanmar:

British colonialism
There’s not much known about the centuries that followed. History picks up again with the arrival of the Europeans – first the Portuguese, in the 16th century, and then the British, who had already colonised India and were looking for more territory in the East. In three moves (1824, 1852 and 1885), the British took over all of Myanmar. The Burmese king and queen were exiled to India and their grand palace at Mandalay was looted and used as a barracks to quarter British and Indian troops.

The colonial era wrought great changes in Myanmar’s demographics and infrastructure. Large numbers of Indians were brought in to work as civil servants, and Chinese were encouraged to immigrate and stimulate trade. The British built railways and ports, and many British companies grew wealthy trading in teak and rice. Many Burmese were unhappy with the colonial status quo. A nationalist movement developed, and there were demonstrations, often led, in true Burmese fashion, by Buddhist monks. Two famous nationalist monks, U Ottama and U Wizaya, died in a British prison and are revered to this day.

Aung San Suu Kyi: release and election
Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and was finally released from house arrest in July 1995. She was arrested again in 2000 and held in her home until the UN brokered her unconditional release in May 2002. She was rearrested in May 2003 and released in November 2010 by the military authorities. During her arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi continually refused offers of freedom in exchange for exile from the country and, despite an ongoing debate in the pro-democracy movement over future strategy, her stature throughout Myanmar is as great as ever. In moves symbolic of the positive momentum in the country, in 2011 Suu Kyi left Yangon for the first time in eight years, and in May 2012 Suu Kyi entered the lower house of the Burmese parliament as an MP. Much more remains to be done, but the hope is that decades of isolation may be coming to an end.

In case you are interested, here are pictures of the Mandalay Palace in Myanmar

portal-sacred-hill-mandalay-burma mandalay-burma mandalay-palace-yard-burma

 

Most remarkable, I think, was how open people were with us — how willing they were to talk — how not shy they were with our cameras, when only a little more than a year ago, talking with a Western film crew could land you in prison.

The door is opening in Myanmar, and we are very proud to show you some of what’s happening inside. – Anthony Bourdain (Renowned chef, bestselling author and Emmy winning TV host)

7 Interesting Things about Myanmar

  1. New Year celebrations last four days
  2. Myanmar has great beaches along Andaman Sea, Ngapali Beach is Burma’s top beach resort area.
  3. As we witnessed, their train infrastructure needs some serious work, and as such are really bumpy
  4. Mobile phones are more popular then the internet, however there are many internet cafe’s.
  5. Cash is king as there are very few ATM’s or the ability to use credit cards. 
  6. There is a hotel shortage now that the country is stabilizing, rooms went from $25/night to $100.
  7. Chewing betel nut is a favourite pastime, thus giving many red mouth and teeth.

Tune in next week when Anthony tours Los Angeles!

Not just another trip booking site…

Tripmark’s mission is to make the planning a trip entertaining and efficient.

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We intend on doing this in a few different ways, and we are just getting started.

    1. Intuitive Interface – By providing a pristine interface to explore and browse trips.
    2. Big Data – By making sure we have all the data for you and our robots to make the right decisions on where and when to travel.
    3. Structured Content – By making sure you have everything at your fingertips. So we can help you answer questions like:

      - Where should I go?

      - What would my friends think about going here?

      - I don’t have a travel partner, would anyone else out there be interested in going here?

      - Can I find someone that lives in the area that could be my guide?

      - How can I best manage all my different travel itineraries in one place?

      - I see that on TripAdvisor, the hotel is rated great, however Expedia says otherwise, is there a solution to aggregate ratings from all sources?

      - What is the general consensus on my dining venue? I don’t have the energy to read all the reviews around the web!?

    4. Business Analytics - Hotel owners don’t have time to monitor their ratings and sentiment on all OTA’s – we provide charts, data and historical information to get a glimpse of past performance.

Top-vacation-consideration-pie-chart