Category Archives: Travel Reviews

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!

Things to do in Parry Sound

7 Things to Do in Parry Sound Ontario

  1. Georgian Bay Airways
  2. Island Queen Cruise
  3. Beer Claw Tours (ATV)
  4. Seguin Valley Golf Club
  5. Massasauga Provincial Park
  6. Bobby Orr Museum
  7. Outdoor activities such as: Pool, Tennis, Camping, etc.

Quality Inn Parry Sound is the only hotel in Parry Sound that has a functional pool (Indoor and Outdoor) along with Squash courts and delicious food available on site at Golden Griddle. They also are the only hotel that will make you feel like you are in the a cozy country side hotel.

Where to Live (and Invest) in Canada

Top Canadian Cities for 2010-2015 based on Key Economic Fundamentals:

Top 10 Canadian Investment Cities

  1. Calgary, AB 
  2. Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, ON 
  3. Edmonton, AB 
  4. Surrey, BC 
  5. Maple Ridge, BC 
  6. Hamilton, ON 
  7. St. Albert, AB 
  8. Simcoe Shores (Barrie-Orillia), ON 
  9. Red Deer, AB 
  10. Winnipeg, MB 

These cities were determined based on the following questions:Economic Fundamental Questions

  • Is the area’s average income increasing faster than the provincial average?
  • Is the area’s population growing faster than the provincial average?
  • Is the area creating jobs faster than the provincial average?
  • Does the area have more than one major employer?
  • Is the area in the RBC Affordability Index Hot Zone (25% to 39%)?
  • Will the area benefit from an economic or real estate ripple effect?
  • Has the political leadership created an economic growth atmosphere?
  • Is the Economic Development Office progressive and helpful?
  • Is the area’s infrastructure being built to handle the expected growth?
  • Are there any major transportation improvements in the works?
  • Is the area attractive to Baby Boomers’ lifestyle?
  • Is there a short term problem occurring that is slated to disappear in the future?
  • Is there a noted increase in labour and materials cost in the area?

Top 10 Least Visited Countries

Some of the least popular tourist destinations are as follows:

  1. Nauru – 200 visitors (Smallest republic in the world)
  2. Somalia – 500 tourists
  3. Tuvalu – 1,200
  4. Kiribata – 4,700
  5. Marshall Islands – 5,000
  6. Equatorial Guinea – 6,000
  7. Turkmenistan – 7,000 people
  8. Sao Tome & Principe – 8,000 (Island off the cost of Gabon, North West Africa)
  9. Comoros – 15,000 (Island between Mozambique and Madagascar)
  10. Afghanistan – 17,500

The three reasons these are the least visited countries in the world is because there could be a civil war taking place in the country making it unsafe. The second reason could simply be because there is not a whole lot to do. Lastly, it is because the countries are too small and not popular enough to warrant any sort of travel.

Touring Parry Sound, Ontario

seguin-hotel
The world is full of spectacular locations, but there is only one place you can really have it all: breathtaking vistas, fresh water and warm hospitality are what make Parry Sound the four-seasons playground of the near North.

Nestled on the rugged shores of Georgian Bay, and home to the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts and Bobby Orr Hall of Fame, the Town of Parry Sound is just a short two-hour drive north of the Greater Toronto Area.

Tucked among the 30,000 islands, Parry Sound is adorned by the natural beauty of shoreline hiking trails, and the rugged pink granite of the Canadian Shield. This year-round destination is also home to many festivals, events and attractions.

parry-sound

When you browse your way through the many shops, you will discover distinctive galleries while experiencing the unique flavour of local artisans. After a full day of fun, you will be ready to relax and bask in the glow of the glorious Georgian Bay sunsets.

The real gem is the Quality Inn & Conference Centre hotel in Parry Sound which is the only hotel with a pool(s) in the area and has squash courts, tennis courts, and a trail, and is perfect for those that want to unwind at the bar and restaurant (Golden Griddle) which is attached to the hotel.

Canada’s Cottage Country

Cottage country is a common name in Eastern Canada for areas that are popular locations for recreational properties such as cottages and summer homes. Locally understood to be referring to Muskoka, the Kawarthas, or the Haliburton area. On the other hand, a speaker from Ottawa would use the same phrase to denote the Rideau Lakes area.

Central Ontario includes:
Parry Sound-Muskoka-Haliburton region
Kawartha Lakes
Bancroft & Northern Hastings County

Eastern Ontario
Rideau Lakes

Northwestern Ontario
Kenora, Ontario

Top 10 Countries for Expats

Now more then ever has it become easier to move to another country after retiring. Warm beaches, economical hospitality, and a welcoming environment are all factors in why people from the West are flocking to other countries. Below is a list of the Top countries that people have moved to based on research by HSBC in 2012.

  1. Singapore
  2. Thailand
  3. Cayman Islands
  4. Bermuda
  5. Hong Kong
  6. Mexico
  7. Switzerland
  8. Malaysia
  9. South Africa
  10. Bahrain

We will review each country exclusively in the future to tell why it would be a good choice.