Let Malaysia Capture Your Heart

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Malaysia has long been a favorite in terms of travel destinations for many people across the world. Why? Simply because it is so vast and beautiful. There’s so many different islands to visit. And whilst the atmosphere out there always seems to be rushed, at the same time it is so peaceful and tranquil. Yes you might be nearly hit by a crazy driver or two now and then, but you’ve also go the idyllic beaches across the road where nothing can be heard but the waves crashed against the sand. Sound amazing? Well it does to most other people as well. If you’ve never been before, then we guarantee that before the end of this article you’ll be wanting to book a flight now. Yes, for most of us the flight is pretty long, but watch a couple of films and it will be over in no time! So without further ado, here is how you can let Malaysia capture your heart.

The Islands

The islands are one of the first thing that brings people to Malaysia in the first place. There’s just so many of them it can be hard to know which one to actually visit. But, because there are so many of them it means there’s just so much to do out there! A lot of the islands are close together as well, so it means you can spend your holiday island hopping to explore all the wonders. Some of the islands are better than others, one of the best and one of the most popular of the islands is the Langkawi island. It literally feels as though you’re being transported for a holiday in Hawaii. It has the most perfect beaches you could wish for, and one of the most relaxed vibes out of all the Malaysian islands. If you’re looking to kick back and relax, then this is the island to you. The main island of Langkawi in the Pulau Langkawi. Langkawi is made up of many different islands that lie in close proximity. If you;re looking for something fun to do whilst you’re there, one of the most popular things to do is the cable car ride up the mountain of Gunung Mat Chinchang. It isn’t that expensive, and it might not feel the safest, but if you have the heart to brave it it offers some of the best views that you’ll ever see. It attracts hundreds and hundreds of tourists in the height of the season. There are some really nice hotels on the island which you shouldn’t see yourself paying too much for either. Spending money over there is extremely cheap as well, so all in all, the holiday is going to be pretty cheap overall.

Borneo is another amazing island that seems to attract a lot of people each year. Once you go, you’ll instantly fall in love with the feeling of the whole place. A lot of people head there to volunteer with building houses, schools, and teaching. But it is an ever better place to go as a holiday destination. Just like with Langkawi, there is plenty to do on the island, but it is also perfect for those days where you just want to relax by the beach. Whilst you’re in Borneo however, there is plenty to do in terms of exploration. One of the most favored things to do is Tanjung Puting. It is a beautiful national park where wild orangutans wonder around. Just make sure you have all of your belongs secured! There are a few other national parks, and a mountain to climb. It really can go either way with this holiday. You’ll either want to be sat by the beach, or climbing or walking somewhere taking in the amazing scenery.

The Culture

The culture in Malaysia is a world away from ours. You’ll be completely amazing by the difference in the way of life. The main difference being the religion. Most of the Malaysian islands are highly religious, as you’ll gather from the many temples there are. You’ll often see monks walking around who take their religions and beliefs very seriously. It is important that you don’t disrespect this whilst you’re over there. Another, one we’ve briefly touched on, is the way of life. The main islands and cities will often feel a bit rushed, but at the same time calm and peaceful. It isn’t recommended that you drive on the roads over there. They are pretty crazy. But by all means rent a ped and go up the mountains. The roads up there are a lot clearer, and you’ll get some truly stunning views without having to walk or sit on a bus to get to the top. The food is also something you’re either going to love or hate. There’s a mixture of traditional foods, Thai foods, and often some foods you’ll never even have heard of. To them, growing up and eating bugs was nothing. It would be like growing up and eating chocolate for us! But be sure to give it a go and try something you’d never usually go for!

Staying For Good?

Malaysia will truly capture your heart. The beautiful beaches with the amazing blue seas. The way of life, and the amazing scenery. It captures the heart of so many to the point where they actually don’t want to leave. But is setting up a home and a life in Malaysia really worth it? Well, yes it is. There are a few new house development areas at the minute that are just truly stunning. Can you imagine yourself in a brand new home in a country that has the most beautiful weather and surroundings? We can too! Fitting into the way of life over there really isn’t hard. It is pretty easy to start and run a successful business over there as well! So you could be making a lot of money.

So, has this article made you realize some of the wonders Malaysia has to offer? We hope it has! There’s so much more out there for you to explore, and so many different islands that we’re sure you’ll love. Do some research and see which island might be suit you!

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South America: 5 Must-Visit Places

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In many ways, Asia has overtaken South America as the favorite backpacker destination, but you would be crazy to overlook this continent full of towering peaks, ancient civilizations and dense jungles. Added to all this, you have bustling cities and awe-inspiring landscapes aplenty. The hospitality and kindness of the people are legendary, so now is the perfect time to go and see the place for yourself. If you don’t really know where to begin, here’s a brief overview of just five of the must-visit places that this continent has to offer.

Angel Falls, Venezuela  

Though Niagara Falls may still hold the plaudits as the most famous waterfall in the world, Angel Falls in Venezuela is nearly 1,000 meters high and is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world. However, deep in Canaima National Park with no accessible roads to get here, it is a remote natural wonder that feels like it is shut off from the rest of the world. You can even take a flight to witness it from above.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

If you start to Google ‘most incredible natural wonders in South America, Salar de Uyuni will come up again and again. The world’s largest salt flat is incredibly over 10,000 square kilometers. Staying in the Hotel De Sal Luna Salada gives you great access to the area. There is a sense of being in another world when you are in this area which features smoking volcanoes, colorful lagoons, and grand deserts.

Machu Picchu, Perú

The ancient abandoned city of Machu Picchu in Peru was built in the 15th century and is one of the most iconic attractions in the world. Situated high in the Andes mountains, you can enjoy panoramic views around the area. Thousands of people flock here every year to complete a multi-day hike to finally reach the site. One way of attempting to escape the crowds is by arriving in the early morning to watch the sunrise over the peaks.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Of all the cities in South America, Rio de Janeiro is probably the one that captures the imagination of the most people. For one thing, it has the beautiful sandy beaches and crazy party atmosphere which many people love. The best views of the city come from the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue which is certainly worth visiting. The city also has the world’s largest urban forest, so hiking up into the mountains is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a while.

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

An entirely different city to Rio, Cartagena de Indias features well-preserved colonial architecture that will make you feel like you have stepped back in time. The city has a very clear energy to it, and you could easily spend a few days strolling around the colorful streets.

This guide gives you a brief overview of just what a special and diverse place South America is, so hopefully, you have been inspired to take a trip yourself.  

Lost in Los Cabos, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: “Do you want to take some pictures with a Mexican?” jokingly yelled a man when 5 of us, girls, were walking down the marina of Cabo San Lucas. Five fine girls in an exotic place like Cabo…yeh, we got some attention you can say. But jokes apart, this was my/our first girls-only trip out of the country and we truly devoured every moment of it. This was a much-needed getaway for me and I think, every woman…no matter if you are happy, are going thru tough time, or just need to escape from everything…can use this kind of trip at any phase of your life.

#Cabo in Cabo Marina, Mexico

#Cabo in Cabo Marina, Mexico

Located at the far southern tip of Baja California Sur and filled with natural landmarks around coastline, Cabo is a popular destination in Mexico. I’m not surprised that Cabo San Lucas became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 because of its outstanding cultural value and natural sites which deserve protection for the all humanity. Lots of first-timers and seasoned travelers come here to enjoy its year-round warm weather, adventurous outdoor, every possible water activity, scenic landmarks, and world-class dining/resort experiences. For young travelers, this is also known to be one of the top cities with wild night-life.

A beautiful sunset on Sea of Cortez in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

A beautiful sunset on Sea of Cortez in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Some tips for Cabo that I would like to give the future-travelers are: one, carry US Dollar if you can. No need to carry Mexican Pesos or convert your USD for any reason. They accept USD everywhere and most of the places will give you change in USD also. Credit card is accepted at almost every store and restaurant, except for taxis. But paying by cash may give you better deal on souvenirs or other shopping. Two, be very careful with your ATM card or credit cards. My bank card was swapped with someone intentionally when a man was “helping” me to cancel a bank transaction after I’ve withdrawn some money. Luckily, I noticed within a minute and called Bank of America to stop any transactions. Three, use an ATM machine inside a bank for better rate if you have to take cash out. Standalone ATM machines will charge you sky-rocketing fees to withdraw Pesos from there…avoid that if possible. Four, bargain whenever you are at a shop, unless it’s a fixed price place. They will rise up the price when they know you are a tourist. Whatever the price they ask, start from the half of it and meet at a point where you both will agree. Enjoy this fun process of haggling while in Mexico.

Other than the incident with my ATM card, we felt that Cabo, near downtown and marina, is very safe. We used to go for drinks or snacks and stroll around our resort after midnight and it was absolutely fine. The town doesn’t go to sleep until really late. Just don’t go off road or somewhere shady after dark and try to stay close to the touristy spots as much as you can.

The ride to Cabo San Lucas from the airport is about an hour drive and our private taxi, Easy Cabo Trip, charged $80 one way for five of us. Enjoy the scenic Sierra Mountain range on The Corridor, which is lined with golf courses, resorts, and hotels. We booked the cab ahead of time to avoid any hassle but eventually ended up waiting at the airport for few minutes. Thank God that the airport had free Wi-Fi and I could call the company thru Viber. When the driver arrived, he was extremely nice, friendly, and very helpful. We used the same company, Easy Cabo Trip, to return to airport on the last day and for our day-trip to La Paz and Todos Santos.

Time of Travel: We were in Cabo during the first week of December 2018. Weather is usually very pleasant here around this time of the year…not too hot and not cold at all. But our schedule did get a bit messed up because the sea was rough and bumpy one day and had to push back our boat ride to Land’s End and Sunset Dinner Cruise until the very last day of our stay in Cabo. But other than that, bring your sandals, sunscreens, hats, and cool shades to enjoy the weather to its fullest.

Our Hotel: We stayed in Marina Fiesta Resort and Spa right by the marina. It was a memorable experience with friendly staffs and homely atmosphere. Our rooms were spacious with balconies and huge bathrooms. The resort has 2 swimming pools with bars and all the nice accessories. The roof top hot-tubs are relaxing while you enjoy the view of whole town. We played UNO at night in the lobby once…it’s very spacious with different sections for concierge, hotel check-in, booking trips, a small bar, and lots more.

Fiesta Marina Resort & Spa - our home in Cabo, Mexico

Fiesta Marina Resort & Spa – our home in Cabo, Mexico

The best part of our resort was the location. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay in Cabo. Lots and lots of shops and restaurants stretch on both sides of the resorts, the boats and cruise docks are within walking distance, and downtown is only 10 minutes of walk from here. Some of the other tourist attractions were close by too; like Medano Beach is less than 10 minutes’ walk, most of the dance clubs/lounges are within few minutes along with some of the best rated eateries with the view of marina.

Eating & Shopping: Culinary options in Cabo is unlimited and mind-blowing. Street food as well as fine-dine places were superb all way. We couldn’t get enough of fresh ingredients in our dishes and never missed having a big side of guacamole at every meal. Some of my favorite food in Cabo would be (other than guacamole) any shrimp dishes, refried beans in little tostada bowls, tender steaks, Mexican style shrimp cocktail, and any kind of soup. Just be careful with the habanero sauce they give you with tortilla chips…they can be deadly. Also, don’t pass by opportunity to try fresh coconut water if you find a seller…they come in all flavors, but I like mine fresh and pure. Most of the restaurants usually have live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Following are all the places where we dined and had great food and would recommend to anyone.

Chilles Rellenos...my 1st lunch dish in Cabo, Mexico in Mango Cantina

Chiles Rellenos…my 1st lunch dish in Cabo, Mexico in Mango Cantina

1st day, we had lunch at Mango Cantina by the marina and very close to our resort, where I tried chiles rellenos which was shrimp stuffed pepper with bean and salad. For drink, I had to have fresh papaya juice and it was delish. Dinner was at a very well-known place, called Mi Casa, near historic San Lucas Church and the town square. This was a bit of walk from the resort (or $10 for cab) but was worth every penny and energy. There is a shop inside the restaurant that sells  “Day of the Dead” figures along with other pretty cool items. Mi Casa gained popularity not only because of providing old Mexican taste, but also for its artistic and quirky interior, beautiful decors, and nice ambiance. With lots of options from seafood to traditional Mexican dishes, everyone will find something they love. I had baked basa fillet wrapped in a banana leaf with sides of beans, and salads. If you are up for it, give a little tip to the mariachi band and listen to some local live music while having a meal.

A very popular restaurant Mi Casa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

A very popular restaurant Mi Casa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

2nd day, lunch was at Taco Loco in downtown where the popular bar Cabo Wabo is located. It’s kind of hidden inside a small walled square, but located on the main street of downtown. It was nice to sit outside while trying a Mexican sampler platter. For dinner, we stayed closer to the resort and went to Fisherman’s Landing right by the water. This was a beautiful outdoor place as well with nice views of tons of yachts floating on water at night. The fried jumbo shrimp dish I had was a bit too big and heavy for me. But the highlight of this place is that, if you order guacamole with tortilla chips for appetizer, they will make it right in front of you fresh and quick. For drink, I had virgin pina colada and my friend had freshly squeezed lemonade…both were great.

Our waiter making fresh guacamole for us in Fisherman's Landing in Cabo, Mexico

Our waiter making fresh guacamole for us in Fisherman’s Landing in Cabo, Mexico

3rd day was our day-trip to La Paz and Todos Santos where we had our meals. But on the 4th or last day we were in a bit of rush and had too many things to squeeze in one day. So, we ended up skipping the lunch in San Jose del Cabo and had long awaited dinner in the Sunset Cruise. But we did come out of resort at midnight to have some light stuff. We sat down at La Galeria by the marina. The best shrimp cocktail I ever tried was here and also the best churros. Shrimp cocktail in Mexico is not like the ones we get in The States. The shrimps don’t pathetically dangle from the side of your glass. They are actually mixed in with picco de gallo, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and herbs. Then you mix it with few sauces, depending on the flavor and heat you want and viola…it is mind-blowing. At the end, don’t forget to try hot fried churros with vanilla ice-cream. FYI, Mexican vanilla is way more flavorful and tasty.

Shrimp cocktail in La Galaria in Cabo, Mexico

Shrimp cocktail in La Galeria in Cabo, Mexico

Mexican souvenirs are colorful and fun to shop for. For souvenir hunters, stores in Cabo Marina or in downtown and its surroundings are some good areas. There is a mall near the marina where you can find almost anything. I personally bought Mexican hot-tamarind candies, t-shirts, key-rings, a gecko magnet, Mexican cigar, a hand-made Mexican doll, and Mexican organic ground coffee from Cabo San Lucas. “Day of the Dead” or Día de Muertos figures are almost everywhere and they come in all shapes and colors and sizes. Rugs or hammocks, variety kinds of hot sauces, and clay or wooden potteries are also very popular. The day we went to San Jose del Cabo, I bought couple jewelries made with mother of pearl and coral reef, a hand-painted wooden bowl, a home décor made with clay and metal, few wooden bookmarks, and more Mexican hot-tamarind candies. San Jose offers more of traditional Mexican specialty stores offering unique artwork, ceramics, or even furniture.

Colorful souvenirs of Los Cabos in Mexico

Colorful souvenirs of Los Cabos in Mexico

Again, when shopping here, be sure to bargain unless it’s a fixed price store. If you like something, check other places too and see who gives you a better price and quality.

Places We’ve Visited: We had about 2 ½ days to spend in Cabo and in its surrounding places. One day was left to take a tour to La Paz and Todos Santos (please check the right-side bar for the link). In those couple days, we were able to relax, stroll, shop, look around, and visit some of the must-sees of this town. We couldn’t make it to Chileno Beach and Divorce Beach as some suggested. We saw the 300 hundred years old San Lucas Church (Iglesia de San Lucas) from outside and by the time we got there, it was already closed. It is a historic church of this town and probably worth a visit.

Land's End and The Arch of Cabo in Mexico

Land’s End and The Arch of Cabo in Mexico

Most of these places are very close to each other or accessible by boat, taxi or private shuttle. We didn’t do any adventurous water or outdoor activities, but there are tons of those here if you have time and are up for them. Some of those are scuba diving, surfing, snorkeling, parasailing, wave running, kayaking, renting yachts, submarine ride, ATV ride, horseback ride, fishing, whale watching, touring glass factory, and lots more.

  1. Cabo Marina: We arrived Cabo late morning and by the time we checked-in at our resort, it was almost lunch time. We sat down to eat by the marina, only 2 minutes from the resort. After lunch, we went to our room, freshened up, and came back to marina while the sun was still out.

Taking a stroll in Cabo Marina, Mexico

Cabo Marina is one of the thriving spots for tourists and locals. Laced by glamorous stores and mouth-watering restaurants, this is one of the best places for shopping…though you may end up paying high prices. Strolling by the blue water of Sea of Cortez at any time was my most favorite activity here. If you are a sunset or sunrise lover, this place maybe a good spot to enjoy one too, if you can’t get to the beach on time.

Cabo Marina in the evening in Mexico

As I mentioned before, this is a pretty safe place to hang out, even after mid-night. With hundreds of tourists at every corner, this is a 24-hour party place in the heart of Cabo.

Cabo Marina after dark in Mexico

  1. Medano Beach: Medano is nice little beach very close to the marina. We started walking towards the beach in late afternoon and spent little more than half an hour before heading towards downtown. We came back here again on the last day to catch a boat to El Arco.

A late afternoon by the Medano Beach in Cabo, Mexico

  1. Downtown/City Center: Only 20 minutes’ walk from Medano Beach and few minutes from the marina, Downtown is the heart of Cabo and the entertainment hub of the town. This is where most of the well-known bars, and clubs are located. The streets of downtown are always very lively and vibrant with countless eye-catching places. You may find small complexes where boutique shops and classy restaurants hide away from the main chaos of downtown…these were definitely fun to explore.
Street art in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Street art in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

We came across world’s smallest bar while roaming around the downtown. Too bad we didn’t get any drink from there. Not sure, how true this claim is…but hey, if the sign says “World Smallest Bar”, then it is the world’s smallest bar. Oh while you are in downtown or near the marina, enjoy the street arts, take some photos, and appreciate the creativity.

World's Small Bar in Downtown Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

World’s Small Bar in Downtown Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

If you get a chance and see a vendor, try doing a fish pedicure. I had my first fish pedicure in Santorini, Greece and I was sort of craving for another tickling service done to my feet. It’s $15 for 15 minutes where you sink your feet in a tank with hundreds of fish. They will come rushing to your feet for yummy meal…quite an experience for any first-timer.

A small square we found while walking around Downtown Cabo in Mexico

A small square we found while walking around Downtown Cabo in Mexico

The nightlife of Cabo is one of the hottest in whole North America with glittering clubs and bars bursting with loud music. You can feel the energy on the streets too while passing by these places. Good part is that most of these clubs have no cover fees. So just go and enjoy the music, if it’s not your type of place…hop to the next one.

Loved those stores in Downtown Cabo, Mexico

Loved those stores in Downtown Cabo, Mexico

  1. Land’s End, Arch of Cabo (El Arco), and Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amante): We came to these places on our very last day in Cabo. The most iconic landmark of Cabo is the Arch of Cabo or El Arco. Sitting on clear turquoise water of Sea of Cortez against deep blue sky, this is probably the most photographed spot of this town.
Boat ride to El Arco in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Boat ride to El Arco in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

We bought the boat ticket to Lover’s Beach from a lady near the marina. It was $12 per person (it was $15…but we bargained) for a glass-bottom boat ride where you can look at the sea thru a glass bottom on the boat. I would highly recommend it to anyone, because we saw tons of colorful fish on both ways. On our way, the ride was about 45 minutes and they took us to show the Pelican Island, Sea-Lion Island, Land’s End and finally dropped off to Lover’s Beach.

Lover's Beach or Playa del Amor in Cabo, Mexico

Lover’s Beach or Playa del Amor in Cabo, Mexico

Land’s End is known for the exceptionally stunning views because of its gigantic clustered rock formations that were created from the rough wind and sea. This is the extreme southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

30 million years old rock formation of Lover's Beach in Cabo, Mexico

30 million years old rock formation of Lover’s Beach in Cabo, Mexico

Playa del Amor or Lover’s Beach is an iconic beach in Cabo San Lucas which is framed by 30 million years old granite rocks. This is a stunning but a bit dangerous spot because of its deadly rip current. So, be careful when you get dropped off here. Rip currents are strong here because this is where Sea of Cortez meets Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, not visiting this beach in Cabo will be like going to Paris and not visiting Eiffel Tower. But there are men at the beach who will take your belongings and help you get down from the boat and to the beach safely; just don’t jump on the water thinking it’s shallow. We spent about an hour at this beach before heading back to Cabo main town again. I got a bit too sick from the small boat ride on rough water to actually enjoy the beautiful rock formation, blue water, and the warm weather. And therefore, couldn’t go towards Divorce Beach at all.

  1. San Jose del Cabo: We kind of squeezed this trip to San Jose in between our morning trip to Land’s End and evening Sunset Cruise on Day 4. From Cabo San Lucas, it was about 40 minutes ride towards the airport on the scenic Corridor. So, we had no time for lunch at all, but it was all worth it. Each way to and from San Jose is $40 USD (or about 800 Pesos) if you take a cab. We were dropped off near the main square and spent barely couple hours roaming around this quiet town…or at least it was very quiet when we were there.
On our way to San Jose del Cabo on The Corridor in Cabo, Mexico

On our way to San Jose del Cabo on The Corridor in Cabo, Mexico

San Jose del Cabo is the older part of this region and a bit colonial style with its old buildings and few squares. There are few nearby small beaches to explore, but we didn’t have time to visit those in our short visit. San Jose del Cabo also has some modern and fancy resorts on the other side of the town for those who like to stay close to the airport.

A tiny and colorful square in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

A tiny and colorful square in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

We started with taking a very brief visit to Municipality Building or City Hall of San Jose, located in the main square. It was open and charged no fees. It’s a simple building with couple murals on walls. Cathedral of San Jose or Mission of San Jose del Cabo Anuiti is situated in the same square. Cathedral is also simple inside with elegant exterior. This mission was founded in April of 1730. But the present façade dates from the first years of 20th century.

Cathedral in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Cathedral in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

The square was very quiet without too many tourists or locals. We checked out few shops and bought some stuff before going back to the taxi who brought us here.

  1. Sunset Dinner Cruise: This is a very popular activity in Cabo and many companies offer tickets for this with various options. You can get buffet options, with or without on-board performances, bottomless drinks, and etc. We got our tickets with Caborey that same morning from the same lady who sold us boat ticket to Land’s End, near the marina. We chose dinner with show and live performances and it was $97 per person. The price included unlimited free drinks, dinner, and one of a kind live performance.
Our "Caborey" Sunset Cruise in Cabo, Mexico

Our “Caborey” Sunset Cruise in Cabo, Mexico

The whole cruise was about 2 ½ hours. The upper deck was to enjoy the surrounding water and landscapes and two lower decks for elegant dinner and show. This was a fantastic experience as long as you don’t get any sea-sickness. The boat started little before the sunset and so did live music. We stayed on the upper deck to experience an utterly breathtaking sunset over Gulf of California. The boat took us to the Arch of Cabo. With a velvety red and orange sky in the backdrop, the whole sea looked magical. We got to see the Lover’s Beach, the Arch, and Lands’ End all over again in different lights. Oh yes, if you are there with your partner/spouse…PLEASE, enjoy the sunset together, holding each other in your arms, because you’ll regret later big time if you miss that opportunity.

Live music on the deck of Caborey in Cabo, Mexico

Live music on the deck of Caborey in Cabo, Mexico

After sunset, it was dinner time. We chose combination platter and therefore, were served with sautéed shrimp and steak with mashed potato and salad. And a plate of dessert with hot beverage came afterwards.

Iconic El Arco or The Arch of Cabo from Sunset cruise in Cabo, Mexico

Iconic El Arco or The Arch of Cabo from Sunset cruise in Cabo, Mexico

The last portion of the cruise was the live traditional performance. It included high-energy Mexican folk dances and songs, drums, Argentinian Tango, Argentinian weight on rope show, and some more. This was the main attraction and all of us enjoyed every single show.

Traditional Mexican folk dance in Sunset cruise in Cabo, Mexico

Traditional Mexican folk dance in Sunset cruise in Cabo, Mexico

Winter Wonderland in Leavenworth, WA

Visiting Leavenworth in Washington was on our list for a while, especially around the Christmas/holiday time. This town brought back some sweet memories of small villages of Europe because of its charms and cozy setups.

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth is German village at the foothill of the Cascades. Its Bavarian style half-timbered colorful houses give this town an enchanting look. Shops and cafes along the road-sides and round the year activities attract thousands of visitors each year. Leavenworth is a popular getaway in Pacific Northwest because of magical Christmas lighting and other winter activities/sports.

Christmas lighting in Leavenworth, WA

If you are planning to stay in Leavenworth during summer break or winter holiday season, be sure to book your hotel ahead of time (way ahead maybe). We stayed in Ellensburg, WA, which was about an hour away from Leavenworth.

Artistic places of Leavenworth in Washington

Artistic places of Leavenworth in Washington

If you are planning to have either lunch or dinner in Downtown Leavenworth, try to make a reservation at a restaurant or cafe in at least couple hours before you are ready to eat. During lunch or dinner time, it gets pretty crazy with long lines, and waiting time in restaurants were at least 2 hours. We ended up having some pretzels and danishes at a bakery. Then made an early reservation at a Mongolian place, called Wok About Grill for dinner. But if time and energy allow, do try some Bavarian style food here, like schnitzel and brats and etc. One final tip about visiting Leavenworth in December is that, make sure to wear few layers of clothes with heavy jacket with other winter gears. It came down to 8 or 9 degree Fahrenheit when we were there.

Bavarian style houses in Leavenworth, WA

Bavarian style houses in Leavenworth, WA

We spent only few hours in the heart of Leavenworth to go around and to enjoy the Christmas lighting and festive atmosphere the town has to offer. I do plan to go back there during summer sometime soon. For now, these are the few places we’ve visited in Leavenworth.

  1. Downtown: This is the heart and soul of Leavenworth. Laced by lots of boutique stores and gourmet restaurants, downtown is the place where the stunning holiday lighting takes place every year. All the cafes and shops will catch your eyes with its decorations or names or their unique products. If you don’t want to be trapped by the crowd near the stores, enjoy the kids sledding on snow from a tiny hill near the gazebo or just sit down with a cup of hot chocolate to enjoy all the alpine beauties all around the city.

Christmas lighting in Downtown Leavenworth, WA

2. Nutcracker Museum: This is one of the coolest and fun museums we’ve been to. With more than 6,000 nut cracking devices, some dating back from the Roman time, this place will definitely make its guests excited.

The Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, WA

The Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, WA

The museum won’t take more an hour to visit and the ticket is only $5 per person. Watch the video before the tour to know more about the nutcrackers and its amazing history. Also, check out the souvenir shop before leaving which has some pre-owned and new nutcrackers from Germany and China. These nutcrackers come in different shapes, sizes, and colors…have fun choosing one for you or the loved ones.

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3. Waterfront Park: This is probably not very popular place to visit in December. We took a little walk along the Wenatchee River. It is probably one of the best kept secrets of this town.

Waterfront Park in Leavenworth, WA

Waterfront Park in Leavenworth, WA

Only few minutes from the main streets in downtown, this Waterfront Park is a quiet place with few trails and a bridge. I can imagine this place in summer time with incredible sceneries and fun outdoor activities.

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The Charm of Sharm…El Sheikh

There are few locations as steeped in history and romantic mysticism as Egypt. Most of us, as children have been enthralled by the tales of Egyptian mythology and thus, visiting the country as an adult, we tend to retain a sense of wide eyed mysticism when feasting our eyes on the wonders of this historically and culturally rich civilization. From the pyramids to the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt is steeped in exotic history that has captured the hearts and imaginations of Western visitors for generations. The beauty of Sharm El Shiekh is its ability to combine this sense of vivid and romantic history with peerless luxury so that one can explore or relax in this divine city while experiencing a vacation that is unique and full of character.

egypt

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Sun, sand and sea

If you want to take your sandals for an airing, you can hit one of Sharm El Sheikh’s many wonderful beach resorts and enjoy the uniquely arid beauty of the coastal regions.

Naama Bay is the epicenter of the region’s resort life, boasting ultra-luxurious hotels like the Sharm El Sheikh Marriott Resort and the Royal Savoy. Each offers a subtly different but undeniably luxurious stay from which you can begin your journey across the windswept sandy vistas.Naama Bay is famous for its expansive beach with its pedestrian only promenade ringed with profuse cafes and restaurants.

If, however, you’re looking for something more sedate and solitary, we recommend a trip to the Nabq Protectorate 20 km north of Sharm El Sheikh proper. Here you can spend a whole day without seeing another person, although you’ll find plenty of examples of the region’s exquisite wildlife. You’re likely to encounter gazelles and ibexes, and you can even explore the world’s most northerly mangrove forest which is also in the region.

Under the sea

For those with a restless sense of adventure, Sharm El Sheikh has a plethora of opportunities to scuba dive or snorkel among the region’s bountiful sea life. The Gardens Reef at the northern end of Naama Bay offers three different snorkelling and diving sites that can be accessed either off the shore or by boat. There’s a richly diverse palette of sea life to be found here to suit veteran divers and neophyte snorkelers.

Seasoned divers, however, will be drawn to the vivid coral of Thomas Reef where you can explore the spectacular underwater vistas amidst schools of fish.

Step back in time

A trip to Sharm El Sheikh isn’t complete without sampling some of the ancient wonders that give the city and its surrounding regions so much of their character. Take a coach trip to St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai, where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. The ancient site is home to a still functioning Greek Orthodox monastery and is home to the legendary “burning bush” of the old testament.

The bustling streets of the Sharm Old Market are also a must for those whose trip is not complete without some friendly haggling. Here you can shop, eat and drink in the unique atmosphere that one would not expect to be able to experience without a time machine.

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