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Our CEO David Steward recently visited China on a 14-day adventure, journeying for the most part with Gate1 Travel to hotspots like Shanghai, the Yangtze River, Xi’an, and Beijing. While there, the tourism board of Suzhou — a canal city west of Shanghai — graciously took Shermans on a whirlwind tour of the city’s best spots. Join us:
In the U.S., December 31 is a big deal. At midnight, right when it’s turning January 1, a giant ball drops, we scream, spill some champagne, and make future promises we can’t keep. But for billions — yes, billions! — of people around the world, it’s March 21 or September 11 or February 20 that marks the beginning of a new year, new promises, and revelry. We, users of the Gregorian calendar, might not notice the lunar, Hebrew, or even Tibetan losar cycles. Just in case you want to redo your New Year celebration — or come up with a more realistic resolution — here are some dates to keep in mind.
By Greg Keraghosian for Yahoo! Travel
Images courtesy: Atlas of True Names
Fans of Ron Burgundy and Anchorman can rejoice at the knowledge of what San Diego’s name really means: St. Heelholder.
That is, according to the Atlas of True Names, created by cartographers Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust. Part science and part entertainment, their map displays the cities, countries, oceans, and mountain ranges in their original, etymological names. So, if you live in Missouri, you actually live in the Land of the People with Dugout Canoes.
The Veronica Corningstones of the world may call foul at some of these names, which don’t take into account literal translations. San Diego does mean Saint Diego, but the authors took things a few steps further and converted Diego into the original name James, which converts to the Biblical name Jacob. And in the Bible, Jacob was born holding his twin brother Esau’s heel.
New York. Paris. London. Those are some of the big cities that travelers hoping for some cultural enrichment flock to. But what if you’ve had your fill of The Metropolitan Museum of Art or have grown tired of The Louvre? Here, four cities that might surprise you with its delightfully unexpected art and culture scene.
Airport terminals around the globe are stepping things up a notch with high-tech designs, indoor art museums, and speedier ways through passport control. Here are seven new(ish) airport terminals we love flying in and out of:
If you’re traveling internationally or even just across the country, chances are you’ll have a layover somewhere during your journey. Rather than waiting for hours inside the airport, why not take advantage of your location and head into the city? You’ve already paid to get there, after all. Whether you’ve landed in Honolulu or London, Beijing or Reykjavík, these cities are easy to visit from the airport, even if you just have a few hours.
Summer’s winding down, and as we approach the “hunker-down” days of autumn and winter, what better activity to amuse the armchair traveler than binge-watching Netflix shows? Rather than re-watching Breaking Bad for a fourth time, satisfy your travel cravings with our list of some of the best travel programs currently airing on Netflix (and don’t forget about our other favorites that are also available for streaming!).
We all know cities share common names — there’s a Paris in Texas and a Rome in Georgia, just to name two. But who would have thought that some cities would go as far as to share landmarks? Las Vegas is an obvious example, but other lesser known ones include the miniature Eiffel Tower in the Lone Star State, complete with a ten-gallon hat, and a 15-year-old Statue of liberty in Tokyo. Indeed, literally hundreds of cities worldwide replicate popular tourist attractions, both satisfying their own citizens wanderlust and increasing visitors’ chances of crossing various famed sights off their lists. Here are just some of our favorite replicas.
By Reggie Nadelson for Yahoo! Travel
The secret’s out: many of us break the rules on our vacations — and we have a lot of fun doing it.
OK, fess up. I know you’ve been a dedicated traveler. Determined, you have moved from country to country, seeing the best there is: the baroque beauties of Munich, China’s stone warriors, the Alhambra of Granada. You have tasted fried flies in Southeast Asia and fallen asleep from too much of that heavy borscht in Russia. You’ve scrupulously followed the advice of all the travel guides; you’ve done all the “must do’s,” seen all the “must sees,” and eaten all the “must eats.” As far as traveling goes, you’ve followed all the rules.
But what about [whisper] … the time you ate the cheeseburger in Copenhagen instead of sampling the latest gourmet capital’s broiled bees, or essence of oak, whatever that is? Or when you spent a weekend in Paris not examining Notre Dame’s stained glass but on the back of that handsome young Parisian’s motorbike? Or take my pal, who went to Rio with a girlfriend. Instead of seeing the sights, they spent a week holed up in a great hotel ordering caipirinhas, the fabulous Brazilian cocktails, from room service and listening to bossa nova and … well, I’ll have to draw the curtain here. But they are married now and he makes a fabulous caipirinha.
Blame it on Rio or Blame it on the Alcohol — one couple decided they’d rather look at caipirinhas than Rio’s attractions (Photo: adrivdm/Flickr)
Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, and many others countries speak the English language. But sometimes talking with the locals there can feel as foreign to U.S. travelers as communicating with those in, say, Thailand. To help clear these up, here are a few words that our stateside readers are all familiar with — but that mean something completely different in other English-speaking places around the world.
Relaxation takes form in all shapes and sizes. To some, an afternoon coffee with a pastry eases away the tension better than a full-body massage. To others, being pricked in the back with dozens of needles does the trick. From skin-eating fish to dives into icy lakes, here are some of the varied techniques you can seek out on your next travels.
Japan: Sake Bath
First practiced by Japanese geishas to decrease the appearance of age and skin spots, thousands of Japanese men and women continue to experience the healing effects of the rice wine’s kojic acids, which smooth and hydrate the skin. Sake also contains a healthy mix of ginger and pine extracts that’s proven to relax muscles (or is that just the alcohol talking?) and help breathing. Japan’s Yunessun Spa Resort, 50 miles southwest of Tokyo, invites guests to soak in their giant pool of sake — or try their red wine, coffee, or green tea baths — for an all-inclusive entry fee of ¥2,800 ($28).
Flight: booked. Hotel: reserved. Language podcasts: Completed. What else do you need to prepare before jetting off on vacation?
Most of us would probably never think that feeding pigeons in parts of Venice could get us fined as much as our plane tickets there cost. Likewise, while we always leave a substantial tip after dining at a restaurant in North America, the practice is a foreign concept to many international visitors. Needless to say, very diverse cultural customs abound around the world. Here are a few quirky ones that we love and think are useful to know for preventing cultural mishaps abroad.
Thirty years ago, we wondered if today’s world would have flying cars, hover boards, and a sports almanac that would change the sports-betting industry forever — at least that’s what “Back to the Future” told us. While those things haven’t exactly come to fruition, it seems like the only thing limiting the travel of the future is our collective imagination. Here’s a taste of what travel could look like in the not-so-distant future:
Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong are without a doubt the centers of modern Chinese culture and the focal points around which most travelers will plan their trips to the Middle Kingdom. But these mega-cities represent only one view of the country; for a more balanced look at the whole of China, consider venturing out into the rural areas as well. Luckily, there are great options for nature and hiking within just a few hours of each of the major cities. Shake up your next trip to China by embarking on one of these hikes:
Barcelona has its Sagrada Familia. Sydney has its white-hooded Opera House. And other places? Well, they’ve got steps – lots and lots of them. As the examples illustrate below, epic staircases aren’t just a way to reach higher ground. They can be major attractions unto themselves. From the fabled Ha’iku Ladder in Hawaii, to Norway’s never-ending Flørli Steps, these jaw-dropping ascents aren’t for the faint of heart. But once you get to the top, we think you’ll agree the views more than make up for the effort. Read more
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