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You may have heard about the political storm brewing over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the South China Sea. China has recently declared the airspace above these islands as part of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), meaning that they effectively control the airspace over this Japanese territory. If you’re planning a trip to China, you’re probably wondering what this means for your flight, which will likely pass through the disputed air space. The good news, if you are flying on a U.S. carrier at least, is not much. Read more
Planning a trip to China’s gambling capital? With private, walled-in gardens, public beaches, and historic sites that reference the city’s strong Portugese influence, you’ll have plenty to do, whether you’re hitting the slots or not. The best part: We’re featuring a great deal this week that includes this destination, and saves more than $1000. Not bad. Now, what should you pack for your trip?
With its various reds, yellows, and greens, the oft-photographed Zhangye Danxia landform is known as the eye candy of Zhangye, China. This national geopark is filled with colorful hills and rock formations that look like an artist swept a rosy paint brush across the land. The multi-colored landscape was formed out of reddish sandstone that has eroded over 24 million years into the various mountains surrounded by curved cliffs and unusual rock formations that we see today. Read more
As convenient as airlines can be, the act of flying often sucks the joy out of getting there, wherever ‘there’ might be. After enduring the endless security lines, the tedious boarding process, and the subpar airplane food, we arrive at our destination cranky, tired, and often a little disoriented. Not so with train travel. Assuming you have the luxury of time, trains can be one of the most enjoyable ways to explore a new country, with their slower pace and more civilized atmosphere.
More and more travelers are now rediscovering the magic of trains, and luckily, supply is meeting demand. Countries are investing in their rail networks as a viable source of tourism revenue, and promoting off-the-beaten-path destinations as stop-offs along the way. Want to wander through Vienna en route to Stockholm? Or spend two weeks visiting natural wonders in western USA? These new train routes could be worth looking into.
Since 1911, intrepid passengers have cruised inland along the Noyo River aboard the California Western Railroad, a 40-mile route between Fort Bragg, CA and Willits, CA. The rail service was originally created to ferry timber to and from the Pacific Coast, and indeed the route itself winds through stunning redwood forests in the Noyo River Canyon. These days, the ‘Skunk Train,’ as it’s commonly known (thanks to a pungent odor emitted by the old trains’ exhaust gases), is one of the state’s most popular train routes, despite its brevity. A tunnel collapse earlier this year forced a temporary closure, but as of this month, the one-of-a-kind historic rail service is open to passengers once more. Choose from a Saturday evening “Sunset BBQ Excursion,” ($70) which involves a stop-off in Northspur Station, or a simple 4-hour trek between Fort Bragg and Willits ($49). Read more
If you travel to Asia with Air China, you may find yourself with a few hours’ layover time in Beijing. It used to be that strict visa requirements would make it tricky for passengers in transit to leave the airport; but that changed when, earlier this year, a new policy allowing citizens of 45 countries, including the U.S., up to 72 hours of visa-free transit was enacted.
Even if you can’t stretch your layover to the full, allowable 72 hours, we have suggestions for what you can do in a much shorter time. Read more
Anthony Bourdain says that experiencing a country through its food is one of the best ways to get to its core. For us, it’s not only about how food tastes, but also where it comes from and how it’s made. We’ve picked a few of our favorite tours that will immerse you in the taste and culture of distinct regions around the world.
1. Villa Romana: Authentic Amalfi Coast, Italy, International Kitchen, (From $2100/person)
Italy’s Amalfi Coast is the stuff of dreams and travel bucket lists. Arrive in the scenic seaside town of Minori and jump into the laidback, food-obsessed culture with this tour. Stay six nights at the Hotel Villa Romana, named after the ancient ruins nearby, and participate in four cooking lessons. When you’re not in the kitchen, guides take you to visit a local fishmonger, watch mozzarella-making demonstrations, and see how limoncello is produced. Read more
Today, I learned about this incredible dining experience, and as a wanna-be-foodie, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. First thing I thought was: Leave it to Las Vegas to take something as simple as dinner and make it into a life-threatening, heart-dropping, stomach-churning experience. Enter: Dinner in the Sky. I poked around a little more into the phenomenon, and found that Sin City isn’t such an innovator, after all! The newest addition to Sin City’s roster of unique consumer experiences has actually debuted in a number of other cities and 40 countries around the world! This news sparked my curiosity: What are some of the other crazy dining experiences that I’ve never heard of? Here’s what I uncovered! Read more
Located about 15.5 miles north of Lijiang city, the Baishui’s riverbed is composed of white marble and limestone. The clear water is crisp and unpolluted, which is why Baishui River is also called “White Water River.” Slate gray mountains and green foliage in the spring and summer make the Baishui River not only one of China’s most scenic destinations, but also its most relaxing. Read more
If you’re the type to travel for golf (or just golf while you travel), check out our top ten list of the best golf resorts around the world. Get ready to tee off in some seriously amazing destinations.
1. PGA National Resort and Spa Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
It’s the stuff of legends. Home to the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic, the PGA National Resort and Spa is steeped in golf history. Boasting signature courses like “The Palmer” and “The Squire” (designed and named after Arnold Palmer and Gene Sarazen, respectively), an on-site Golf Academy offering lessons from certified PGA pros, and a newly renovated golf complex, it’s easy to see why this resort is a favorite among golf buffs. Treat dad to the Gold Golf Package, which includes resort accommodation, daily breakfast at the Palm Terrace restaurant, one round of golf daily on selected courses, and unlimited balls and bag storage. Room rates start from $129 per room per night. Read more
If you’re like me and had no clue there were even deserts in China, then you’re probably even more surprised at seeing this amazing oasis! The striking juxtaposition of a lake, lush greenery, and Asian architecture in the middle of a desert makes this scene so incredible. Read more
It’s hard to dream up a place like the floating Hallelujah Mountains from Avatar. Luckily, the producers and directors didn’t have to look too far afield, just to China’s Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The stone peaks covered in vegetation tower high into the air – some are over 3,000 feet tall. Located in the northern part of the southeastern Hunan Province of China, the mountains are quite strikingly covered in dense vegetation due to the moist weather year-round. Read more
Jiuzhai Valley National Park, or locally known as Jiuzhaigou (Chinese for “Nine Village Valley” because there are nine Tibetan villages scattered throughout the park), is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. Sure, that’s a lofty phrase, what with the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, but it’s true (and we have the photos to prove it). With over 220 species of birds, countless endangered plants and animals (like the giant panda!), the national park has plenty to see other than just the landscape. Read more
We’ve all been through our fair share of airports. Generally, I’m either running through them or waiting impatiently for my zone on my next flight to be called. But, according to CheapFlight.com‘s recent list, we should be taking a few extra moments to step back and enjoy our airport’s offerings. Read on to find out the awesome services right around the corner from your gate and read our list of top 10 airports for shopping! Read more
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