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Archive for September, 2008

Guide To Basic Korean Etiquette

September 18th, 2008 by

South Korea is one the most-visited destinations in Asia. If and when you get to visit, it would be very helpful if you are familiar with basic Korean etiquette not only as a way for you to avoid awkward situations but for you to appreciate Korea’s culture more. It is reasonable to assume that Korea’s etiquette would come across as weird or strange to any foreign traveler but looking deeper into the underlying history and symbolisms of Korea’s customs and beliefs would definitely make you understand the “whys” and the “how comes.” Let us categorize etiquette to the following categories: General Etiquette, Business Etiquette and Dining Etiquette.

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Take A Tall Trip Atop Tokyo Tower

September 17th, 2008 by

Tokyo Tower - worm's eye viewIf Mount Fuji is the natural symbol of Japan, then Tokyo Tower may very well be its modern symbol. Seen in innumerable movies and anime, a view of the orange and white steel behemoth through a window means the setting is invariably in the Japanese capital. Indeed, a good view from any Tokyo hotel would include the tower resting splendidly high above the buildings.

Tokyo Tower at a distance

Tokyo Tower was conceptualized in the 1950’s during Japan’s post-war economic boom. Easily inspired by Paris’s own Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower was built at the cost of Â¥2.8 billion and weighs 4000 tons, making it the tallest self-supporting iron structure in the world. It is painted orange and white to fulfill a requirement from the Civil Aviation Board, an easily seen color combination for aircrafts. The tower serves as a transmitting antenna for major networks, as well as a major tourist attraction.

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Guide To Basic Chinese Etiquette

September 16th, 2008 by

Flag Of ChinaIn order to make your trip to China more enjoyable and hassle-free, it is helpful to have some sort of knowledge of general Chinese etiquette. Li, the Chinese word for etiquette, used to mean “to sacrifice” because following strict guidelines and codes of conduct of the Chinese is not easy and entails a lot of patience and sacrifice.

Chinese customs would come across as very unusual to visitors, most especially to Western visitors, that sometimes the behavior of the Chinese are misunderstood as rudeness. This is why it is important to understand and learn basic Chinese etiquette so as not to offend anyone and to avoid any embarrassing situations. Plus, your efforts will be greatly appreciated if you try your best to fit in and respect Chinese customs.

Etiquette can be considered in different categories namely General Etiquette, Business Etiquette and Dining Etiquette.

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More Of The Best Beaches In Asia

September 15th, 2008 by

Footprints On A White Sand BeachTruth be told, by the time you read about Asia’s best beaches in this blog, a lot of people have already found out about it and are undesirably clogging up the resorts. The trick to finding a relatively pristine spot of coastline is to cozy up to one of the locals and ask them where the best beaches are in their locale. And more often than not, these beach experts can be found hanging out in these more popular places, taking a break from all that perfect seclusion.

Here are more of the best beaches in Asia.

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An Affordable Trip To Tokyo

September 13th, 2008 by

Many foreign visitors mistakenly believe that it is very expensive in Tokyo but this is not entirely true. Like many popular tourist spots, Tokyo can be an expensive place to visit if you don’t plan ahead. There is a wide variety of budget accommodation options, transportation passes and sightseeing discounts, which help to make Tokyo an affordable destination for even the most budget conscious traveler. It is worthwhile to take the time and decide which options will best suit your stay and your budget.


The Bullet Train

Public transportation is available in both cities and suburbs. Visitors who expect to change trains many times per day should purchase a one-day ticket or other discount tickets. Discount passes prices often only cost about 500-1500 yen. These discount passes are typically valid within a year from the date of purchase, so if you’re going to be staying in Japan for a few days it’s better to buy not just one ticket. With the Japan Rail Pass, foreign visitors to Japan can enjoy discounted travel on nearly all services of the extensive JR Transportation Network, including the Shinkansen or the bullet train. There are also numerous other rail passes, which also offer discounts on rail travel in Japan. Long distance buses and local train services are other low-cost transport options.

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Gastronomic Adventures In Hong Kong Part 2

September 12th, 2008 by

In the first part of my article, I mentioned about the different Chinese cuisines in Hong Kong like Cantonese, Chiu Chow, Hakka, Hunan, and Peking. But these are no the only Chinese cuisines that can tickle your palate in Hong Kong.

Shanghai Hairy Crab

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The World Of Osamu Tezuka

September 10th, 2008 by

The Phoenix Outside the Osamu Tezuka museumEverybody has seen, or at least heard of Astroboy; with his large eyes, characteristic hair, rocket boosters on his legs, a cannon on his arm and the machine gun from his rear. This character is the brainchild of one Osamu Tezuka, also known as the “God of Manga“. Astroboy is just one of the beloved and well-known characters to come to life from Osamu Tezuka’s pen in the span of his career as a manga-ka (comic artist). He was known to have invented the “large eyes” style of Japanese animation. He based it on cartoons of the time such as Max Fleischer’s Betty Boop and Walt Disney’s Bambi and Mickey Mouse. As an indication of his productivity, the Complete Manga Works of Osamu Tezuka comprises some 400 volumes, over 80,000 pages; even so, it is not complete. His complete works includes over 700 manga with more than 150,000 pages but most of his work was never translated in English. With a manga-ka of this caliber and greatness, it’s only natural to pay homage.

Welcome to the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum of Japan!

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Gastronomic Adventures In Hong Kong Part 1

September 9th, 2008 by

In a previous article, I shared how Hong Kong occupies a special place in my heart and in my stomach! With all the abundant mouth-watering dim sum selections that you can sample and enjoy in Hong Kong, this place has every right to be referred to as dim sum heaven.

Steamed FishBut aside from dim sum restaurants, there are literally thousands of other places in Hong Kong where you can dine and satisfy all your food cravings. You can choose from open-air street stalls, also called dai pai dong, to high-end foreign dining areas. Hong Kong is truly a melting pot of so many types of cuisines given that all the world’s finest cuisines are available here. You can sample French dishes, Italian pastas, traditional Japanese cuisine, spicy and hot Thai variants and, of course, Chinese cuisine. Plus, when it comes to Chinese cuisine, you are not only limited to the typical bowl or steamed rice or stir-fried noodles. Anyone in Hong Kong can try dishes that are known in China’s major regions like Peking Duck or a Cantonese, which is a crowd favourite.

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The Silver Streets Of Ginza

September 8th, 2008 by

Ginza TheatersGinza means ‘silver mint’, and this upmarket part of Tokyo was once a bustling center of the silver trade way back during the Edo period. When a huge fire destroyed its wooden establishments back in the 18th century, Ginza became one of the first areas of Japan to embrace the European style of architecture. Today, this 8-block neighborhood might as well be paved with silver, as a square meter of land can cost up to USD 100,000, making Ginza one of the most expensive real estates in the world. All the elite brands have boutiques here, from Louis Vuitton to Gucci, as well as upscale restaurants, cafés, movie theaters, and department stores.

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Experience A Pleasant Onsen Bath

September 6th, 2008 by

Indoor BathMany of Japan’s mountains are active volcanoes. Even the famous Mt. Fuji had been active as a volcano until the Modern Age. Where there are active volcanoes there are also hot springs and they can be found all over the country. Since ancient times, the Japanese people have been very fond of these hot springs, which have become a part of the Japanese lifestyle.

Onsen is a term for hot spring used by the Japanese people, though the term is usually used to describe the bathing facilities and inns around the hot springs. They were traditionally used as public bathing places and today play a central role in directing Japanese domestic tourism drawing Japanese couples, families or company groups  and foreigners alike who want to get away from the hectic life of the city to just lay back and relax. Onsen come in many shapes and forms, including outdoor and indoor baths, which may be public run by a municipality or private run often as part of a hotel in Japan or a ryokan (a bed and breakfast).

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An Exotic Experience

exotic plantsSample rural bliss in one of the most beautiful lakes in Southeast Asia. Myanmar’s Inle Lake is lush, pristine with its charming paddy fields and floating villages. Bellhop Picks Read more about other attractions in our Myanmar guide. See what fellow travellers have to say in the Myanmar tales section.
  • Polls

    Top 5 Romantic Spots in Asia

    • Palawan, Philippines (39%, 182 Votes)
    • Boracay, Philippines (36%, 168 Votes)
    • Bali, Indonesia (31%, 143 Votes)
    • Agra, India (18%, 84 Votes)
    • Batangas, Philippines (17%, 79 Votes)
    • Male, Maldives (16%, 77 Votes)
    • Jeju Island, South Korea (16%, 75 Votes)
    • Sentosa Island, Singapore (15%, 72 Votes)
    • Krabi, Thailand (13%, 60 Votes)
    • Macau, China (10%, 49 Votes)
    • Halong Bay, Vietnam (7%, 34 Votes)

    Total Voters: 467

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