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Archive for September, 2009

Safe Travel in Cambodia

September 30th, 2009 by

Every country has its quirks. Some are safer than others, either due to levels of traditional crime or because of political unrest.

Picture 253

Before traveling to any country you should take a bit of time to do a little bit of research regarding safety, crime, and health. With that in mind, here are some things you should keep in mind as you travel throughout Cambodia. Read the rest of this entry »

Jailhouse Rock: Cebu’s Dancing Prisoners

September 28th, 2009 by

Time Magazine named it the 5th most popular viral video of all time. More than 23 million Youtube viewers witnessed hundreds of murderers, rapists and drug addicts in orange jumpsuits shift, twirl, and dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, a revisit to the famous group choreography in the music video. They have been featured in the local version of Big Brother as they danced with the housemates, These are the Cebu Dancing Prisoners.

Cebu prisoners

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Three Countries In Ten Days: Wat Mahathat of Ayutthaya

September 25th, 2009 by

We cannot believe that we already visited a lot of interesting sights in Ayutthaya. This olden city truly has a lot to offer any curious traveler. My partner and I were really thankful that we went out of our way to book the two hour trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok.

Welcome to Wat Mahathat

Without wasting any more precious time, we left Wat Yai Chai Mongkhol and headed to another famous temple called the Wat Mahathat. The Wat Mahathat was an imperial monastery that served as the headquarters of the Sangaraja or the head of the Buddhist monks belonging to the Kamavasi Sect. This started when Mahathera Thammakanlayan was in power. It should be noted also that the extraordinary Buddha image set on a throne that was made of green stone was sheltered at the Wat Mahathat. It was during the reign of King Rama III in the Rattanakosin Period when this Buddha image was moved and transferred to Wat Naphrameru.

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9 of Nepal’s Best Museums

September 23rd, 2009 by

Nepal’s countryside is breathtaking, its people astounding, and its culture incredible.

Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal

There are, of course, a few museums throughout that you should seriously consider visiting if you want to truly understand the country’s rocky history. Consider the following: Read the rest of this entry »

Must-visit Zoos In China

September 21st, 2009 by

There is a long history of zoos in China, starting in the second century BCE, when the Chinese Empress Tanki had a “house of deer” built, while King Wen of Zhou kept a 1,500-acre zoo called Ling-Yu, or the Garden of Intelligence. Today, Chinese zoos offer a modern approach to animal caretaking while keeping classic aesthetics intact to landscape architecture and habitat design. The 5 zoos below are considered the best in the country, places where families can enjoy the company of indigenous wildlife, both endangered and prospering, as they live protected near the city centers.

Beijing Zoo

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Three Countries In Ten Days: Wat Yai Chai Mongkol Of Ayutthaya

September 18th, 2009 by

Our day trip to the olden city of Ayutthaya had been quite fruitful so far.  We already got to visit the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and marveled at the expansive and serene palace grounds.  From here, we proceeded to the Wat Phanachoeng Worawihan to see the big Buddha image.  We even got to witness some of the interesting and extraordinary rituals of the locals.  After we had our fill of all the attractions that we could possibly appreciate within the temple grounds, we left for the third stop in our itinerary. We asked our taxi driver, Phan, as to where we were heading next.  He said that we were in for a good treat.  The next temple in the list was the Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, one of the oldest temples in Ayutthaya.

Welcome to Wat Yai Chai Mongkol

The Wat Yai Chai Mongkol is located at the Southeast side of the city of Ayutthaya.  According to history books and information materials that we received on site, the monastery was built in 1357 A. D. by King U-thong for the use of the monks who came back from Ceylon after a rigorous and intensive study under Phra Vanarat Maha Thera.   These monks were collectively known as the Pa Kaeo Sect.  This was why the monastery’s original name was Wat Pa Kaeo.  The sect that stayed in the monastery was appointed a head and was named The Patriarch on the Right Hand Side by the King.  Given that The Patriarch stayed at the monastery, it was also named Wat Chao Phya Thai which translated to The Temple of the Supreme Patriarch.

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A Visitor’s Guide to the Island of Boracay

September 16th, 2009 by

Nestled in the Alkan Province of the Philippines you’ll find the tropical island of Boracay. The island is incredibly popular amongst tourists because of its white sand beaches, shells, romance, and seclusion. Littered with restaurants, shops, gardens, and attractions, you’ll find the island entertaining and intriguing – and you’ll be searching for a reason to stay longer.

When to Visit Boracay

White Beach Boracay, one of the worlds Top 10 beaches

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The Divinely Dangerous Mountain Trail Of Huashan

September 14th, 2009 by

There is a difference between mountain climbing and mountain hiking. Mountain climbing requires specialized equipment and experienced climbers who are aware of the risks involved. On the other hand, mountain hiking is a more casual affair and aimed at amateurs outdoorsmen. The trail at Huashan, a mountain in China’s Shaanxi Province, blurs the line between the two activities, subjecting hikers to a perilous ordeal with minimal gear and little support.

Changkong Zhandao

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Three Countries In Ten Days: Wat Phananchoeng Worawihan Of Ayutthaya

September 11th, 2009 by

There were a multitude of attractions to digest in just one sitting at the Bang Pa In Summer Palace.  The Thai kingdom obviously knew how to properly preserve their country’s royal properties.  Even if we have not fully explored the entire grounds of the summer palace, we had no choice but leave for our next stop as we only had one day to explore Ayutthaya.

Welcome to Wat Phananchoeng Worawihan

From the Bang Pa-In Summer Place, we travelled for less than an hour to reach the Wat Phananchoeng Worawihan.   We were greeted by a disheartening site when we reached the second stop in our itinerary.  There were a lot of buses at the parking lot and there was a long queue of eager visitors at the entrance.  We asked the locals and inquired if there was an excursion and we were informed that a huge group of students arrived to learn more about the giant Buddha image and take part in several cultural traditions.  We were left with no choice but to simply fall in line.  Fortunately, we were ushered to a shorter line that was intended for tourists.  In less than ten minutes, we found ourselves within the temple grounds and about to enter the hall of the giant Buddha image.

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Funeral Traditions in China

September 9th, 2009 by

As sad as it sounds to discuss, funeral customs really do vary significantly from country to country. If you should ever find yourself in a position where you must attend a Chinese funeral it will be helpful to understand exactly what the traditions entail as the customs are much different than those found in the west or even in surrounding European countries.

Customs and Traditions before Death

"Shou Yi" (Funeral clothes)

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AsiaHotels.com Travel Blog is your central source of news bits, amusing experiences, funny observations, and helpful tips and guides to travelling around Asia. For easier browsing, check the Categories section for topics you are interested in. Every month, we also highlight an Asian destination with quick links to the travel guide and best hotels in […]

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  • 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)

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