Category Archives: Lists

Doing Little Corn Island in style

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While Little Corn Island is the very definition of an off-the-beaten-track destination, recent developments have made it possible to experience this secret Caribbean island with a reasonable degree of luxury. Word has gotten out about this place, but it is still relatively unspoiled: as such, the time to experience this place is now.

With so much Little Corn Island land for sale, it’s not hard to look five years down the road and imagine this place being less idyllic and serene than it is right now. With that in mind, check out our guide below so that you can do Little Corn Island in style before it is too late…

STAY: Yemaya Resort

Located on the east coast of Little Corn Island, Yemaya Resort is a luxury lodge that blends seamlessly into the surrounding environment with its ecologically sensitive design.

The focus on luxury begins at Managua’s international airport, with priority boarding on your La Costena flight to Big Corn Island. It continues with a private boat transfer from the public wharf to Yemaya Resort.

Rooms contain comfortable king-size beds, a sizable bathroom with an indoor garden, and 24 hour power that is supplied by solar panels.

Equipped with a yoga studio, a bar and restaurant, and one of the most beautiful beaches on the island,  it is a place that you will have a hard time leaving at the end of your stay.

EAT: Cafe Desideri

On days when you find yourself in the main village, eat lunch or dinner (or both) at Cafe Desideri. Specializing in Italian food, you’ll be surprised at the quality that you will find at such a humble looking establishment.

From serving up the best coffee on the island, to making good use of the fresh seafood catches that come ashore every day, you’ll be blown away by your experience here.

In the evenings, there is often live music to accompany your meal …  just be sure that you have headlamps or transport arranged to get back to Yemaya if you are staying here past sunset.

DO: Go SCUBA diving

Think that the only thing to do on Little Corn Island is to admire its scenery while you lay back in your own personal sun lounger? That’s not at all the case, as SCUBA diving and snorklers have many spectacular reefs to explore all around the island.

Sea turtles, dolphins, and the occasional hammerhead shark will be your companions as you make your way between colorful coral formations.

The underwater world that can be found around Little Corn Island will amaze you just as much as what can be found on dry land.

Going on a Hong Kong food safari: don’t miss these dishes

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photo by CC user Morsesp3  on wikimedia

Heading to Asia’s answer to New York City anytime soon? Those that adore the food of this region owe it to themselves to go on a Hong Kong food safari. If you decide to search for the best dishes that this place has to offer on its sidewalks and in its alleys, be sure to hunt the following treats down…

1) Stinky Tofu

Out of all the foods available on the streets of Hong Kong, this pungent staple gets the most attention due to its uncompromising name. While you might be tempted to skip this smelly treat, take one for the team and buy it just once. It tastes way better than it smells, and actually going through with seeking it out and consuming it will earn much respect from native Hong Kongers.

2) Cha Siu Bao

Those looking for something far more appealing will want to snack on Cha Siu Bao, which is a pastry that is the stuff of dreams for many locals and visitors alike.

A steamed bun filled with pork tenderloin that has been slow roasted in a sweet sauce, it is a universal favorite in dim sum restaurants on this island territory, so be sure to show up early before they run out!

3) Yuk Song Bao

Another savory pastry that you should have on your radar when wandering the streets of Hong Kong is Yuk Song Bao, or the pork floss bun. A roll that is coated with extremely fine shredded pork that has been soaked in a mayonnaise batter, it is an excellent protein-filled way to begin your morning before heading out to explore this massive metropolis.

4) Ngau Lam Tong

While Hong Kong tends to be a warm place, it can get a little bit chilly during the winter months. On days where the weather is less than inviting, or if you are looking for a meal that is lighter than other available options, Ngau Lam Tong is a lovely choice that will have you going back for seconds.

A beef brisket stew that is jam packed full of seasonings and spices, the flavor filled spoonfuls you’ll enjoy will bear witness to the many hours of painstaking preparation it takes to bring a pot of this hotly sought out soup to completion.

5) Gai Daan Jai

Looking for a dessert to finish off your day in Hong Kong? Gai Daan Jai, or the egg waffle will tantalize your taste buds with a sweetness that strikes the right balance between being too bland and overdoing it.

So named for the shape they take on after sizzling in one of many street side grills located citywide, you too will find yourself impatiently waiting in line with locals for a serving that will bring your day to a successful close.

Knockout national parks near American cities

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photo by CC user Tiner Ralph, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (image in public domain)

As much as America’s best urban environments offer, sometimes the call of nature is too alluring to resist. When you seek to answer its call, do so in some of the best national parks near American cities…

1) San Francisco: Yosemite National Park

Renowned worldwide for its spectacular granite massifs (like El Capitan and Half Dome), waterfalls, and massive sequoia trees, a trip to Yosemite National Park has long been a way for many from the Bay Area and across America to cast off the stress of the city in order to reconnect with nature on their holiday time.

Gawk at the power of Yosemite Falls, scale Half Dome via the assistance of via ferrata cables, and do some day hikes that will get you away from the tour bus crowds and deep into this park’s amazing nature … any of them will get you hooked on seeing more of America’s natural heritage.

2) Denver: Rocky Mountain National Park

Within sight of Denver’s downtown core are the Rockies, which is arguably America’s most famous mountain chain. While any place west of the city will put in their midst, the best place to experience their nature in a protected state is within the appropriately named Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Continent Divide passes through the centre of this park, which makes for a drier eastern section, and a moister and more lush western section. Those that are into mountaineering, rock climbing and wildlife spotting will be at home here, while those wishing to drive the highest paved road in America will find it along the Trail Ridge Road, which peaks at 12,000 feet above sea level.

3) Miami: Everglades National Park

Fixing to leave the socially competitive scene of Miami behind for a weekend of exploring South Florida’s complex nature? If so, the biodiverse wetlands of Everglades National Park are but a short drive away from the sands of South Beach, where you will trade sun loungers for swamp boats. From crocodiles to manatees, the waters of the park are filled with amazing animals that are just waiting to be discovered.

4) Boston: Cape Cod National Seashore

In the sweltering heat of a New England summer, many overheated locals do the only sensible thing on weekends and on their time off from work: they load themselves into the family car and head off toward Cape Cod National Seashore.

In addition to harboring a large quantity of high quality beaches, it also protects cliff dunes, salt marshes, and pine and oak forests inland. While camping is not available on Seashore lands, many private campgrounds are situated outside park boundaries, making for a fun weekend (or week) during the height of summer in the Northeast.

Hot travel apps to download in 2015

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photo by CC user jgbeachcomber on Flickr

Hitting the road soon and looking for some cool apps to add to your phone or tablet to make your travels fun, safer, and more efficient? If so, we have assembled a post with five hot travel apps to download in 2015 that will make your latest trip the most enriching one yet.

1) Trover

Love Pinterest, but hate how hard it is to narrow down pins to a specific destination? If you find yourself in this predicament, then Trover is for you. All you have to do is type in a destination that you are curious about, hit enter, and BAM! A plethora of photos fills your screen, each with additional information on the destinations within the selected picture. A must for visually-oriented people.

2) Localeur

Those headed to America for a holiday in 2015 may want to consider adding Localeur to their phone before stepping on the plane. With 12 US cities available and more being added as time goes on, users post articles based on their experiences in their hometowns, with articles ranging from the best Chicago cafes to hang out during winter to dining options of Fremont Avenue in Seattle, among many others.

3) Hotel Tonight

OMG! Your accommodation overbooked, leaving you out on the street with nowhere to stay … whatever will you do? Download Hotel Tonight, as this program will currently save your butt in the USA, Canada and in Europe, all while saving you money off the rack rate. Talk about turning that frown upside down…!

4) Image It

As much as we try to learn key phrases in foreign languages, there will inevitably in gaps in communication that will make certain encounters abroad slightly awkward. Fortunately, there are apps out there like Image It that give you digital flashcards that will communicate roughly what your needs are to total strangers that will then be able to help you, despite neither of you knowing a word of each other’s mother tongue.

5) CityMapper

For many travelers, there are few things more intimidating than landing in a megacity (10 million + people) that you have never been to before. In these places, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to getting around, which makes apps like CityMapper indispensable. CityMapper helps you plan your journey in one of these megalopolises from point A to point B, via its buses, trains, and trams, helping you get to your destination with nary a wrong turn.

Discovering Edinburgh’s Best Festivals in 2015

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Edinburgh labels itself as the “world leading festival city”, and with 12 major festivals showcasing over 25,000 performers in front of audiences of 4.2m it is hard to argue with the Scottish capital’s claim.

Here are three of the best festivals in Edinburgh that will induce copious amounts of side splitting laughter, unstoppable toe-tapping and intriguing intellectual insight.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Aug 7-31)

It is impossible not to get swept up in the creative wonderland that is the Edinburgh Fringe. Spanning most of August, Edinburgh buzzes with life as the world’s largest arts festival takes over the historic city. Thousands of acts perform in hundreds of venues with audiences spoilt for choice with acts covering a wide variety of genres. From eccentric comedy, to classic theatre and everything in-between- the fringe is like nothing else. It is a hotbed for up and coming talents as well established industry names. You’ll never know what to expect from each original show.

If you are planning to go to the Festival Fringe, you’d better not wait until August and compare possible solutions and costs for your stay soon, for example on venere.com. For artists who are thinking about participating: the registration form will be available early in the year. And for the visitors: the program will be published on 8 April. No matter what are your intentions, both artists and visitors will be able to find more informations on the official site edfringe.com.

Edinburgh International Book Festival (Aug 15-31)

Described as the “largest celebration of the written word in the world”, Edinburgh’s International Book Festival features over 750 events including debates, workshops and book signings with some of the world’s most acclaimed literary minds. Housed in the elegant Charlotte Square Gardens, visitors can engage their favourite writers in conversation and debate. Last year saw the likes of George RR Martin (author of Game of Thrones), Martin Ames and Haruki Murakami attend events at the festival. For more informations regarding the Book Festival, take a look at edbookfest.co.uk.

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (Jul 17-26)

The sweet sound of jazz reverberates around Edinburgh for 10 soulful days in July. First set up in 1978 the festival has gone from strength to strength and now produces 140 gigs at 13 venues with some of the world’s finest jazz and blues musicians turning Edinburgh into a New Orleans of the north. Whether enjoying the music in cabaret-style lounges or grand clubs or even in the city’s gardens- the Edinburgh Jazz Festival will endear you to both this charming city and the music. Jazz & Blues fans can learn more about the festival on edinburghjazzfestival.com.

It’s not just in the summer when Edinburgh bursts with festival fun. Between April 4-19 visitors can sample a plethora of innovative and rousing science events at the International Science Festival. Also, for 10 days from October 23 visitors can enjoy the acclaimed Storytelling Festival. And not forgetting Edinburgh’s famed Hogmanay which brings in the New Year in style.

So what are you waiting for? Edinburgh is waiting.

Best Bars To Hit On A Manhattan Pub Crawl

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image by CC user endymion120 on flickr

With the school year well underway in New York City, the student bars on the island of Manhattan are brimming with young patrons from Columbia, NYU, and other institutions of higher learning. If you are among those in this large student body, you are likely getting stressed out these days, as finals creep closer with each passing week.

There is no better time than now to blow off some steam, so get some of your friends together and plan a Manhattan pub crawl. However, there’s no denying it: alcohol prices in NYC are a little cray cray, so you’ll need to pick your spots carefully to avoid blowing the remainder of your loan money in one night.

With that in mind, here are three selections for your Manhattan pub crawl that will maximize your fun, while keeping the total bill to a reasonable level.

1) Lion’s Head Tavern

Named in part for the mascot of nearby Columbia University, those looking to meet with and potentially hook up with local college students will do well to come here. Sport lovers will enjoy catching action of any of New York’s eight pro sports teams while getting their night off to a rollicking start.

With pitchers of draft being priced at $7 on Sundays and pints of it going for a paltry $1 on Wednesdays, you’ll be able to get a buzz going without cleaning out half your bank account, which is a task that is easier said than done in New York City.

2) McSorley’s Old Ale House

A pub crawl isn’t a pub crawl if you don’t spend at least part of it inside an authentic Irish drinking establishment. In New York City, no place exudes it quite like McSorley’s Old Ale House. Being in business for over 150 years, it is one of the oldest bars in the entire city, so it is obvious that they know that they are doing when it comes to serving the thirsty young patrons of NYC.

If you are hungry at this point in your alcoholic voyage, slay it with a cheese and onion plate. While it won’t make your breath any more appealing to potential mates, it doesn’t matter: you’re on a mission to get messed up!

3) Mehanata Bulgarian Bar

When it comes to a successful end point for a pub crawl, no place does better than one where you can let loose on the dance floor with nary an inhibition. Mehanata Bulgarian Bar fits this description to a T, as its downstairs dance floor plays host to DJ’s from around the world that spin a wide variety of eclectic music that will get your body moving in no time flat.

Those looking for a more chill way to wind up their night can take to the balcony, where one can sit with a hookah and puff away until their spirit settles down.