Asia – Travel & Tea http://travelandtea.com Brits travelling the world, one sip at a time Sat, 18 Feb 2017 16:16:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Day Trip Options From Semarang http://travelandtea.com/day-trip-options-semarang/ http://travelandtea.com/day-trip-options-semarang/#respond Thu, 12 May 2016 02:17:02 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=41190 Semarang in Central Java is a port town and vibrant mixture of hills, Chinese culture, temples, art, cafe culture and historical colonial architecture. It’s rapidly developing so new buildings are popping up along the old skyline. Make the most of the new culture seeping in at the same time and see what new Indonesia that’s […]

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Semarang travel

Semarang in Central Java is a port town and vibrant mixture of hills, Chinese culture, temples, art, cafe culture and historical colonial architecture. It’s rapidly developing so new buildings are popping up along the old skyline. Make the most of the new culture seeping in at the same time and see what new Indonesia that’s emerging.

It’s easy to find somewhere to stay locally using traveloka.com. Think about staying at the Whiz Hotel Semarang, the rooms are comfortable and with a taxi rank right opposite the hotel it is really easy to get around.

Central Java Grand Mosque

Semarang Travel

This is often ranked as the number one site to see in the city. This beautifuly designed osque is marriage between Javanese and Arabian style which makes it an artistically unique site in the city. Take the time to go the steps of the 99 metre high tower. You don’t need to climb, there’s an elevator you can use for 7 rb for the elevator access. Don’t forget to bring the new 1rb coins, so you can get access to the telescope. Once you get to the top there’s also a spinning restaurant and museums devoted to understanding Islam.

Semawis Market

No visit to southeast Asia is complete without a trip to a market. The Semawi Market runs from Friday to Sunday every weekend and has various food stalls and charming traders selling Chinese crafts which you can take home for souvenirs. There’s also a great selection of food, both Indonesian and Chinese. If you visit during the Chinese New Year it gets really festive. Don’t miss out.

Pagoda Avalokitesvara

Another location you must try and get to is the beautiful temple full of stunning statues, one of a dragon that looks like it might be ready to step off its pedestal right to you. It’s lovely to wander through but remember it’s a working temple – do consider the people visiting to pray. but also a tourist icon to Semarang. Just a note, it’s also busy in the surrounding area so be careful crossing the road!

Lawe Waterfall

Semarang Travel

Just outside the city is Lawe waterfall, known locally as Curug Lawe. It’s around a 1.5km trek from the nearest drop-off point so bring sensible shoes. And be aware, the spray from this gorgeous natural attraction will splash as it tumbles down the cliff face – be ready to get wet! Once you’ve enjoyed the splendid nature of the falls you’ll find lots of food stalls to fuel you up for the trek back.

This corner of Indonesia is not a regular stop on the tourist trail so you’ll find corners of the country to delight and marvel over that aren’t your usual traveller tales. Enjoy them, then tell your friends!

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Tea in Japan http://travelandtea.com/tea-in-japan/ http://travelandtea.com/tea-in-japan/#respond Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:54:56 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=41125 While I was doing research about a prepaid refill online while traveling in various parts of the world, I also looked for other ways of cutting costs when going on relatively expensive trips for instance when going to Japan. After seeing all the beautiful photos of Japan I stumbled upon an article about Japanese tea […]

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640px-Japanese_tea_ceremony_20100502_Japan_Matsuri_11

While I was doing research about a prepaid refill online while traveling in various parts of the world, I also looked for other ways of cutting costs when going on relatively expensive trips for instance when going to Japan. After seeing all the beautiful photos of Japan I stumbled upon an article about Japanese tea ceremonies. After that I was completely sold. I started researching more and more about the beautiful culture of the Japanese and the importance of tea in their culture and I decided to share my findings with you fellow tea lovers.

Importance of tea

Japan is an amazing travel destination for tea lovers. Japan is known for its long preserved traditions, such as geisha entertainment and tea ceremonies. Tea is an important factor in the Japanese culture. They have a wide range of green teas, but also some black teas and some special herbal teas. The teas that are used most are Matcha, a green tea powder, and Ryokucha, which is basically dried green tea leafs. Matcha tea is used for the Japanese tea ceremony.

Tea Ceremony

When you go to Japan as a tea-lover, it is an absolute must to attend a Japanese tea ceremony.

The tea ceremony is called Sado or Chanoyu. Rooted in the principles of Zen Buddhism, it originates from China. The tea ceremony has been a part of the Japanese culture since the twelfth century.

These tea ceremonies are held in traditional Japanese tea houses. Usually this is a small house outside of the main building, but it can also be a specially decorated room inside a house. The room is quite small and only about three to five people are allowed to enter at once.

The host prepares the matcha tea according to a traditional routine and offers a cup to the guest. The drinking of the tea is also a part of the ceremony and has its traditional routine.

Tea Festival

Because tea is such an important part of the Japanese culture and because the Japanese think it is very important to hold on to their cultural traditions, many regions in Japan have a tea festival. This is quite a happening for most tea farming areas and for tourists it is an amazing way to see what the importance of tea is in this culture. There is also an international tea festival in Japan and a plum blossom festival each year where a traditional tea ceremony is performed by geisha’s as a part of the ritual.
Even though Japan will most likely not be a travel destination where you can cut costs, after coming to know all this I have concluded that Japan is a must-visit on my travel wishlist. I am sure it has become a goal on your travel bucket list as a tea lover now too!

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Escape the Snow! 4 Tropical Destinations Awaiting You Right Now http://travelandtea.com/escape-the-snow-4-tropical-destinations-awaiting-you-right-now/ http://travelandtea.com/escape-the-snow-4-tropical-destinations-awaiting-you-right-now/#respond Sat, 21 Mar 2015 00:52:10 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=478 Right now us poor folks in Great Britain are bearing the brunt of chilling snow. Though snow is great to look at and a wonderful form of precipitation, it can also be a pain in your freezing butt! So how about a few ideas of tropical destinations to get your blood flowing warmly again? You […]

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Right now us poor folks in Great Britain are bearing the brunt of chilling snow. Though snow is great to look at and a wonderful form of precipitation, it can also be a pain in your freezing butt!

So how about a few ideas of tropical destinations to get your blood flowing warmly again? You might consider making one of these places your next holiday destination, as soon as they thaw out the British runways!

1. Pattaya, Thailand

Situated at about 100 miles from the capital city Bangkok, Pattaya is known for its delicacies. Pattaya has one of the most renowned beaches in the world serving the tourists with an exotic tropical climate and leisure away from home. The city not only offers reposing environment but also is famous for the amazing night life that one can enjoy. The culture is very tourist friendly and the beauty of the city is rejuvenating. The time zone of this city is GMT + 7 hours The climate all over the year favors jet skiing which is also a great attraction. The best time visit is the month of December. It can be too hot in the summer months.

2. Singapore

One of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world, Singapore provides a climatic treat. The city nation has been the stress buster and chill out zone of South East Asia for more than two decades. Singapore not only has all the qualities of a getaway destination but is also an electronic market hub and a shopping fiesta. The underwater world at Sentosa is a major attraction worth checking out while you’re in town. The time zone of this city is GMT + 8 hours The best time of the year to visit is March to May.

3. Male, Maldives

The climate of this wonderful exotic destination varies from 25-35 degree Celsius. Located southwest of Sri Lanka, the Maldives is one of the most coveted places on a tourist’s radar for a getaway. The natural beauty of this location is appreciated by one and all. Scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing and water-skiing are the activities that tourists enjoy here. The time zone of this city is GMT + 5 hours the best time to visit the Maldives is between December and April.

4. Port Louis, Mauritius

The climate here varies from 25-35 degree Celsius. The attractions in Mauritius are the elegant resorts and leisurely locations you can stay at. Port Louis also offers rich heritage for a tourist in the form of museums and architecture. The time zone of this city is GMT + 4 hours. The best time to visit Mauritius is all year long given its climate, but April through November are most favorable. Make sure you apply for an ETA visa Sri Lanka if Sri Lanka is on your itinerary! 

 

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Try a Strange Soup on Your Travels http://travelandtea.com/try-strange-soup-travels/ http://travelandtea.com/try-strange-soup-travels/#respond Tue, 14 Jan 2014 05:03:24 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=2133 If you have grown up with classic British tinned soups like Cream of Tomato and Chicken Broth then you might be surprised to find how many weird and wonderful varieties of soup there are in other parts of the world. The following are a few to look out for. Menudo, Mexico Mexico is a country […]

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If you have grown up with classic British tinned soups like Cream of Tomato and Chicken Broth then you might be surprised to find how many weird and wonderful varieties of soup there are in other parts of the world. The following are a few to look out for.

Menudo, Mexico

Mexico is a country with a lot of food which the typical British tourist won’t be used to. Even if you are a local in your town’s Mexican restaurant it won’t fully prepare you for what you will find once you get here. F or example, a classic soup eaten here is called menudo. The name makes it sound pretty harmless but the fact that the main ingredient is a cow’s stomach makes it sound just a little bit more worrying. The stomach gets boiled for hour after hour and you might find some hot chilli peppers in their as well.

Bird’s Nest Soup, China

You have presumably heard of this soup before but have you ever stopped to think about how they make it. It has been a hugely popular soup in China for centuries and basically involves putting a bird’s nest into a pot of boiling water. It seems that the bird’s saliva gives the soup a thick consistency. As you can imagine, it is also a bit of an acquired taste, The fact that it is also pretty expensive might be enough to you off trying it, although it would be a memorable meal in one way or another if you tried it.

Deer Placenta Soup, China

We might as well stay in China for the next strange soup on the list. Deer placenta is said to be very chewy and it is a bit of an unexpected addition to the world of soups if we are being honest. It is popular due to the fact that it is said to give you improved health, vitality and libido. If you can forget for a few minutes what it contains you might be surprised at how much you like it.

Miyeok Guk

This soup is a popular birthday treat in Korea but you might come across it even if you aren’t celebrating your birthday while you are there. It is made of edible seaweed. In fact, the plant typically used is one which his called sea mustard in English. Mothers who have recently given birth are also given this, due to the high amount of calcium it contains.

Supu, Tanzania

If you are ever in Tanzania then this soup is a popular breakfast treat you might want to try. Like the Mexican menudo, it contains cow stomach but there is more to supu than just that. You will also find the likes of the cow’s tongue, goat lungs and maybe even a head or a hoof in there. The look of it might put you off but try it once and you could find that you enjoy it even more than the British soups you are used to slurping.

Photo by snordq on Flickr

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Time for a Change? http://travelandtea.com/time-for-a-change/ http://travelandtea.com/time-for-a-change/#respond Wed, 13 Nov 2013 02:49:38 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1364 When it comes to picking somewhere to go on holiday, the choice can be overwhelming. Beach, city, cruise, volunteering, rainforest … the list goes on, and these days there are even more decisions to make too. Do you want to learn something? Do you want to relax? Do you want to immerse yourself in culture? […]

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When it comes to picking somewhere to go on holiday, the choice can be overwhelming. Beach, city, cruise, volunteering, rainforest … the list goes on, and these days there are even more decisions to make too. Do you want to learn something? Do you want to relax? Do you want to immerse yourself in culture? Do you want to be energetic? These are all important questions to ask yourself before firmly deciding on a holiday destination, to truly get the most out of it.

I decided to do something a little different this summer, and I headed off to Italy on a cooking holiday. This surprised many people, because I am the world’s worst cook, but this was the whole reason – to learn something new and hopefully improve. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and not only did I learn a few new skills I continue to practice, but I also met new friends, and got to explore Rome too, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. Holidays aren’t always about laying prone on a beach with a book in one hand and a cocktail in the other, although I must admit, I quite enjoy those kinds of holiday too.

My culinary expertise might not be up there with Gordon Ramsey, but that holiday has pushed me to try other educational-type breaks in the future. However, the one thing I would recommend is to get as much rest as possible before you jet off, as these kinds of holidays aren’t particularly relaxing! The mind is working all the time when you’re learning something new, and I found the holiday particularly tiring. I’m glad I booked in at one of the Gatwick Airport hotels with holidayextras.co.uk prior to my early morning flight to Rome, as it meant I was in the right frame of mind, ready to get straight in there when I landed for my long weekend in Italia.

Of course, you don’t have to choose to learn a new skills on any holiday, you can simply cruise around several islands in one week, shop ‘til you drop or head to a sparkling city to take in a few shows, or maybe you want to experience peace, quiet and sanctuary on a mediation break, somewhere like Thailand. Whatever you choose, I can’t rate the airport hotel idea highly enough, and don’t worry about the cost either – it’s surprisingly low! Use that money saved to get yourself some travel insurance – needless to say I had a bad experience once, and lost a hat full of cash. Don’t be stupid like me. Make sure you’re covered.

Open your mind to the travel choices out there, and you’ll realise that the world truly is your oyster. However you choose to spend your time when you jet off to foreign climes, be sure to drag every last drop out of your days and you’ll have memories to remember, and maybe even new skills too.

Photo by jorgeq82 on Flickr

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Do You Want to See a Weird Beach? http://travelandtea.com/do-you-want-to-see-a-weird-beach/ http://travelandtea.com/do-you-want-to-see-a-weird-beach/#respond Mon, 07 Oct 2013 15:37:19 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1305 There are lots of fantastic, sandy beaches across the globe which we could call conventional beaches. In fact, the UK’s long coastline has a good number of these dotted around it. What about the weird ones, though? The planet also has its fair share of these. If you are planning to be near any of […]

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There are lots of fantastic, sandy beaches across the globe which we could call conventional beaches. In fact, the UK’s long coastline has a good number of these dotted around it.

What about the weird ones, though? The planet also has its fair share of these. If you are planning to be near any of the following places anytime soon then you are in for a treat.

Hawaii – The Green Beach and the Black Beach

The volcanic activity in the Hawaiian Islands means that it is one of the places with the highest concentration of strange beaches on the globe. For example, here you will find a black beach, which has been formed by basalt and lava streaming down to the water’s edge. This is called Punaluu Beach and is to be found on the Big Island. Another beach which offers some great photo opportunities is the green one called Papakolea Beach. Both of them are fascinating examples of how the power of nature can form unexpected wonders which delight and amaze even the most experienced travellers.

The Caribbean – The Beach Scarily Close to the Beach

Saho Beach in the Caribbean is another strip of sand which you will find to be a lot stranger than anything you will find in Brighton, Bournemouth or anywhere else in Britain. The sand is pretty normal and the water next to it appears to be of the wet, liquid type we are used to. So, what’s so weird about Saho Beach? You will soon realise when a giant plane roars past your ears while you are there. The main airport on Saint Martin island is called the Princess Juliana International Airport and it is located just a bit too close to the beach for comfort.

Mexico – The Crater Beach

Mexico is our next port of call. In this country there are plenty of famous beaches in places like Cancun and Acapulco. Are any of them located in giant craters, though? The beauty of the Playa de Amor (Beach of Love) in Puerto Vallarta is that is hidden from view because it is in a crater. Some theories suggest that this was caused by the army using it for target practice over a century ago and blowing away part of the island it is on. Whatever caused it, what we have now is a stunning beach which you need to access by swimming your way through a short tunnel.

India – Cows on the Beach

Goa in India is a hugely popular tourist destination and has been attracting international visitors since the hippies discovered it in the 60s. It remains popular and one of the most striking aspects of the beaches here is the fact that cows roam across the sands. Of course, these beasts are considered sacred here, which means that no one will make any attempt to move them away from the beach. This might seem weird to you but it will give you some terrific photo opportunities.

Photo by cellphonesusie on Flickr

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Drinking Strange Tea All Over the Planet http://travelandtea.com/drinking-strange-tea-all-over-the-planet/ http://travelandtea.com/drinking-strange-tea-all-over-the-planet/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2013 01:53:54 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1271 If you love a cup of tea then you will be delighted to discover that it is popular in just about every country you could possibly visit. However, the cuppa you are served might not always bear much resemblance to what you drink at home. Coca Tea – Bolivia We know that the coca leaves […]

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If you love a cup of tea then you will be delighted to discover that it is popular in just about every country you could possibly visit. However, the cuppa you are served might not always bear much resemblance to what you drink at home.

Coca Tea – Bolivia

We know that the coca leaves are a principal ingredient in the manufacture of cocaine. However, in Bolivia they are sold legally and are used mainly for chewing on. The local culture has a strong belief in the powers of this plant to do everything from fight hunger and fatigue to deal with altitude sickness. In its simplest form coca tea involves pouring hot water over a bunch of leaves. More modern presentations include little tea bags filled with the crushed up leaves. You might be offered a cup of this tea if you are suffering from altitude sickness. It isn’t a drug but some tourists still prefer to give it a miss.

Mint Tea – Morocco

If you have ever tried mint tea- known as Touareg tea – in Morocco then you were probably at least as impressed with the method of preparation and serving as you were with the taste. This delicious variety of tea is made from mint leaves and green tea, is popular in most Arabian countries and is a big part of life for the people there. When a guest gets invited to drink some mint tea the serving of the drink can turn into a rather elaborate ceremony involving the tea being finally poured into glasses from a decent height. It is usually the male head of the family who prepares and serves the tea, with the guest typically getting 3 glasses of more of the stuff. If you are suffering from a dry throat on a hot day then this refreshing drink has a wonderful cooling effect.

Butter Tea – Tibet

It sounds weird, but butter tea is a strong tradition in Tibet, Bhutan and parts of China. It involved tea, yak butter and salt. A few bowls of this tea gets a typical Tibetan ready for a day of work and it is also usually served to guests. It is said to be an idea drink for providing energy at high altitude and for helping avoid chapped lips. In fact, many people (especially nomads) are said to drink dozens of cups of this drink every single day.

Matcha Tea – Japan

Japan is another country where the drinking of tea is a highly ceremonial occasion. This typically involves a green tea called Matcha which includes a lot of antioxidants in it. The tea ceremony in Japan has a long and complex history and it continues in homes and tea houses across the country. If you ever drink a cup while you are in Japan then expect a long and elegant ceremony ending with a deliciously intriguing cup of tea with a flavour which it might take you some time to get used to.

Photo by none-design on Flickr

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The Best Cities in the World for People Watching http://travelandtea.com/the-best-cities-in-the-world-for-people-watching/ http://travelandtea.com/the-best-cities-in-the-world-for-people-watching/#respond Mon, 15 Jul 2013 00:00:15 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1141 One of the greatest delights of going abroad on holiday is that you get to indulge in a bit of people watching. This is something which doesn’t come naturally to Brits at home but in other countries it seems to be almost a national hobby. So where you will do it next? Paris Where else […]

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One of the greatest delights of going abroad on holiday is that you get to indulge in a bit of people watching. This is something which doesn’t come naturally to Brits at home but in other countries it seems to be almost a national hobby. So where you will do it next?

Paris

Where else in the world can you get so much enjoyment from watching young lovers walk along the streets with their arms entwined? Paris has some great cafes, which is one of the most important points for people watching, but it is also a fine place to sit on the steps of the Sacre Coeur or under the Eiffel Tower and watch the world go by. This will be even more special if you do it with a loved one at your side, of course.

Rome

We could really choose anywhere in Italy and put it on this list. The Italians love to sit and watch the people go past and you will too. Immaculately clad, beautiful people will wander past like movie stars while you drink your cappuccino or sit in a piazza enjoying the atmosphere and the fun. The famous Spanish Steps which lead from the Piazza di Spagna is a particularly good place to do this but it can be a great way to pass an hour or so just about anywhere in Rome.

Buenos Aires

The Argentine Capital has the same kind of café / people watching culture as the other places we have looked at, and it shares with Italy the added benefit of the Latin temperament. Here, you are just as likely to be treated to the odd flare up between taxi drivers, protest matches or a shouting match between shopkeepers as the sight of good natured football supporters or groups of teenagers hanging out. There are some wonderfully atmospheric cafes here but if you want the authentic experience you could try some mate. This is an herbal infusion which the Argentines drink almost constantly. Get yourself a thermo flask with hot water, a mate gourd and a packet of herbs and can sit down in the Plaza de Mayo and see what happens next.

Bangkok

If you decide to go somewhere really exotic like Asia then your senses are in for a treat. From food stalls on the street, to floating vegetable markets to shops selling stuff which you don’t even recognise, this continent is a fantastic place for seeing a different way of life. As street food is such a popular pastime in this city you could just prop yourself up against a stall and watch the people go about their business while you chomp away. It is one of those cities in which something always seems to be happening and you will find that it is fascinating to just watch as the action unfolds in front of your eyes. Just be careful you don’t get in the habit of brazenly people watching, as your neighbours and work colleagues might not be too impressed about you staring at them when you get home.

Photo by whltravel on Flickr

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Great Museums of Tokyo http://travelandtea.com/great-museums-of-tokyo/ http://travelandtea.com/great-museums-of-tokyo/#respond Mon, 13 May 2013 02:58:01 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1006 For history buffs and travel enthusiasts alike, museum-hopping is a very popular travel activity. Visiting the museums of different places gives you a better understanding of the culture and traditions of the place. It simply further enhances the touring experience. On this note, there is no place richer in history and culture than Japan. The […]

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For history buffs and travel enthusiasts alike, museum-hopping is a very popular travel activity. Visiting the museums of different places gives you a better understanding of the culture and traditions of the place. It simply further enhances the touring experience. On this note, there is no place richer in history and culture than Japan. The Japanese take such great pride in their rich traditions and colorful past, as well as their thriving present culture. These are beautifully preserved in their various museums. Tokyo boasts a number of great museums that any tourist should not fail to see.

Edo Museum

The Fukugawa Edo Museum is a museum dedicated to the Edo period of Tokyo. The interior of the building consists of three (3) areas, each representing an era in Edo’s evolution. The divisions are aptly named the Edo Zone, the Tokyo Zone, and a Special Exhibits Gallery. The Edo Zone displays the ways of the people according to their lifestyle, economics, political period, and culture during the Edo period. The most notable piece in this area is the replica of the Nihonbashi Bridge. The Tokyo Zone, on the other hand, illustrates the influences of the Europeans and Americans to Japan. It also depicts the history of the country from World War Two and the rebuilding efforts of the people during the Showa era.  Lastly, the Kabuki Theater and the live performance of artists playing the Japanese traditional instrument, the sou, are the attractions of the Special Exhibits Gallery.

Museum of Contemporary Arts

This museum, as its name implies, is home to several distinguished contemporary art pieces. By definition, contemporary arts are post modern arts and made during this lifetime. The Museum of Contemporary Arts offers a variety of exhibits that would pop up anytime. The past notable exhibits are that of Marilyn Monroe and the Girl with Hair Ribbon. Most recently, the museum garners the acclaimed Hideaki Anno’s TOKUSATSU Special Effects Exhibits, which caters to the craftsmanship of special effects during the Showa, and Heisei era of Japan. It features a miniature skyline of Tokyo with complete accessories such as the different vehicles used during that time with many other vehicles and characters from the sci-fi films.

Tokyo Museum of Maritime Science

The Maritime Science Museum holds an exhibit of anything nautical related, the building itself looks like a ship of an ocean liner type. It is a six (6) story structure with the lower decks dedicated to engineering, and science of ship building. Also found in the same building are the gigantic turbines, displaying the ship propulsion and ship designs. The upper decks hold the replica of the imperial navy ships of world war one and two like the giant replica of battleship Yamato. Also in the same museum are the submarines, ferries, container ships, supertankers, and some wooden boats. The museum has a section for radio controlled boats where the hobbyists and kids can play. The outdoor area has an observatory and a seaside pool perfect for hot days. It also showcases the Soya, a real icebreaker type of ship, moored at the site of the museum.

Tobu World Square

The Tobu World Square is a theme park that displays miniature buildings and infrastructures. It displays more than a hundred world heritage site buildings replicated down to a 1/25th scale of the actual size. Likewise, about a hundred forty thousand (140,000) miniature people, also downsized to a 1/25th scale, add a more realistic feel to the replica structures. You’d most likely feel like a giant while touring the Tobu World Square.

The museum boasts a display of impressively accurate scale models. The awe-inspiring intricately detailed work extends to everything, including the miniature people, motor vehicles, planes, boats and others. There are complete replicas of world heritage sites, providing great insight into the lifestyle and ways of the people with regards to their environment. The exhibits let you feel like you’ve visited the actual places in one single theme park. You can tour the Sphinx, Pyramid, and Petra of Egypt; go to Europe at the Eiffel Tower; visit the United States courtesy of the White House; or traverse Asia with the Forbidden City of China and the many attractions of Japan.

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10 Unique Vacation Destinations Around The World http://travelandtea.com/10-unique-vacation-destinations-around-the-world/ http://travelandtea.com/10-unique-vacation-destinations-around-the-world/#respond Mon, 22 Apr 2013 19:02:19 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=952 World travel, particularly if you have to stick to a budget, can be a bit of a daunting prospect. Though there are fascinating locations all over the world, sometimes it’s more tempting to simply pack up your car, double check your Aviva insurance policy, and take off on a simple UK road trip. But if […]

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World travel, particularly if you have to stick to a budget, can be a bit of a daunting prospect. Though there are fascinating locations all over the world, sometimes it’s more tempting to simply pack up your car, double check your Aviva insurance policy, and take off on a simple UK road trip. But if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous about your travel plans this year, here are 10 spectacular, somewhat off-the-radar destinations around the world to consider.

1. Hobart, Tasmania

Known largely for its emergence as an eco-friendly city, Hobart is an increasingly popular destination. Located in Tasmania, Hobart is a bit obscure for many tourists, but it’s a worthwhile stop during any Australian vacation.

2. Myanmar

Southeast Asia is a popular region for western tourists, but Myanmar has long been shunned due to political instability. With things in that arena improving, however, Myanmar is back on the radar and should offer a very genuine vacation experience due to having been avoided for years.

3. Iceland

Something of a tourist hotspot for years now, Iceland is particularly appealing in 2013. Internal economic issues, while unfortunate in Iceland, have helped to bring down the costs of tourism, making this tiny north Atlantic country easier to visit.

4. Magdalen Islands

Featuring incredible geographic variety, from beaches and cliffs to rolling green hills, this chain of islands near Nova Scotia makes for a great destination for outdoors lovers. In particular, water sports enthusiasts will find plenty to enjoy about the Magdalen Islands.

5. Rwanda

Despite a history of genocide, today’s Rwanda is a peaceful and beautiful corner of Africa ideal for vacationers looking for nature and wildlife. Gorilla tracking, safari, and bird watching expeditions in particular tend to attract visitors.

6. California, USA

From beautiful beaches, to wine country, to big cities, California offers an incredibly dynamic experience for people visiting the U.S. Though there are several cities worth visiting all on their own, a road trip through the state is also a great option.

7. Madagascar

Known for unique wildlife and vegetation, some of which can’t be found naturally anywhere else in the world, Madagascar is a wonderful destination for scientific-minded travellers. Plenty of national parks make for a busy but relaxing experience.

8. Azore Islands

These volcanic islands well west of Portugal barely register attention on a world map. However, due to entirely unique culture and food, as well as beautiful, otherworldly geography, the Azores make for an incredibly interesting vacation.

9. Bhutan

Known for measuring success by “gross national happiness” rather than product, Bhutan is a fascinating country that blends the ancient world with the modern. At the edge of the Himalayas, Bhutan is home to natural beauty, practicing monks, and ancient culture that is fascinating to outsiders.

10. Mykonos, Greece

While much attention is paid to neighboring island Santorini, Mykonos is a more accessible alternative. With all of the postcard beauty of the Greek isles, Mykonos is more affordable for travellers, with a lighter, more festive atmosphere.

Photo by 33037982@N04 on Flickr

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