Philadelphia Travel Information

Often referred to as “America’s Birthplace,” Philadelphia has been the center of progressive beliefs and democratic principles since the first settlement of the city was founded by the now famous Quaker, William Penn. Naming the settlement “The City of Brotherly Love,” William Penn hoped to protect individual freedoms and promote religious tolerance in stark contrast with what many colonists had escaped under British rule.

William Penn’s visions were realized when the Declaration of Independence was signed in Independence Hall, and after years of bloody and hostile clashes with the British Army during the American Revolution when the United States Constitution was first drafted in the same hall. Travel through time in Independence National Historic Park (Old City) where the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Constitution Hall are all concentrated. You can view the Constitution and Declaration of Independence in Constitution Hall and take a walk through the many Revolution-era buildings that have been restored and preserved. Travel to Philadelphia, once the capital of the United States, and see for yourself the remnants of revolutionary battles and the emergence of a new, independent nation.

Hoagies, Movies and Masterpieces

A simple walk through the streets of central Philadelphia will reveal the nation’s largest collection of public art amidst ample park space and well-planned, easily navigated streets. Stroll along West Market Street near City Hall and through LOVE Park, taking in the fantastic murals and sculptures along the way. For a more traditional experience, visit the masterpieces of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the steps of which were made famous by Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. For the most unique museum experience, visit the Mutter Museum, originally open to medical students and featuring a wide array of formaldehyde-filled cadavers and skeletal displays, along with some little known facts about the nation’s medical history.

Philadelphia is also known for its many famous architectural feats and noteworthy buildings. The City Hall, completed in 1900, is the world’s tallest load-bearing masonry structure. Another Historic Landmark, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building is considered to be America’s first International Modernist skyscraper and also home of the first ever savings bank in the United States. On a smaller scale, Philadelphia is known for the homes of Benjamin Franklin and Edgar Allen Poe.

Find airfare to Philadelphia around the first Friday of the month to enjoy the galleries and sights in Old City for free until late in the evening. When you have had enough of museums, stop into a pub or restaurant for an original Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich and some Italian ice for a true taste of Philadelphia. You will probably even want to order a few extra sandwiches for the flight home!

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Adventure Travel – Close And Cheap

Adventure travel is becoming more popular all the time. It can be very expensive, though, and even a bit too dangerous for some of us. It doesn’t have to either, though. Here are a few ideas for small adventures you can afford. They are followed by a definition of adventure that will help you add your own to the list.

Try treasure hunting. Rent or buy a metal detector and spend a relaxing but interesting weekend finding coins, jewelry and who-knows-what in the sand at the beach. No beach nearby? Look up the historical records for your town, to see where old picnic grounds were. Treasure hunters regularly find old coins at places like these.

Take climbing lessons. Whether this is on Mount Ranier in Washington, or Mount Washington in New Hampshire, it’s sure to be an adventure. At least it will be more exciting than my trip up a local sledding hill with my ice-axe and crampons.

Travel form monastery to monastery. Make it a spiritual adventure or just relax. Most monasteries take in visitors, and usually have reasonably priced accommodations. The Buddhist ones in particular are most often in beautiful places.

Do a hot springs tour. This is for those who live in the west. Get a guide to hot springs or copy directions off the internet. Bring swimming suits (optional at some, for the more adventurous), towels and a cooler full of refreshments. Want more adventure? Seek out the ones that you have to hike into the wilderness to find.

The Cheapest Adventure Travel

Find and summit the highest peak in your state. This might be less-than-adventurous in some states, but it will at least be an excuse to get outside and get some good exercise. Be sure to bring your camera for the summit shot. You might try the highest point in the next state over for your next adventure trip.

Investigate and find the nearest hidden swimming holes. The best ones are ones that require a hike to get to. Watch for people heading down a trail with swimsuits and a cooler. Nobody hikes in swimsuit and drags a cooler into the woods, unless there is water involved.

Play Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Locate the nearest river that is large enough and has some public forest. Then build a raft from dead trees and float downstream for a day. We usually started by hiking upstream for an hour or more, so we could float back to the car.

A vagabond trip. Pack enough clothing and snacks for several days and just start driving, with no destination in mind. Who knows where you’ll end up, and what you’ll discover. Pack a tent or camp in your car to keep it really affordable.

That last one is a classic adventure trip in my book. Adventure is any activity you engage in that is new to you and doesn’t have a predictable outcome. It doesn’t need to be dangerous to be interesting and fun, and could even include a trip to the nearest large city for a weekend tour of the nightclubs. Of course, depending on the places you choose, this could be fairly dangerous adventure travel.

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Professional Travel Health Advice

The best Professional Travel Health Advice about food and drink on holiday, can easily be summarised as follows

1. The first thing to realise is that unpasteurised milk, non bottled drinks , and uncooked food, are likely to be contaminated and therefore possibly unsafe. This does not include fruit which can be peeled.

2. Use bottled or boiled water for cleaning your teeth.

3. Don’t open your mouth and drink water in the shower.

4. Dishes containing raw or undercooked eggs, such as home-made mayonnaise, some sauces (e.g. hollandaise) and some desserts (e.g. mousses), are not a good idea.

5. Ice-cream that doesn’t have a recognisable international brand name, and could be made locally, is often contaminated and could be a danger.

6. When confronted with cooked food, the holidaymaker should ensure that it has been thoroughly and freshly cooked; i.e. that it is piping hot.

7. Be aware of eating out the day after a public holiday, as reheated food appears, and it can be dangerous.

8. Foods that are cooked in advance need to be held at a temperature of below 10 C or above 60 C to ensure their safety.

9.Cooked food left out for some time constitutes one of the greatest risks of food borne disease. Contaminating or surviving bacteria may multiply in it if it is. Put another way, if the food has been cooked but not refrigerated between cooking and serving, because it has been left out, then you could be taking a risk eating it. This means attractive cold buffets are very definitely unsafe if they have been laid out hours before being eaten.

10. Unpasteurised milk should be boiled before it is drunk. 11. Bottles of drinking water that contain non carbonated water should be regarded with suspicion, unless you see the seal broken in front of you, because it could be straight from the TAP!!

12. Ice should be avoided unless made from safe water.

13. Drinks such as wine or beer hot tea or coffee, and carbonated soft drinks or fruit juices that are bottled or otherwise packaged are usually safe to drink.

14. Apply strict hygiene while away especially after using the bathroom and before you eat food – never use communal, damp towels in public conveniences! Use disposable paper towels or hot air.

BASIC TRAVEL HEALTH ADVICE SAYS boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.

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Hotel Norbuling – Best Hotel In Bhutan

Well-positioned in Thimphu City Center, Hotel Norbuling is the ideal point of departure for your excursions in Thimphu. The hotel lies 0.1 km from the city center and provides accessibility to important town facilities. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city’s must-see destinations.

Hotel Norbuling also offers many facilities to enrich your stay in Thimphu. For the comfort and convenience of guests, the hotel offers free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk,best adjustable bed frame, express check-in/check-out, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas.

Hotel accommodations have been carefully appointed to the highest degree of comfort and convenience. In some of the rooms, guests can find television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non smoking rooms, heating, wake-up service. Besides, the hotel’s host of recreational offerings ensures you have plenty to do during your stay. Whatever your purpose of visit, Hotel Norbuling is an excellent choice for your stay in Thimphu.

Jubilee Hotel – Best Hotel In Brunei Darussalam

Located in the heart of the city in Bandar Seri Begawan, Jubilee Hotel is walking distance away from places of interest and attractions. A hotel for budget-minded travelers who want to enjoy exploring the city by day, the property offers rooms with modern facilities. The amenities they provide include a daily local newspaper, airport and hotel transfers, a safety deposit box, ticket confirmation, early check-in, and extended check-out if there is room availability. Boasting an excellent location in the capital city of Brunei Darussalam, Jubilee Hotel is just a stroll away from the central business district, banks, post office, embassies, airlines office,travel systems, shopping malls, dining venues, night markets, and cultural and religious sites. Offering a good location with fantastic value, Jubilee Hotel is definitely worth your stay.

Old Etonian Hotel

The hotel is in a historical part of North London, 0.75 miles from hotel close by stadium. It has free Wi-Fi, en suite rooms and the Old Etonian Restaurant, offering French and Italian cuisine. The Old Etonian Hotel has a quiet location, next to Harrow public school and 15 minutes’ walk from the station. Wembley is 20 minutes away by London Underground and Baker Street is 30 minutes from the hotel. The hotel is on the hill and has views over Harrow and the surrounding area. The Old Etonian Restaurant has been owned and run by the same family for the last 35 years. It has an outdoor terrace at the back of the building. There is some limited free parking.

Hotel Ornate – Best Hotel In Dhaka

Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, Hotel Ornate offers accommodation in Dhaka. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms come with a TV with satellite channels. Rooms have a private bathroom. Extras include slippers and free toiletries. There is a 24-hour front desk offering express check-in/check-out services, a business centre,bedwetting alarm, hairdresser’s, and gift shop at the property. Guests can approach the tour desk staff to plan a day trip or for car rental arrangement. The nearest airport is Zia Airport, 12 km from Hotel Ornate.

Elysium Gallery Hotel – Best Hotel In Yerevan

Elysium Gallery Hotel offers accommodation in Yerevan city centre, 800 metres from Republic Square Metro Station. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Some rooms have a seating area to relax in after a busy day. Each room has a private bathroom equipped with a shower. Extras include slippers,gerd pillow and free toiletries. There is a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge at the property. Guests can store their ski equipment in the ski storage. The hotel also offers bike hire and car hire. Armenian Opera and Ballet Theatre is 50 metres from Elysium Gallery Hotel. The nearest airport is Zvartnots International Airport, 10 km from the property.

Airfares – Enjoy Reasonable Traveling Anywhere

Want to escape for an exotic holiday without worrying about the airfare rates? Where airfares could have been a hindrance to your enjoying a wonderful holiday, presently it will not be. With too many travel companies upcoming these days, getting a cheap airfare is never a problem. Airfare is a fare that is charged by the airline from the travelers.

Airfare tickets are offered by the airlines companies who offer you to buy tickets at a fraction of a cost. But you should remember that cheap airfares are usually seasonal and available at particular time of the year. The price of the airfares will depend on the destination you want to visit and the type of airlines you want to access. Although airfares may vary from place to place, yet you are offered with better prices if you can book your seats in advance.

Ways to get cheap airfare

There are two main ways through which you will get discounted airfares. The first way is to stay in touch with the airlines. This will offer you to know when the airfares are available at a discount or other new schemes offered by the airlines companies.

The other way is to explore “bucket shops”. This means contacting airline wholesalers and consolidators who offer great online discounts. They purchase the tickets in large quantities from the companies and then pass them on to the consumers at discounted prices. But you should make sure whether the ticket for your route is available or not. The more in advance you book your ticket, the more discounts you will get.

Types of airfare

When you are reserving your airfare, you should remember some key factors. Make a quick market survey so that you can select your airfare from available sources. You should also try to choose the company that offers the lowest airfare rate.

There are different types of airfares that are as follows:

– Apex fares – also known as advance purchase fares that are much lower than the normal fares
– Discount fares – these are low priced fares that are offered by the airlines for a very limited amount of time
– Flexible fares – these are also known as unrestricted or full fares. Although the price of these fares are very high, yet you are benefited with receiving refunds and doing alterations on your ticket on the same day of travel
– Joint fares – these offer price allows passengers to access more than one airline to get to various places.

If you are one of those who frequently have to travel to various places, then finding a cheap airfare or floor machine is very important. The key to getting cheap airfare is shopping around for flight tickets. You simply need to be flexible and enquire the prices of various tickets offered by various companies. You can even visit a plethora of websites and search for online cheap airfares.

You can also visit some travel agents who will definitely offer you with outstanding airfares that are unavailable at online sites.

How To Keep Yourself Healthy While Traveling

Have you ever planned a trip weeks or maybe months in advance, but when the time comes to have fun, you get sick during the journey and have to spend your time alone in the hotel room? Of course, this is something that no one wants to experience. In this article, I will share with you a few tips for keeping yourself healthy at all times during your travels to prevent this unfortunate scenario from happening!

First, by doing some biking, aerobics or long walks, one is able to condition the muscles for those long tours. By obtaining information on the weather or climate so as to pack the right clothes for the trip and the condition of the drinking water are just some examples one can also work on. By purchasing water purification tablets before going to a place with suspect water sources, one is able to avoid getting any sickness from the water.

If one is taking medication, it is best to pack sufficient stock for the trip and must also check if the medication one is carrying is allowed in the place or blood pressure kit or imak arthritis gloves where one is going to avoid any problems with customs.

It is best to have a good meal before going on a long trip. Check-ins in airports is long and it will take some time before the airline gives the meals to its passengers.

On a long trip that could take hours by any mode of transportation, it is best from time to time to stretch or walk around to circulate the blood in the body. If you suffer from motion sickness while traveling, it is also advisable to take the proper medicine at least an hour before the trip for the medicine to take effect.

Water is important and if you are unsure of the tap water available, it is best to order bottled water from the establishment.

By taking these necessary precautions, you will be way ahead of most people in keeping yourself healthy (and safe!) throughout your trip!

Hotel Eiffel Capitol – Best Hotel In Paris

A perfect start for visiting this lovely capital city of France, the pocket-friendly Hotel Eiffel Capitol is within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower,Paris hostels, the Seine River, the Trocadero, and the Ecole Militaire. Located on the Rue Viala, a tranquil street, the hotel sits only 300 meters away from the Dupleix Metro Station, making trips to Champs Elysees, the Trocadero, and Montparnasse quick and easy. The hotel is spacious,best microphone for laptop and welcoming and offers state-of-the-art facilities. The entire hotel was renovated in 2013. Whether visiting Paris for business or leisure, Hotel Eiffel Capitol undoubtedly has everything you’re looking for at a modest cost.

3 Hot Philippines Travel Tips

When traveling to any other country, may it be the Philippines or Holland or Zimbabwe, you’re sure to come across all kinds of hassles and obstacles that could give you a pressing headache and make you wish that you’re back at home sweet home. But it’s really not necessary to go all through that with the right amount of preparation and research. When traveling to another country, you should always expect the unexpected and make sure you have a contingency plan for each situation you might find yourself in. And in your trip to the Philippines, here are a few suggestions you could take to make your trip to the Philippines hassle free.

Philippine Travel Tip #1 – Weather This, Weather That
When you’re in Dubai, you’re sure to expect extreme heat during the day and extreme cold during the night. In the Philippines, however, there are no extremities in temperature to watch out for. If you’re going to travel to the Philippines between the months of March till May, be sure to bring lots of light clothes because it’s the hot and dry season. During the months of June till October, it’s the rainy season that would greet you on your Philippine travel. Lastly, the months of November till February are possibly the best times of the year to travel in the Philippines because it’s cool but dry. But to be more specific, if you want your trip to the Philippines unmarred by the occasional typhoon, set your travel date between the middle of December till mid-May.

Philippine Travel Tip #2 – Everything’s Within A Call Away?
Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is also dubbed as the texting capital of the world because everyone, and I do mean everyone, has got a cellphone – or two! – in their name. That’s why if you’re lost, you need not worry about looking for the nearest public phone because cellphones are able to work in almost all places in the Philippines. Quite a convenient thing for anyone traveling, isn’t it?

Philippine Travel Tip #3 – Party Time!
One of the most unique and enjoyable experiences you could have when you travel to the Philippines is being part of the fiesta season. The whole town or city usually participates in a fiesta and each and every house is open to all, natives and foreigners alike. Filipino delicacies are prepared in each household and colorful banners are hung everywhere so that you’d know when there’s a fiesta going on. You could also try participating in one of the native games that’s usually played like climbing a tree slick with oil or being blindfolded and try hitting the “palayok” or pot filled with candies and coins for children.

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Maldives Holiday On The Raa Atoll

Raa Atoll is perhaps not the first place you would choose to find a Maldives Holiday Island Resort, because it is not as well known as many other atolls.

Raa Atoll is North West of Male Atoll and west of Noonu Atoll, on the outer margins of the Maldives. It is an enormous atoll 65kms long and 28kms wide  with more than 90 islands. Only 16 of the islands are inhabited, mostly on the eastern side of the atoll, and only one contains a tourist resort..

The atoll is famous for boat building the traditional ‘dhonis’ and also for its fishing fleet. As a tourist there are a lot of uninhabited islands to visit, fishing villages, and the diving is particularly spectacular due to the unusual formation of the atoll with complex reef formations at the centre of it.

Raa Atoll is located in the Northern part of Maldives and to the west of the Noonu atoll. The Raa Atoll comprises of a collection of over 90 islands of which only 16 are inhabited. With a population around 19,003, the majority of these inhabited islands lie on the eastern side of the atoll. Out of the remaining uninhabited islands, only one island has been developed as a tourist resort.

Meedhupparu Island Resort  is a 4 star hotel with 225 rooms and it is situated 130 Km from the airport, and is reached by sea plane transfer in 40 minutes. It is a very large resort being spread over 43 acres and is a very new and bright star. There are 215 beach bungalows and then the Water Villas part of the Water Village, an exclusive complex with its own restaurant, and bar. There are 20 spacious villas on stilts.

Raa Atoll may not be top of your list, in fact you may never have heard of this area in the Maldives, but if you like unspoilt islands and you want a truly great honeymoon vacation, and you don’t mind a short seaplane flight, you need to do some research on Maldives resorts.

An Overview of Japan for Travelers

For such a tiny total landmass, Japan has left an undeniable stamp on human history. If you are considering Japan as a destination, here is an overview of the country.

An Overview of Japan for Travelers

Extending along the eastern coast of Asia, Japan is a country consisting of a collection of islands. The mainland, as we think of it, is the island of Honshu. There are three other large islands, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu, and roughly 3,000 much smaller islands comprising what we call Japan. Put together, the total land mass is slightly smaller than California. The geography throughout the islands is mountainous, best exemplified by Mt. Fuji at 12,385 feet. As you might expect, the island country is inherently recognition of a volcanic are and Japan experiences earthquakes fairly frequently, some on a large scale.

Japan is an extremely urbanized country with most people living in major cities. The two prominent religions are Shintoism and Buddhism. The belief systems are harmonious and often share the same temples.

Per legend, Japan was founded by Emperor Jimmu around 600 BC. The current emperor is a descendent of the first.

The first interaction with the West was in 1542 when a lost Portuguese ship landed in Japan. Over the next century more Westerns came, but they were not trusted. The Japan shoguns eventually banned all foreigners and the country was isolated for over 200 years. Not until 1854 did Japan open its doors to the world under the Convention of Kanagawa with the United States. Once this occurred, Japan quickly evolved from a feudal state to a more modern approach.

World War I was a boon for Japan. Fighting on the side of the victorious Allies, Japan repeated new respect as an economic and military power following the defeat of the Axis. Alas, the emperor of Japan went in a different direction after the war, seeking dominance of China and Asia in general.

In 1937, Japan became an ally of Nazi German. This eventually led to its decision to pursue an attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Following four years of war, the loss of 3 million Japanese lives and two atomic bombings, Japan surrendered to the United States on September 2, 1945. It was stripped of most of its territorial holdings and was ruled de facto by General Douglas MacArthur, designated the Supreme Commander.

Following World War II, Japan turned to a democratic system through reforms. The U.S. and allies returned complete control to Japan on April 28, 1952 via the Treaty of Peace. Although its days as a military power were over, Japan once again became an economic giant. Despite its relatively tiny land mass, Japan has the second biggest economy in the world.

Modern day Japan covers 145,902 square miles. The capital is Tokyo. The terrain is best described as rugged, mountainous islands with varying temperatures.

The people of Japan are called “Japanese.” The total population is just over 127.4 million people, but the population is decreasing slightly in size. Japanese is the primarily language spoken and literacy rates are 99 percent. Japanese males have a life expectancy of 77 years while women live to 84 on average.

With its mountainous island landscape, Japan is a hot destination spot for travelers such as hostel in Tokyo and also cheap guesthouse in Okinawa. It is expensive, but a visit to Mount Fuji alone makes a trip worthwhile.

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Choosing The Best Travel Accommodation In Bali

As the prominent tourist destination, Bali has abundance choice of accommodation. It is ranged from budget hotel, guesthouse run by local people, cottage, bungalow, boutique hotel, luxury villa, to the international 5 star hotels. The accommodation spread up throughout Bali.

Cluster accommodation is not only to be found in crowd/centre tourist area, but also found even at secluded area. Hotel styles vary from traditional style to modern design. The tourists in Bali mostly favour Balinese style hotels. You’ll be easily to find a hotel that suits your needs either beach/lake side, cool mountain area, rice field view, hilltop, riverbanks, tropical garden, traditional village surroundings, town-centred, etc.

However, there are many things to consider when choosing your travel accommodations. The decision could make your trip fun or a disappointment. Choosing the right hotel is a must. Most travellers spend more time in airline ticket reservations and bargains but less time in choosing the right accommodations. Thus they may end up on the wrong side of the bed during their stay.

To get the most out of your hotel accommodations, remember to book as early as possible and make your dates more flexible. Hotels that specialize for business people will consider weekends as off-season. Family vacationers could tap into these special packages during weekends. Primarily, you should choose your hotel based on name, amenities, features, price, packages and location.

Here are some considerations in choosing your best travel accommodations:

1. Accommodations should be family-friendly. Always ask if your hotel offers children activity areas with educational and fun activities supervised by duly trained caregivers.

2. Your hotel should provide a swimming pool for children, day care service, crib rental and child-proof electrical outlets.

3. Stay in a hotel that has electronic room-key cards and has a security viewer installed on their doors.

4. Make it a priority to choose a room on the upper floor.

5. If you’re the one who likes to spend more time in your hotel room and the balcony, you should ask for the available amenities and the conditions of the surrounding environment.

6. Depending on whether you’re on a private or business trip, ask your hotel about the availability of laundry service, hair dryers, coffee makers, newspapers, free meals, fax machine, bar, cable television, parking, shuttle service, internet connection, etc.

7. The hotel property layout and its location may speak more of its surrounding environment. Noisy locations such as construction on adjacent property, car traffic and noisy waterfalls are not specified on hotel flyers. So be sure to ask about it.

8. Beautifully landscaped surroundings with trees, flowers and inner courts also enhance your travel pleasure. Moreover, gift shops and restaurants all add up to a wonderful travel experience.

9. The location of your hotel with respect to main attraction is equally important. It could save you money on taxi and bus fare.

10. Make sure that the room service is provided 24 hours a day.

11. Check out the room itself. Is it brightly coloured or classical? It sets the mood of your travel.

In order to get the most out of your travel, whether for business or family vacations, be sure to know everything about the hotel you are planning to check in to. Ask friends and relatives who have been there. Don’t just depend on the hotel’s web page, which is undoubtedly biased. Having to stay in a hotel, which you don’t like, could ruin your trip.

China Private Visit Visa (S)

From September 1st 2013, relatives of foreign residents in China have more opportunities to visit their loved ones under new regulations. The S visa is a new visa type issued to family members of foreign professionals and students in China. Spouses, children, brothers, sisters, parents and parents-in-law of foreigners residing in China all qualify for this S visa, which is much more generous than the international standard limited to only spouses and children. The policy is sure to benefit many foreigners, making their lives much easier and more comfortable here in China. Also, the new move can help China attract and retain international expertise, boost tourism and attract more overseas talent.

The S visa has two categories S1 and S2. S1 is issued to “Immediate family members” for purposes of entry and long-term family visits to foreigners residing in China for work or study, and to those who intend to go to China for other private matters. Here “immediate family members” refers to spouses, parents, parents-in-law and children under the age of 18. S2 is issued to “Family members” of work Z and student X visa holders, including spouses, parents, children, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren and parents-in-law, and to those who intend to go to China for other private matters. The other difference between S1 and S2 is that S1 allows a stay of more than six months, while S2 is issued for shorter visits. S1 holders must apply for a Temporary Residence Permit within 30 days of entry. The residence permit can be granted with a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of five years. S2 holders must stay in China during the period on the visa.

Requirements
1. Applicant’s passport with blank pages and at least six months validity left.
2. One truthfully completed Application Form with a recent color photo.
3. An invitation letter issued by the foreigner/relative who works or studies in China, which contains:
a. Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
b. Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place of intended residence, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source of living expenditure, etc.)
c. Information on the inviting individual (name, contact number, address, signature, etc.)
4. A photocopy of the inviting individual’s passport and residence permit.
5. Original and a photocopy of certification such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by the Public Security Bureau (or notarized certification of kinship) showing their immediate family relationship.

For private affairs, a document explaining personal details such as marriage, heritage, adoption, medical treatments, etc.

How to Apply
Applicants must submit applications to Chinese embassies or consulates by themselves or someone else or through a trusted travel/visa agency. A personal appearance is necessary only when consular officials require an interview. Mail and mail-back services are not available at most embassies and consulates. However, for applications through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) wherever available (such as Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, India, Singapore), applying by post is an option and applicants can also complete the application form online. An online appointment is required for all applications in person.

Processing Time
Regular processing currently takes four working days at Chinese embassies/consulates/ CVASC. However, there may be some changes under the new regulations. According to an announcement from the Chinese embassy in India in mid July, the normal processing may take one to two weeks and they advise the applicant to plan ahead. Excuses such as air ticket booked and confirmed will not be accepted. So please refer to the websites of the relevant consular missions before application.

Visa Fees
The fees including application fee and service fee remain unchanged. It mainly differs for nationalities, number of entries and processing time requested.

Hostels For Cheap And Interesting Travel

hostel-backpacker

Hostels are a cheap travel secret of budget travelers. They have been around in one form or another for a long time, and are oriented towards young travelers and anyone else seeking inexpensive accommodations. The U.S. version used to be more complicated, with guests helping with chores. They are simpler now. You rent a bed instead of a room, sharing the bathroom, living room and kitchen. Less privacy, but cheaper accommodations, and you get to socialize.

My first time in Quito, Ecuador I stayed at Centro Del Mundo, a hostel near the center of the area they call “Gringolandia.” $4 per night included breakfast. I shared a room and bathroom with 4 others, and a T.V. room with guests from 14 countries, and channels in three languages. It was clean and comfortable, with a locking trunk next to each bed for valuables.

For 80 cents I could have a rum-and-coke brought to me while I played chess with a flower-buyer from Holland. The manager could arrange anything from $15-tours of the snow-covered volcano Cotapaxi, to $2-per-hour Spanish lessons. Friday nights the rum was bought by the manager, and there was a party out in the patio.

Is A Hostel For You?

Not all hostels are as much fun as the one I stayed at in Quito, nor would all travelers want that kind of place. I happen to love hostels, but most travelers won’t. I like mingling with travelers from around the world. “Mingling,” of course, could mean sleeping next to a snorer.

In a hotel you are more isolated than in a hostel, but a private room has its advantages. I’m sure the idea of sharing a room is too much for some people, as is waiting to use the shower. A hostel is definitely a different experience from staying in a hotel.

Even if they were the same price, I’d prefer a hostel to a hotel, but one of the biggest reasons people stay in hostels is to save money. For this, they’re a good option when you’re traveling alone. Since my wife and I travel together now, we don’t stay in hostels often. You pay for two beds, after all, which makes hotels more competitive.

Some hostels do have private rooms. If you are not sure you like the idea of sharing a room, but you like the idea of a more social environment, ask about this. Sometimes you can even get a private room with a bathroom.

Hostels are not as common in the U.S. as in other countries, unless you include “bed-and-breakfast” places. These are somewhat like high-priced hostels, but with private rooms. Fortunately, there are still a few regular hostels in almost every state, and they are still a great alternative when you want alternative (and cheap) travel.

A Holiday Rental in France: Perfect for the Traveling Golfer

holiday-rental-in-france

If you’re a golfer who loves to travel, you’ll find plenty of exciting golf courses with one of the many golf holiday rentals in France. Whether you want to golf at only one course or cruise the French Riviera to various locations and courses, there are plenty of golf courses in France to fit your style and budget.

North and South France’s Finest

France offers some of the finest golf courses, with more than 25 of the top 100 courses in Europe. When taking a golf holiday in the south of France, there are many well-known clubs and courses to try out such as the Royal Mougin Golf Club, Monte Carlo Golf Club, Cannes-Mandelieu Old Course, Domaine de Terre Blanche, Golf Country Club de Vievola, and St. Endreol Golf, to name a few. In northern France, there are top quality courses such as Le Touquet, Hardelot Les Pins, Belle Dune, and Nampont St. Martin Golf Course.

A golf holiday south of France is often preferable year round due to the milder climate and gorgeous scenery. The weather is beautiful most days, and many of the golf courses in southern France were designed by some of Europe’s most skilled golf course architects. And though there are premier golf courses in the south of France, this doesn’t always mean extravagant prices or pro-style golf only. You can find courses to fit almost any budget and also courses that welcome golfers of all skill levels.

You’ll also be able to tour some of the finest cities in Europe such as Marseille, Vence, Cannes, Nice, Monaco, or Toulon. Many of these cities are just a very short distance from the French Riviera, so you can secure great holiday rentals in France and tour several areas around the French Riviera. South France holiday rentals are available at hotels and resorts, or you might find a cozy apartment to spend your golf holiday.

Package Ideas for a Golf Holiday in France

When traveling to France, choose golf holiday packages that will cater to your needs and location, whether staying north or south of France. If you need to stay only a few nights, many hotels and resorts offer packages for two to four nights and a couple of games of golf. If you need to stay longer, find golf packages that are discounted for longer stays. If it’s variety you want, another type of package is a golf cruise in which you can sail to different hot spots and play golf on different courses. French Riviera golf cruises are particularly popular.

You might also choose to stay in an area that’s saturated with golf courses so you can try out a new one every day. Areas such as Vence (south of France) or Nice offer many courses, tourist attractions, and beautiful scenery.

Booking Your Golf Holiday in France

You can easily book a golf holiday in North or South France online and find great deals for hotels, apartment rentals, or even places for a France day trip. Use online maps to pinpoint where you want to stay or go golfing. For example, if seeking Provence accommodations, check out a map of the Provence area to find a great destination.

Look for fabulous French Riviera rentals or other golf holiday adventures to enjoy your vacation to the fullest!