Practical Traveler: Up Close, but Doing No Harm

June 26, 2012

The New York Time’s Practical Traveler series posted this article last week about eco-friendly traveling.  The article advises on things to look for when considering an eco-friendly trip and has three examples of programs around the world that meet this criteria.  They discuss an elephant camp in Thailand, visiting Ecuadoran villages, and adventure travel in Costa Rica.

“While tourism is a vital source of income for many developing countries, it can also result in pollution, deforestation, inefficient energy use and cultural exploitation,” said Ronald Sanabria, vice president of sustainable tourism at the Rainforest Alliance, an environmental group based in New York. The best sustainable tourism businesses not only recycle, conserve water and energy, and use locally produced goods, they also hire local employees, support community projects and preserve cultural heritage.

Link: http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/travel/up-close-but-doing-no-harm-while-traveling.html?ref=travel

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Budget Travel: Beautiful Sacred Places

June 16, 2012

This piece by Budget Travel highlights 10 natural sites around the World and gives some insight into the history of each place.  There are different components to the overall piece including a slideshow of one or two pictures of each site and an in-depth article describing each site and giving information on the best way to get there.  Be sure to check out the two links below to get the full scope.

When we modern folks visit a beautiful natural site, the experience may evoke a sense of peace, a feeling of awe…or just the need to snap a million photos. For our ancient forbearers, though, these places were so much more. Throughout history, civilizations all over the globe have attached spiritual or religious importance to natural spots that played key roles in their respective cultures. From the mythological homes of powerhouse gods like Zeus and Shiva to the serene spot where the mortal Buddha achieved enlightenment, these are the places of legends. Some are still used for age-old rituals, others have been lost to time, but all crackle with a special energy and, if you’re lucky, just a little bit of leftover magic…

 

Article: http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/sacred-places-vacation-ideas,8497/

Slideshow: http://www.budgettravel.com/slideshow/photos-worlds-most-sacred-places,8479/

 


A Great Singapore Dish: Singapore Zest

June 14, 2012

The NY Times is featuring  a dish offered at the restaurant Marc Forgione in Tribeca, NYC called Singapore Zest.

Here are a mess of lobsters for Father’s Day dinner: a pure American take on a Singaporean classic, chili crab. A fiery stew of sweet lobster and butter, hot sauce, ginger and lime, it is meant to be eaten with a fork, fingers and immense slabs of buttered toast. It tastes best when eaten outside in the throbbing heat of summer, with humidity hanging heavy in the air and the beer in the cooler so cold that it has little flecks of ice in it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/magazine/chili-lobster-for-fathers-day.html?hpw


NY Times Travel Article

June 14, 2012

Yesterday, the NY Times wrote a piece about how the United States is expanding its presence in foreign airports.  Until now, I hadn’t really heard of it but it doesn’t seem so far fetched either given the current situation in the world.

Click the link below to read the full article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/world/europe/us-security-has-beachhead-at-foreign-airports.html?pagewanted=all


Hiking Half Dome Yosemite National Park

June 5, 2012

Today I leave on a trip to California to spend the weekend hiking in Yosemite National Park.  I have an Accounting exam in class today and then tonight I fly to San Francisco.  Tomorrow, Wednesday, I’ll spend the morning and afternoon in the city by myself while my friends are working and around evening time we’ll head to Yosemite so we can start hiking first thing Thursday morning.  Saturday afternoon we’ll head back to San Francisco and probably go out for dinner and drinks.  My flight back to Florida is at 8:00pm on Sunday so I’ll have one last day in SF to go around before I wake up Monday morning in FL with a full day of classes, including another exam.

Flying alone is one of my favorite things to do so I’m really looking forward to flying tonight.  I have a layover in Washington, DC so it’ll be a 2 hour flight with a 45 minute layover, and then a 6hr flight cross country.  I always say to myself that I’m going to start reading a good book or I’m going to study for school, but most often I typically do nothing more than stare off into space out the window with endless thoughts.  Or if I’m not in a window seat then I stare off at no place specific.  I very rarely listen to music or have a headset on and I hardly ever watch TV unless it’s a JetBlue flight on the East Coast which I don’t fly often.  So tonight I look forward to another day of flying because California is one of my favorite places to visit and knowing that I’ll be waking up in a 15th floor apartment in downtown SF with the city at my fingertips for the day makes me a very happy person!

One of my favorite places in the United States: Marin Headlands north of the Golden Gate Bridge, December 2010


Cities of Mongolia

June 3, 2012

The capital of Mongolia is Ulaanbaator and is located in the Northern part of the country.  There are over 1,000,000 people who live in the city which makes it by far the largest city in Mongolia.

Located in north central Mongolia, the city lies at an elevation of about 1,310 metres (4,300 ft) in a valley on the Tuul River. It is the cultural, industrial, and financial heart of the country. It is the center of Mongolia’s road network, and is connected by rail to both the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia and the Chinese railway system.[2]

The city was founded in 1639 as a movable (nomadic) Buddhist monastic centre. In 1778 it settled permanently at its present location, the junction of the Tuul and Selbe rivers. Before that it changed location twenty-eight times, with each location being chosen ceremonially. In the twentieth century, Ulan Bator grew into a major manufacturing centre.[2]

Source: Wiki

Wikipedia has two panoramic shots of Ulaanbaator.  To view the photos in high resolution on the Wiki site, click on the photos below.  At the site you can zoom in really well and see good details of the photos:

Links:

Wikipedia page on Ulaanbaator


New York Times information on Mongolia

June 2, 2012

Mongolia is the world’s least densely populated country, with 2.9 million people spread across an area three times the size of France, two-fifths in rural areas on windswept steppes.

Landlocked between Russia and China, Mongolia contains vast troves of natural resources like coal, copper and gold that have attracted intense interest from mining giants around the world and turned the nation into a pawn in a global game involving China, the United States and Russia. Washington has lauded the country for its smooth transition from Soviet satellite to thriving democracy.

General Information on Mongolia

Official Name: Mongolia
Capital: Ulaanbaatar
Government Type: Mixed parliamentary/presidential
Population: 2.952 million
Area: 604,103 square miles; slightly larger than Alaska
Languages: Khalkha Mongol (primarily ), Turkic, Russian
Literacy: Total Population: [98%] Male: [98%]; Female: [98%]
GDP Per Capita: $2,100
Year of Independence: 1921

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/mongolia/index.html?8qa

Slideshow: “The Downturn Reaches a Mongolian Goat Farm”

 

(click on the images to go to the NYTimes website to view the entire
slideshow and read the captions that go along with each photo)

Slideshow: “Inner Mongolia’s Field Hockey Players”

For 1,000 years, the Daur people of Molidawa, in Inner Mongolia, have been playing a game called beikou. The game is similar to field hockey and entails whacking around a ball-like knob of apricot root with long wooden branches.

A local cultural organization holds beikou matches. Two dozen or so players assemble and put on their traditional uniforms: boots, silk pantaloons, long silk robes belted with a sash, and a Daur hat that looks a little like a bishop’s miter.
Eight schools in the area teach hockey starting in the third grade. The best students are admitted to a select hockey development program in Molidawa.
(click on the images to go to the NYTimes website to view the entire
slideshow and read the captions that go along with each photo)

“Mongolia Navigator”

A list of resources from around the Web about Mongolia as selected by researchers and editors of The New York Times.

Links:

NY Times profile of Mongolia

NY Times search results for “Mongolia”