Hawaii

Around 1500 years ago an exodus came ashore on the islands that most of the world knows for its high-spirited and volcanic land- Hawaii. According to legend, Hawaii was once known as ‘Hawai’I Loa’- perhaps after the founder of these beautiful lands surrounded by water. Residents of this state and many from afar call this place ‘The Aloha State’; for the simple reason that the word “Aloha” can be hello, as well as goodbye. The Aloha State is the world’s largest chain of islands and is also the only state in the U.S that is completely made up of islands. These islands are actually volcanic islands. The lands here is made up of large rocky slabs that moved over when a particularly hot spot on top of the molten layer beneath the surface. The heat melted these rocks and turned it into magma, which broke down and formed the land it is today.

Hawaii is most eminent for its beautiful beaches. They have all kinds of beaches here, with a variety of colors. Some beaches are covered in pearly white sand, meanwhile it isn’t impossible to find beaches whose sand may be green, red, pink and even black. But the waters of these impressive coasts are packed with an adventure for all those who dare to dive deep and explore it. You can take a tour of these sparkling waters by snorkeling, paddle boating, kayaking, body boarding, and surfing. True to its fictitious depiction, Hawaii has a never-ending line of watersport activities, alongside some splendid spots you can learn about and freely roam as you please. If water isn’t your gig, then the dry lands of this state have enough to offer, in the form of its dense tropical rain forests and stunning waterfalls. They are teeming with greenery, nature, wildlife and so much more.

In terms of cuisine, one might be pleasantly surprised by the fantastic Asian food found here- sushi and ramen are popular among locals. You can also tell that the place is brimming with culture and rich history, certainly hitting the nail on the head with the deep-rooted traditions and information that would make any history buff tremble with excitement at the thought. However, while being proud of their ancestry, Hawaiians have adapted their traditions with the current times and celebrate their ethnicity and nation through festivals, music, art and food. Surely, by now the world is familiar with their time-honored hula dance, they also have hip hop, the Honolulu symphony and Community Theater to show off and introduce to its visitors. They are the only state in the U.S to speak only two languages- English and Hawaiian. The locals are warm and extremely welcoming to those who choose to pay their land a visit, opening their arms and minds-ready to teach new people about the things that make them so proud of the motherland. Certainly a few days here and one might understand why they love Hawaii so much!

ALASKA

Alaska, a place that usually gets equated with frigid weathers and gigantic moose to many
who have only seen it through a television or read about it. The name comes from the Aleut
word “Alyeska”, which means ‘The Great Land’.


And true to its connotation, Alaska is widely known for its magnificent landscapes, alluring
nature and much more. a land home to almost one hundred volcanoes, albeit they have been
fairly dormant since the 1900- but they appear mighty none-the-less. Besides, Alaska has
much to offer in the form of eye-popping sceneries, pure and uncontaminated nature, tall
peaks, glaciers, shimmering water bodies and the famous national parks. One will run out of
words to describe the absolutely breath-taking surroundings and settings of each location
within this little state.

The best thing about Alaska is that you could visit it any time of the
year and still be pleasantly surprised by all that it has to offers to you. It’s an “outdoor
paradise” for all those nature-lovers looking for new and exciting thrills from the earth.
Road trips would be an ideal way to get around this state. Getting a nice view, some crisp air
and picture-perfect drive through some beautiful spots like, the Seward Highway or Deanli
Park Road. Trains are also advised to be a great way to travel through this place, they offer a
decently memorable and fun adventure ride through fascinating landscapes, like the Denali
Star or Coastal Classic route, Skagway or the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad.


Alaska is also well known for its history that includes the Native Indians, Russians and gold
miners. The people of this state honor and represent their ancestors through the many
museums, cultural festivals and heritage centers that can be found in many locations. Visiting
these unique museums should definitely be on one’s list when visiting Alaska as there is
much to learn through the interesting paintings, displays and artifacts.
Some reasons to definitely visit this Great Land would be:

  1. The Northern Lights- a magical atmospheric phenomenon which occurs occasionally,
    lighting up the night sky with bright and iridescent colors. A real treat for the eye!
    Except during the summertime (around June and July) and rarely during the months
    of August and late May, the northern lights are a rare sighting as they experience a
    phenomenon called “the endless sun” around these times.
  2. Icy Glaciers: The state of Alaska is littered with around 100,000 glaciers. The most
    common ones are the roadside glaciers that can be easily spotted. The most notable
    ones are the Bryon Glacier, Matanuska Glacier, Mendenhall Glacier and Exit Glacier.
  3. Towering Mountains: This is a personal call to all mountain and hiking enthusiasts
    who cannot miss getting a taste of this great land’s range of mountains, that stand at
    an impressive and almost intimidating height. The best thing about this state’s
    mountain plains is that there are rocky structures for all kinds of hiking and physical
    levels of different people. You can pick from the Alaska Range housing the biggest
    mountains, the north Brooks Range or Chugach State Park. There are many more in
    between and best discovered by adventuring through them yourself.

Germany

Germany is one of Europe’s largest countries, teeming with eye-widening landscapes, tall mountains, sandy plains and wide forested hills. Berlin lies in the heart of the country, known to have risen from the ashes of the World War 2 and is now the capital of a developed and greater Germany. The culture and literature of Germany is celebrated widely across the nation, Germans proud of their history and all that they have to contribute to art and music. The Rhine River, which flows from Switzerland is celebrated in visual art, literature, folklore, and song. Berlin is the main hub for their iridescent international art and music- famously known for its beautiful forests in the west, marvelous cathedrals, aesthetic ‘Sound of Music’ in the South, and it’s endearing historic cities and beaches in the north.

Getting around Germany is easy and exciting in different ways. Whether you choose to take a bus, train, or cab, or just backpack around this lovely country- it will be an adventure you would positively never forget. Their travel accommodations are almost ridiculously inexpensive and tour guides are known for their friendly faces, showing you the best and most glorious parts of Germany- hidden and widely known spots!

Five most recommended places to visit in Germany are:

  • Lake Constance: Germany’s largest freshwater lake that is also the third largest in Central Europe. It lies along the country’s southwestern border, close to Switzerland and Austria. The climate there is always pleasant and welcoming.
  • Dresden: If grand architecture and baroque aesthetics are your vibe, then this is a place for you. A city bisected by the Elbe River, completely rebuilt after the war and functions as the biggest nightlife attractions for the youth.
  • Neuschwanstein Castle: If you’re familiar with the castle used by Disney then pay a visit to its main inspiration! The Neuschwanstein Castle is a handsome neo-romantic palace perched on a bumpy hill. Alongside it’s fascinating appearance, the palace holds a deep history.
  • Olympia Park: A massive complex originally constructed for the 1972 Olympic Games, this place situated in Munich is now topped with the largest roof in the world and consists of a great restaurant. Taking a tour of this complex would be an adventure by itself.
  • Hamburg: A port city, located in northern Germany and ranked as the second-busiest port in all of Europe. It is well-known for its canals and green parks. Alster lake resides at its center, bubbling with boats and bustling with cafes.

Another plus point about this flawless country, aside from its already pretty culture, rituals, festivities and its innovations in science and psychology, Germany is said to have perfect weather all year round. Summer is notably the best time to visit, with hot temperatures and clear blue skies. It has people flocking out of their homes to bask in the sunshine and relax in the beer gardens of their proud land.

Cape Town

Cape Town, a city dominated by the magnificent Table Mountains and standing proud as South Africa’s second most popular city. Famously known as ‘Mother City’, Cape Town has some of South Africa’s most unique and fascinating culture and heritage to show. The city radiates strong relaxing yet energetic vibes that make it ideal for those who love a perfect amount of adventure and leisure in their holiday. There are many things to do in this place, from going to a plethora of tourist sites, visiting the weekend market, hiking, attending concerts for all kinds of music and arts, and penguin watching!

Most travelers have advised those visiting this place for the first time to take a tour of the city on foot first. Walking around is supposedly the best way to discover and familiarize yourself with the city. You can get an up-close encounter with some of the sites and also teach yourself directions while also merging in with the locals. The weather serves as a major plus point as the humidity in Cape Town is pretty low, despite the hot summers! Winters are chilly and windy, and springtime is a perfect balance between both. Which is why the best times to visit are in the months of October and November, which is springtime in Africa. Meanwhile December to February are when the days get longer and warmer. The months of June to August are usually covered with harsh rainfalls and chilly temperatures.

An impressive fact about south Africa is that they claim to speak eleven official languages! English is most common and familiar in Cape Town which makes communication and navigation easier, however they do also speak Afrikaans and Xhosa on the streets. Their accents are upbeat and lively, adding to the natural charm and kindness exuded by the locals There’s so much rich culture and ethnicity to experience here! The variety will leave you hungry for more, there’s so much to see that you won’t have the time to be bored. The plant life, cuisine, geography and activities are all one would be able to think about even after you leave. Cape Town holds a certain level of beauty that is impossible to find anywhere else- the sunsets and scenery are breathtaking that you’d wish they’d stay forever. Even local residents of this city never tire of the land they live on.

You can’t speak about Cape Town without mentioning the famous Table Mountain. Standing tall and proud and 3,500 feet above sea level. There are two ways to explore this beauty of a site- one is by taking a cable car up and the other is hiking it. The cable car ride is admittedly a little expensive, so many people opt for the hike up instead. There are short trails that will take around two hours before you reach the top, but it’s worth it. In fact, it’s actually much better to make the hike than wait in line for the cable car! Whatever you choose though, you’ll forget about it once you get a good aerial view of the Mother City

Florida

It doesn’t matter where you live or how many places you’ve visited- if you have a access to a television or the internet you already know plenty about the constituent state of the United States of America known an Florida. Being the most popular of the southeastern states, Florida has a reputation that it has carried for years.

When you hear the name ‘Florida’, it is almost impossible to not think about the most recognized Disney World and the Universal Studios. However, there is more to this place than just theme parks! The city of Orlando is bustling with a variety of hang out spots, cultures, ethnics and amazing sceneries; one could find anything to do for any interest or budget. The city is home to many who put their best foot forward and hold their head up high with pride as citizens of such an exciting state.

Many visitors of this state boast of it’s rich cultural and arts knowledge that many who are foreign to this place would probably overlook. Like, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum- an American art museum, home to works by Louis Comfort Tiffany and many century artists. It’s main display and focus is that of the stunning Tiffany Chapel interior- made of stained glass and inspired by the Byzantine Empire.

Much like its arts, Florida offers its natural beauty in display through a Scenic Boat Tour. Where one could enjoy some waterfront breezes on a tour through the Winter Park Lakes, a great way to sightsee and learn the rich history of a part of Florida. Museums and entertainment venues make a large part of this delightful state, lining every inch of the city with an event that has visitors grabbing tickets for rock concerts, Broadway-style shows, dinner theater and so much more!

Let’s not forget the numerous beaches that cover a large part of this state. These sandy paradises are one of the top tourist attractions! People come in from everywhere just to sit and spend a day in The Sunshine State’s immaculate beaches and enjoy the soft sand and warm water. Not to forget the miles and miles of coastline that make the perfect location for watching the beautiful sunsets that one can find there! There’s a beach everywhere you go in Florida, if you’re a fan of warm, sandy days then this is the place for you.

Locals say that the best time to be out and about in Florida is during the months of March and May. The ideal vacation period if you want that perfect beach and adventuring weather to accompany you through all the excitement you’re going to encounter there! The only downside is that, this is also peak season, so many people flock to the amusement parks and beaches to get a taste of the perfect Florida weather with the perfect Florida effect during these months- regardless of foreign or local!

Venezuela

A tropical country located at the northern tip of South America, Venezuela is the perfect place to satisfy your inner warm climate and beach enthusiast. With its landscape running for miles, it is home to many tall peaks, jungles, rivers and coastal plains, offering a large collection of natural habitats and places of wonder to explore. Venezuela has been known to people from far and wide for its incredible scenery that makes a hiking trip and backpacking across its land a definite item to add to your bucket list.

Venezuela, being a tropical country, has a vast range of temperatures that surprises those who visit it, but nothing too shocking, as the country only has two extreme seasons that bring in heat and cold. Sometimes even a perfect mix for those who prefer both.

The wildlife is said to be exquisite. Enthusiasts rave about the large number of species that reside here- from several species of the big cat family to the predators of the riverside. Amongst these lives the famous Tapir, which is a large, four-legged mammal with a prominent snout. It’s rare to find a place with such natural beauty, tourists talk endless praises of the Andean peaks. Caribbean coastline, idyllic islands, the grasslands, the steamy Orinoco Delta and the world’s tallest waterfall- Angel Falls.

This country is said to be created for all those who cannot resist a trip to the beach, as there is about 1,700 miles of coastline along the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean that call attention to all Heliophiles all over the world to come take a walk along the sandy beaches and the sparkling waters. The most popular beaches that attract the most visitors are at Henri Pittier National Park in Aragua, but a short boat trip is all it takes to access more secluded beaches. The beaches are ideal to fulfill everybody’s fictional fantasy of ‘long walks and relaxation’.

Aside from its natural beauty, Venezuela has plenty of culture and traditions that add to its charms. ‘Carnival’ is another tourist attraction here, where loud drums and vibrant crowds celebrate a forty-day national holiday. The celebrations are a tradition that dates back to the 1800s and it is welcomed with open arms by its people. The Spanish-speaking folk go all out with rituals and preparations for the Carnival, where everyone has their own personal way of celebrating. Every region across the country unveils their own little traditions during this contemporary holiday. The state’s city is always the most alive with people of all ages dressing up in bright color costumes that complement the street’s iridescent décor and cheer in glee as they march through the streets- singing and dancing to the beats of the Calyso music drums.

For small country, Venezuela is packed to the brim with exciting treasures and adventures that makes the place almost irresistible to those who fall weak to the idea of gaining a good adrenaline rush in their body and a mind full of valuable memories.

Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan which is otherwise known as the land of Thunder Dragon, is a Himalayan paradise perched high in the Eastern Himalayas, bordered by India and Tibet. This country is home to many ancient monasteries, fortresses (called Dzongs) and legendary ancient temples. Thimpu is the capital of Bhutan and it is the largest city, while Phuntsholing is the country’s financial centre.

All visitors traveling to Bhutan are required to have a visa (except for the tourists from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, visa is not needed). One can travel to Bhutan through three modes of travel i.e. by flight, train or by road, In all three modes of transport, you are allowed to travel within the country only with a Tourist Permit. The Tourist Permit lets you explore three tourist destinations, i.e. Thimphu, Paro and Punakha, to visit other places like Bumthang, one needs to acquire a separate permit. Phuntsholing, is an exception as it is the only place you can explore even without a permit.

Tourism in Bhutan is flourishing, especially during peak time between September -November, due to the pleasant temperatures and greatest number of festivals that fall under this timeline. Springtime, from March to May are also good as they experience comfortable temperatures but with slim chances of rain. The rest of the year ( summer – from June to August and winter- from December to February) because of rain or cold temperatures, see fewer tourists.

The border town of Bhutan, Phuntsholing is a small town with quite a few attractions like, Karbandi Monastery, Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang– a Buddhist shrine  and a Crocodile Breeding Centre, called Amo Chhu

The Country’s capital, Thimphu has a few tourist attractions and the dining experience in the city is also top-notch, giving your taste buds an experience to savour the Bhutanese Cuisine. The must try Bhutanese dishes are Ema Datshi with Red Rice and the dry pork.

Around 85 kms east of Thimphu, Punakha a beautiful valley that is known for its Dzong/Fortress. The valley and the dzong, both are popular tourist places in Bhutan. The place has a lot of visitors during the Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen.

One of the widest valleys in Bhutan, Paro, is a picturesque place that can make you fall in love with it. It’s main tourist attractions are the Rinpung Dzong, National Museum and the immensely popular Taktsang Monastery/Tiger’s Nest Monastery.  Paro is also a destination for adventure lovers. The Tiger’s Nest Monastery trek is definitely a thing to do in Paro, and so is watching the snow-capped Jomolhari from the ruins of Drugyel.

Bhutan, the ultimate bucket list destination, is a simple yet mesmerizing land that somehow manages to touch your soul and balm it with peace. If you wish to slow down your fast-paced city life and relish a moment or two in the lap of Himalayas, Bhutan is the place for you!

Rome

As someone who’s never visited Rome, I’d have to admit that all my experience and knowledge comes off the online and virtual world. Books, tv shows and movies have, from the very beginning, given Rome a spotlight in their stories and episodes and emphasized it’s ornamental and exquisite appearance. It’s impossible for someone to hear the word ‘Rome’ and not be able to visualize a vivid image of the scenic architecture or at the least, recall a historic time of gladiators and the colosseum, that the city is known for and that media has put in great effort to depict.

Rome is the capital of Italy; whose population lies approximately 3 million. It is a major and immensely inhabited part of Italy, comprising the greatest number of communities and cultures. It’s situated in the central-western part of the Italian Peninsula near the coastline of Tiber river. Rome was once called ‘The Eternal City’, as ancient Romans believed that regardless of what happened in the world, their city of Rome would always remain to stand. Travelers say that the best way to get around and soak in the city would be by foot. They say that the monuments and especially the colossal are far too splendid and captivating to only get a glimpse of them. The best parts about Rome are the way you can tell all the monuments and remains have been preserved in a way that it tends to take you back to the time of when Rome really stood tall and held justice to the words ‘glory that was Rome’

Through our history textbooks, albeit a bit boring, we learned what a powerful and engrossing time period it was to read about. Or perhaps that was just me, but either way – we’ve all read of the great empires and the emperors of Rome; who fought brave battles and built the city from dust and ruled over vast acres of land. If you’re a history buff and don’t visit this city for all its ancient glory and hidden gems, what is the point?

If I were to visit Rome, it would probably be for the famous Colosseum, the Castle Saint Angelo and- of course- the Vatican museums. Something I’ve only seen in pictures, but can almost fantasize about how grand and beguiling the actual structures would be in real life. I’ve heard that January is the coolest month and other than that it’s quite warm/hot all year round. According to most tourists, the people of Rome are friendly and there isn’t much of a language barrier. Despite Italian being the main language of the country, they’re well-versed with the English language making it easy to get by. It’s probably another reason the city is such a major tourist attraction.

Seychelles

By Sheeba Muskaan

Seychelles is a place that is usually called paradise, once you land foot here, it takes you by awe. It is located on the east of Kenya and has over 100 various islands popular for coral and granite. Hiking is considered the best activity here in Seychelles. Another thing to do is to dive into the sea or explore the islands heritage sites.

Cousin Island

Lush mangroves surround this island between dense forests, freshwater, rocky land and stunning beaches. Cousin Island is popular as it is extremely eco-friendly and it is the first island and sea reserve. This place is perfect for nature lovers. It is a very clean island that is visited very less during the year round. A few hours will help in exploring the island that was once a coconut plantation and now a major home for various types of birds.

La Digue Island

This island is popular for nature and its beauty. With amazing granite rocks, turquoise water, coral reefs and rocky roads, La Digue is absolutely incredible. The transportation facility here is very limited, with just one helipad to access the island. This place is small and has very less population too and it is best to hire a bicycle here while you enjoy a relaxed vacation.

Mahe Island

Mahe being the largest island of Seychelles, is also the most beautiful one. It is scenic on all sides, with granite peaks to clear waters. Mahe has it all. It is also popular for coconut trees and lush green forests. There is also a mixed culture here along with a lot of activities to do. It is also great for exploring National Parks.

Praslin Island

The most important beach of Praslin is Anse Lazio which is a perfect place for a laid back afternoon. With white sand all around, the beach looks gorgeous. You can also snorkel or do other water activities right at the shore. Fishing is very popular here which can be viewed through boats deep down the sea.

Sainte Anne Island

This place has a warm weather and is popular for Sainte Anne Marine National Park. It is also very famous for six main beaches. The most fun thing to do here is watching sea turtles that are extremely eye catchy too. Destinations to visits at Sante Anne are Round Island and Long Island mainly and a few other places.

Overall, Seychelles is the right place for a beach lover and nature lover, it is a must sea in your lifetime as it is the most serene and beautiful destination.

China

By Sheeba Muskaan

Culture, nature and the thriving metropolitan cities of China are extremely fascinating. The Southern and Western parts are filled with beauty that gives one the scenic views of valleys, rivers, mountains and plains. Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong are exciting to visit while it is filled with a vast culture, delicious cuisines and ethnicities as well.

History here is filled with deep meaning and the countryside will get you awestruck with their touristy gems. Most people are expats from other countries who have settled in China mainly for teaching as an occupation. But if one wants to enjoy a calm vacation, the calmer locations in China are apt.

Tian’anmen Square

This is very popular in China, to stand in the center of the square is a must in the bucket list. As seen in pictures it looks marvelous, however, in reality it is even better. While one visits this place, they can also see a lot in The Great Hall of the People, The People’s Heroes Monument, The National Museum, Tiananmen Tower and most importantly the Mao Zedong’s Mausoleum.

Gorge on Food

Every area in China has its own food delight because the country is big; the food here is to die for! There are four types of Chinese food that involves Cantonese, Beijing, Shanghai and Sichuan and the spiciest of them all is available at Hunnan. The North of China offers salty and sour food like pickles and meat however, the cities have every cuisine.

Cruise the Li River

Hop on to the cruise and go down the river, the most beautiful sight ever! It is 272 miles long and has a lot to explore. The best locations would be Laozhai Hill, Xiaolong and Karst Mountains. The cruise is not very expensive as well.

Forbidden City

This city was also known as the Imperial Palace during Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has various artifacts from old dynasties and covers a lot of history and is definitely worth the trip.

Silk Road

This a stunning long trail that leads into Italy, most of the track covers China. The road is perfect for a traditional drive. It is over 2400 miles and it houses Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, The Ancient City of Turpan and The Rainbow Mountains near Zhangye.

Explore Tibet

This place is surrounded by very unique locations. Exploring a little about Buddhism, the white capped mountains and other scenic views here are amazing. The place has various historical sites as well. Visiting monasteries here is perfect too.

Karst Mountains

The mountains can be seen from Li River where one can enjoy the view on a boat or take up the roads with bicycles to see these huge mountains. Guilin is a place to stop by while visiting the Karst Mountains.

China is a place that covers it all from shopping to food and nature and much more. It is a wonderful tourist destination and must be visited at least once.