Thursday, June 30, 2011

Baku, Azerbaijan

I was watching a show on television the other day and came across a unique place that is not frequently reminded to most that it even exists. Nevertheless, this place is still amazing and offers fascinating places to visit. Baku, Azerbaijan is the capital and largest city of the country and is home to over 2 million inhabitants. Azerbaijan is located amongst Iran, Georgia, Armenia and Russia and Baku is on the Caspian Sea. According to Lonely Planet, Baku was voted as one of the top ten spots in the world for urban nightlife! Talk about unexpected, huh? At first I hesitated on doing a blog post on this city but then I was astounded by how much I could write about! On that note, let’s explore Baku’s most popular and famous sites.

First and foremost, you’ll want to go to the Maiden’s Tower. The main reason for this is that it is the highest point in Baku where you can get a good look of the whole city. Locally known as Giz Galasi, this tower was built in the 12th century and still functions perfectly. Not only is the tower a place to climb up to get an amazing view, it also houses a museum that displays the history of Baku and its culture.

One of the most magnificent and beautiful places to visit in Baku is the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall. If you’re into the arts, this would be the perfect place for you! Just having celebrated its 100 year anniversary, this music hall has a lot of history behind it. Not only was it a gathering place to enjoy concerts and musical performances, the hall has also been used as a rally spot and a place of political gathering.

A huge cultural pride of Baku is carpet weaving. Carpet weaving is an ancient art in Azerbaijan that the people of Baku hold dear and these beautiful carpets are known all over the world as the best. There are seven, yes…seven, school just for learning different carpet dyeing and weaving techniques and styles. The carpets of Baku are indescribably exquisite and are so famous that they have been mentioned in eulogies, biblical stories, classic literature, and folklore.

Baku is a marvelous hidden gem that should be explored by all who love to travel! The city has a tremendous amount of rich history and tourism that will amaze its visitors. What do you think of Baku, Azerbaijan?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I’ve been in such a summery mood lately; I can’t help but keep exploring to these amazing tropical places! Seychelles is an island country off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean and forms an archipelago of 115 islands. These islands were first settled by the famous Vasco da Gama in 1502 and were often used by traders between Europe, Africa and Asia. Now let’s look at some amazing places you can visit while in Seychelles!

Mahé is the largest island of Seychelles and contains the nation’s capital city, Victoria. On this island, you can find the Victoria Clocktower, also called Lorloz by locals. The Lorloz is an elegant replica of the clock that stood in London, England at the junction of Victoria Street and Vauxhall Bridge Road. This one in Seychelles was erected in 1903 after the country became a British colony in 1812 and still serves as a major national monument. This is probably the most popular attraction in Seychelles since it does accommodate to 90 percent of the population of the whole country.

Another national monument and perhaps a natural wonder is the sight you will see at the L’Union Estate on La Digue Island. This giant granite boulder (it sounds weird, but keep reading), formed by cooling magma deep within the earth’s crust around 750 million years ago, is a spectacular tourist attraction to visit. A sculpture formed by various forces of nature over millions of years, the shapes and large crystals embedded in the boulder will mesmerize you. On La Digue Island, you can also visit the Barbara Jensen Art Studio, who is a local artist that displays various styles of paintings.

The most interesting and unique thing that you will notice when visiting is that Seychelles is home to some of the rarest forms of flora and fauna (plants and wildlife) in the world. The country prides itself of having the record for far sighted conservation policies. On these islands, you’ll find some of the most exotic and wondrous species, including the smallest frog, the largest tortoise, the jellyfish tree, and the only flightless bird of the Indian Ocean.

You most definitely won’t have a boring moment visiting Seychelles Islands! It’s really no wonder that it’s a huge destination for honeymooners. If you want to find out more about the islands, visit their website at:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Panama City, Panama

I just realized that I haven’t really adventured to some amazing places in Central America! To change that, I decided to write this post on Panama City, Panama. Panama City is the capital and largest city of Panama and lies at the Pacific entrance of the famous Panama Canal (how many did I just say Panama in one sentence?). Founded in 1519 by the Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias de Avila, Panama has come a long way to become a metropolis of 1.3 million residents.

In Panama City, you can find Panama Viejo, meaning “Old Panama.” In this part of the city, you will get to see the first Spanish City built by the settlers in the 16th century! This is particularly unique because it was the starting point of the expeditions that conquered the Inca Empire in Peru. It was also a huge trading route in the history of the American continent. More interesting than Panama Viejo, though, is the Casco Viejo (also known as Casco Antiguo or San Felipe). After a pirate attack and an earthquake in the early 1600s, a walled city was built to protect the settlers against future pirate attacks. When the construction began for the Panama Canal in 1903, the Casco Viejo was all that stood of Panama City.

Speaking of the Panama Canal, it is perhaps the most famously known part of the city. To get a full experience, you can take advantage of boat tours that will take you zipping through the canal. By taking these boat trips, you’ll see all the beautiful beaches and the tropical islands that stand at the mouth of the canal. The amazing news about this is that these 30 minute tours are available for only about $6!

Another thing that Panama City is known for is its nightlife. There are plenty of night clubs, dance clubs and bars that cater to all different kinds of crowds. One club in particular is called the Habana Panama, which is unique for giving off an old Cuban vibe and is one of the hottest dance spots in town.

Panama City, with its amazing tropical climate, is definitely a place worth taking a trip to. This city offers a unique experience that intertwines European, American, and Cuban influences while it has created its own culture.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ulan Bator, Mongolia

I’ve decided to go somewhere a little different today than usual. Not that I’ve never written about cold places, but I think this is a particularly exotic and unique place. Ulan Bator (or UlaanBataar), Mongolia is the capital and largest city in the country. Meaning “Red Hero,” this city has a population of just over 1 million.

Suhkbataar Square is the central square in Ulan Bator. The Government Palace and in the middle of the square stands the statue of Suhk Janjin, the leader of Mongolia’s revolution against Russia in 1921. There are other statues in the square as well, like the one of Genghis Khan, who was the founder, ruler and emperor of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. This square is still a central spot for major state ceremonies, cultural events, and exhibitions.

Gobi Desert is perhaps the most famous attraction in Mongolia. Even though it’s not right in Ulaanbataar (that would probably make them hard to live there anyways), it is nearby and close enough to visit. At 1,000 miles wide and 500 miles its length, this is Asia’s largest desert in the world, making it the world’s fifth. The Gobi is a cold desert and…check this out: it’s pretty common to see frost and snow on its dunes! It is a place with one of the most extreme temperatures you’ll find anywhere. Within 24 hours, it can go from freezing up to 100oF. When you visit the desert, tours and expeditions will allow you to go camel or horseback riding through the beautiful views, dig for fossils and treasures, or just enjoy the wildlife.

Other tourist attractions in Ulan Bator include the Terelj National Park where you can stay in tourist camping sites and enjoy the hot springs located there, the Gandan Monastery where you can relax and meditate for a while, and the Choijin Lam Temple Museum where you can check out some amazing artwork and artifacts that are dated back thousands of years. So check out Ulan Bator in Mongolia the next time you feel up for an adventure! J

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tokyo, Japan

Sorry I haven’t written a blog post in so long, I’ve been extremely busy this weekend! Check out these pictures from the Bruins parade on Saturday. My friends and I were down at Government Center and even though it was extremely hot, it was worth it to see Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas up this close. Anyway, back to subject…

Tokyo, Japan is the capital of Japan and its largest city. With a total of 13 million people residing in the metropolitan area, this unique city is no place to ignore. Originally named Edo for “Estuary”, the name was changed to Tokyo, meaning “East Capital” when it became the imperial capital in 1868. Tokyo is a huge financial center with its stock exchange being the third largest in the world. Even after the disastrous earthquake back in March, Japan has officially announced that it is safe and welcoming tourists.

Harajuku is a fashion capital of the world and has a very unique street fashion. It’s a neighborhood for young people where they hang around showing off their outfits and accessories. This is also the prime spot for shopping in Tokyo (did I mention I love shopping?). Harajuku is famously known for its Gothic Lolita, visual Kei, rockabilly, hip hop, and punk styles. Personally, I’m not really into this fashion style and if that’s also your case, you can also visit Omotesando for some international fashion styles.

The cuisine in Tokyo is also famous and highly rated. Its closest competitor in cuisine is Paris, which Tokyo has twice as many stars awarded to restaurants. Nihonryori Ryugin is one of the most famous restaurants for its classic Japanese taste while Ninja Akasaka is the top rated restaurant in the city that offers a unique experience. Ninja Akasaka is a ninja-themed restaurant that is full of surprises not to mention you’ll be greeted and served by a ninja! Amazing.

The best thing that the locals recommend for tourists to do while in Tokyo is to take a stroll in gardens around the city and experience a tea ceremony. The Japanese Tea Ceremony is mainly influenced by Zen Buddhism and is a huge cultural activity in the country. This ceremony involves a powdered green tea called Matcha and a light meal. The setting can be formal or informal and can involve thin or thick tea. The ceremony is meant for the person to feel the harmony of nature and self-cultivation.

There’s much more to do in Tokyo besides these things but can’t all be covered because that would take 10 pages of writing. Tokyo is an exciting city that offers eccentric fashion, cuisine and culture. Visiting Tokyo would truly be an experience that you will never forget!

Total Pageviews