Friday, 23 January 2015

Tunisia’s Unknown Roman Ruins

For most travellers, Tunisia signifies one thing; a sun, sea and sand getaway, where the fish is fresh and the sea breeze even fresher. Few realise that behind the pretty packaging of the balmy blue med lies a country awash with ruins from a non-associated land, and that Tunisia’s landscape is littered with remnants of Roman rule.

The conquerors first landed on African soil around 149BC, demolishing and destroying areas of Tunisia before rebuilding it in their own style. Grand ancient amphitheatres, baths, Roman villas and temples are dotted all over Tunis and the surrounding countryside, reminding travellers that there’s more to this country than what the tourist touts suggest.

El Jem
As Roman amphitheatres go, El Jem – the third largest amphitheatre to have existed during the Roman Empire – is spectacular. Thankfully, the remaining architecture has suffered the test of time well; large sections of the elliptical stone walls and tiered seats are still fully standing. The theatre would have hosted gladiator shows and chariot races, seating a whopping 43,000 spectators (which, compared to London’s O2 arena which seats a mere 20,000, is pretty impressive). Visitors can reach El Jem, which is south of Sousse, easily by train.

Carthage is the most well-known site of Roman ruins in Tunisia, and thus the place you are most likely to have to vie for photo space with other historically-inclined tourists. The city of Carthage, once only second to Rome in its grandeur, now hosts ancient ruins such as the Antonine Baths and roman villas dating back to the 4th century. It’s smaller than most expect, bearing tribute to the extent of destruction in 698AD, but with the sea view in the background it’s certainly worthy of a day trip.

Sousse – mosaics museum
In the coastal town of Sousse, in the heart of the medina (or ‘old town’ – which is certainly worth a visit in itself) you can find Tunisia’s best collection of roman mosaics – all of which have been taken from excavated sites around the country. Entry is cheap at just 9 dinar, and the cool, welcoming underground vaults and courtyard of the museum provide a nice respite from the heat.

Most of the mosaics are incredibly well preserved – but make a special effort to check out the Triumph of Neptune and the mosaic of Medusa.

The UNESCO site at Dougga warrants many more visitors than it currently receives, meaning now is the time to go if you want to wander freely amongst the well-preserved temples of this once prosperous town. It’s set out into the countryside, in the North West of the country, and is thought to have been founding during the reign of the great Julius Caesar.

The most impressive site, however, is the Capitol, built in tribute to the gods Juno, Minerva and Jupiter. The roof and columns are still standing strong, and it’s quite a marvel to see these unexpected Roman ruin in amidst an area of Tunisian farmland.

More pictures of the archaeological sites in Dougga can be seen here.

The temples at Musti have suffered over the centuries, but it’s still easy to make out the remains of the Temple of Ceres, Pluto and Apollo. This area once played host to a large farming population, and continues to be farmed today, in and around the ruins. They worshipped Ceres as the god of agriculture, and Pluto as the god of seeds (rather than the underworld as is sometimes the case). The temple dedicated to the former is in much better condition, though the walls and roof have suffered slightly. More information of what remains can be seen here.

Bulla Regia
This part of the country was brought into Rome’s empire in 1st century AD, and quickly became an area of prosperity, as is evident from the wealthy residential areas whose remains are still observable today. The Worlds Monument Fund has done great work to preserve what is left of this archaeological site; the homes, bath of Julia Memmia and latrines. For those wanting an insight into Roman life in Africa, this is one of the better and more informative spots to visit.

Have you ever spotted any unexpected remnants of the Roman Empire while you were In Tunisia? Let us know!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

5 Reasons to Move to Thailand

Thailand is one of the places that tourists love to visit. It is amazing and interesting and it’s really exotic. However, when it is so perfect and lovely, why not choosing to go there and stay there forever? This is probably the question that a lot of those tourists ask themselves as their plane leaves the Thailand soil. Well, to add to those thoughts, here are the five things that should definitely inspire you to move there for good.

It is simply perfect. Thailand has an amazing climate and you can definitely get used to it. The average temperature throughout the entire year is somewhere just below the 30 degree Celsius. The climate has three major seasons, the hot one, the cool one and the rainy season which lasts from June to October. The humidity is high in Thailand, but it is not unpleasant to live there.

It would be a real miracle if you haven’t tried Thai food yet. This is such a various and rich cuisine that you can spend years exploring it and enjoying it. It has meat, fruits, vegetables and everything in equal measurements. The nature is rich in Thailand, so the cuisine uses that and makes it one of the most beloved cuisines in the world. Well, if you plan on exploring the Thai cuisine, what better place to do it, than living there while you’re at it.

It is hard to say if it is more beautiful to observe the amazing and unreal sceneries of the Thailand nature on the land or underwater. Wherever you look, it is brimming with the colorful life and fabulous nature. This surrounding offers a very wide range of outdoor activities and underwater sports. Living in Thailand meanskeeping in touch with the nature in its most cheerful and playful form. This alone is enough for choosing Thailand to be your land of choice. All those islands are enough for you to explore for years.

As for the legal options, your best bet is to buy foreign freehold option in a licensed condominium. 45 % of these are allowed for a foreigner to have on his own name. This is probably the most secure way to own property on Thailand. Houses in Thailand are very beautiful and there are some seriously stunning properties. And you surely won’t be the only foreigner living there, since a lot of people across the world dream to buy houses in Thailand – and many of them make this dream come true.

Cost of Living
Considering the fact that you won’t have to pay another bill for heating in your life, this place seems more amazing place to live minute by minute. The cost of living is fairly low when compared to most of the western countries. That is one of the reasons why a lot of people whose jobs don’t require from them to be in the office choose to change their place of residence and come to Thailand. Even if they don’t choose to own their own property, there is the option of taking the 30 year lease or the 50 year lease under some specific terms.

The islands, the jungles, the tigers, the underwater world, the people, the exotic way of life and everything else in Thailand make it a perfect place to spend some portion of your life at. All this is just a part of the Thailand’s beauty as there hasn’t been a single word said about the hectic and unbelievable nightlife and the remarkable and world-known spirituality that is ever-present at Thailand. These are just some perks that make it worth your while.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

5 must take things on a holiday for one

Every new trip is a new experience and you can never know what it brings. Embarking on a journey requires that you leave your comfort zone, leave all the people you know, most of the stuff that you own behind and seemingly start from the beginning, all over again, in a new and unfamiliar environment. As in a popular game we often play when bored-5 things you would take on a deserted island, in front of you is a tough choice that may jet come to determine the very course of your entire journey.

Because we are fortunate to live in this era of technology, where our phone alone, can replace a music playing device, magazines that we would read or even a books in pdf format, our job here is made significantly easier. This however, does not mean that your phone will be all that you need to take on this trip. There are a lot of things your phone can never replace and here is the short list of the five crucial things to take on a perfect holiday for one.

A wardrobe for a wild night out
Most of the tourist havens have a wild and vivid nightlife and this is something that you do not want to miss for anything in the world. In order to fully experience the place you decided to visit, you need to go out and mingle with the local populace and other tourists. Your favorite clothes for going out with your friends, should be invaluable on this trip, especially when traveling as a single young person.

Your camera
One of the things that are must-take on any journey is a photo camera. This clearly is a thing that your phone can replace easily, but never completely. The pictures taken by a camera are always of better quality. Apart from the quality of the picture, not everything is in pixels, numbers and characteristics. Taking pictures with camera while on holiday is certainly a unique experience which you should not miss for anything. It will also leave you with a lot of pictures serving as mementos for this incredible journey of yours.

A Swiss Army knife
When visiting a foreign country on your own, you can never be too cautious and too safe. Still, even apart from all of these “security” reasons, there are a lot of situations in which a pocket knife can be extremely useful. A  Swiss Army knife has many gadgets that you may often find invaluable in your journeys.

You never know if, or when you are going to encounter a perfect opportunity for a romance on your travels. It may happen that you find a person that you will want to spend the rest of your days with, or just a person with whom you will have a short, yet passionate romance that will completely alter the ways in which you will, from now on, remember this incredible voyage. Still, safety comes first and that’s why condoms are a must-take on a journey. It is better take them a million times and not need them once, than to not have them once when you need them.
 A swimsuit
If visiting a tropical resort, swimsuit is a must of such high level priority that it is ridiculous even to mention it. Still, if you decide to visit a winter resort, go skiing or snowboarding again there is a possibility that your hotel will have a pool. Why resort to use of hotel swimsuits or being forced to buy one that is available in a hotel store when you can clearly take your favorite from home. It does not take much place in your bags and it could mean a world to you later on.

While you can never take everything that you need on a journey, making a short list of priorities and must-takes will definitely get you on the right track. You can never take everything, but that’s fine since you never really needed everything and just by recognizing this fact you will get the most of the job done. Now all that is left for you to do is, pick a location, pack and embark on a journey of your lifetime.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Night life in Sydney

No matter whether you are visiting this remarkable city, or you are local here, night life in the most beautiful city on the Australian continent won’t leave you indifferent. With huge variety of different places to go and see, it is certain that your tour throughout the streets of Kings Cross or Oxford Street will be something to remember. Depending on what do you seek, we will recommend several places that you mustn’t miss. From chill places with smooth jazz music, across Irish pubs with litres of ale, to night clubs with stunning girls and blood-pumping techno music, you will find whatever interests you.

The most represented in terms of visitors, techno clubs are most famous nowadays. Most of those are settled in near vicinity of Kings Cross station. Remarkable places to visit are “Home”, “Arq”, and definitely “Soho” and its gigantic dance floors surrounded by Art Deco decor. Those clubs have reputation for often being visited by worldwide celebrities and somewhat are trying to highlight this fact. Top notch sound system and cutting edge lighting are there to ensure quality entertainment. But, if you get tired, you can get secluded from the crowd, for many clubs have separated lounges of balconies where you can take a breath. Also, you mustn’t miss “Candy’s Apartment”, one of the first clubs opened in Sydney: it is situated underground, in a part of the old sewage system, and has this very special atmosphere. Same for the Q Bar: beside the dance floor, you can find pool tables, video games and pinball machines...
But, there are things you must pay attention to. Security issues are often problematic, and with all the alcohol around, it is only boosted - as for drugs and other illegal substances, they are gaining their place in the crowd.

Pubs and taverns
As the opposite from crowded clubs, which come into life after midnight, this type of objects are almost crowded during the day as well as at night time. Also, music is different, as local bands are making the list of performers. You’ll definitely want to visit famous “Slip Inn”, which will provide you with quite relaxed atmosphere, and the place you’ll wish to visit again. On the other hand, the “Argyle hotel” is separated into several different sets, or to say, stages. You can choose upon relaxing ones, or if you planned to party out, that is available also.

In addition, there are several clubs built just to escape from every-night crowd and offer a safe refuge from unwanted attention. Perfect for these are the “White revolver”, a hidden underground club to which you can go through another tavern, or “De Nom”, arguably the most exclusive object of this type in this part of the world. And yes, it is incredibly expensive, but it's worth the price, for it is very luxurious, in terms of decoration and service. Have you ever wanted to visit the Versailles? Courtiers looking at each other, discretely admiring each other's costume? In “De Nom”, people are rich, some well-dressed men swagger with young and beautiful women (and some of those girls are actually escorts), wines are delicate and waiters exquisitely attentive, willing to make you feel like a XVIIIth century prince. This place is living embodiment of that time. 

Will it last forever?
But, night life in this beautiful city had come upon the obstacle. With the increasing rate of violence connected with alcohol usage, the authorities have made a decision that at 01:30 AM, all the pubs and clubs are not to receive additional customers and at 03:00 AM, to stop selling alcohol. By some, this is a great decision, while others are strongly opposed, with arguments that it must be another way, like preventing individuals to enter the specific building, if that person is known as trouble maker. With everything said taken into consideration, one thing is sure. If you plan to go out in Sydney, you won’t be bored, that’s for sure.

Monday, 29 December 2014

What to visit in Sydney

Sydney is for Australia, the same that London is for England and Paris is for France. Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and most famous city in Australia. Founded in 1788, Sydney is the oldest city in Australia, with over four million inhabitants. It is built around one of the most spectacular harbors in the world and has the famous Sydney Opera and the Sydney Harbor Bridge, icons representing Australia. Sydney is famous for arts, fashion, culture, entertainment, music, education and tourism. This is also the most visited city in Australia.

There are many restaurants with excellent cuisine, places for shopping and a great selection of accommodation from luxury hotels to accommodation for backpackers. One can also find accommodation in Randwick, the suburbia of Sydney. When it comes to shopping Sydney can be compared with Paris, Rome and New York. Sydney is home to the Royal National gardens, national parks, beautiful beaches, world-renowned museums, art galleries, colonial architecture and historic buildings. Sydney never sleeps. During the day, the city exudes a hectic life and street performances, while in the evening you numerous bars and clubs most modern Oxford Street, can be entertained until dawn.

What should you visit in Sydney?

Sydney Opera House - This magnificent building represents the most significant element of Sydney. It was named a finalist of the "New Seven Wonders of the World". Sydney Opera House is the most complex building in Australia, with excellent acoustics. When you think of the Sydney opera think of impeccable taste and original design. Take a tour of this wonderful structure and enjoy the view of the harbor.

Bondi Beach - Bondi Beach is an inseparable part of the city's identity. Bondi is perhaps one of the most popular beaches on the east coast of Australia. Famous for its artists and transient backpackers, Bondi offers beautiful views, soft sand, plenty of shops and a large variety of restaurants.

Museum of Contemporary Art - If art is your passion, then the Museum of Contemporary Art has to be on top of your "what to visit in Sydney" list. As the only Australian museum dedicated to contemporary art from Australia and from around the world, this museum has a great collection that will satisfy even the most demanding visitors.

Royal Botanical Gardens - with birds, flowers and gorgeous trees, Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney represent an oasis of tranquility. Botanical Gardens are located in the heart of the city and carry the title of the oldest scientific institution in Australia, established in 1816. Some of the main attractions are rare Wolleemi Pine, a collection of plants of the South Pacific, dry gardens and aromatic rose gardens. Here you will find and greenhouses with exotic plants.

Taronga Zoo - With hundreds of wildlife species, a visit to Taronga Zoo will be an amazing experience for all animal lovers. The animals, like for example giraffes, gorillas, platypus (platypus), snow leopards, elephants, spiny anteater, kangaroos, koalas and seals are found in the open, not in cages.

The Sydney Aquarium - is a popular place for families with children. You can walk through underwater tunnels with a total length of some 160 meters. You get to be so close to this superb sea life, and it really is an unforgettable experience. The Sydney aquarium is home to nearly 11,000 different forms of life from the sea. Some of the most popular attractions is the view of the Great Barrier Reef, a sanctuary for seals and sharks in open ocean waters.

Even though this list is far from being complete, it’s obvious that Sydney has a lot to offer to all sorts of tourists and if you ever get a chance to visit this amazing city, by all means, do it.