Tuesday, August 28, 2012

World's Longest Bus Seats More Than 200 Passengers


Dresden, Germany, is getting ready to roll out the world's longest bus, the 98-foot AutoTram Extra Grand. Dresden news outlet the Local is reporting that the supersized bus, which can carry up to 256 passengers, just went for a test drive.

Even more surprising, the AutoTram can be driven by any bus driver; no special license is required. The bus got the green light because of a special train-like steering algorithm that ensures the two rear sections, which rest on four guided axles, perfectly follow the cab.

Designed and built by the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI in Dresden along with the Technical University Dresden, the bus is set to make its debut in congested Dresden traffic in October. Currently, it is undergoing tests in special facilities outside the city.

"Due to its high transport capacity, the AutoTram Extra Grand bridges the gap between conventional city buses and trams, offering new possibilities for an environmental friendly public transport," the Fraunhofer Institute said in a press release.

Matthias Klinger, director of the Fraunhofer Institute, told the Local there has been a lot of interest from cities in the developing world looking to develop cheap public transport systems.

Do you think the bus is a good idea, or an accident waiting to happen?

article source : http://www.gadling.com

Vegetarian Travelers Still Experience Culture



"You can't travel if you don't eat meat," says a person who likes to both travel and eat meat.
But that's not true – of course you can travel if you don't eat meat. Contrary to what many travelers and even travel writers believe, you can genuinely learn about and experience another culture without eating meat or any other food your diet restricts. I've traveled as a meat-eater, a pescetarian, a vegetarian and a vegan. I've watched as others have shaken their heads in disbelief, unsure of why I'd ever travel in the first place if I didn't want to taste what steak is like in another country. I've heard some people claim that travel and meat eating are so inseparable that culture simply cannot be experienced while practicing a plant-based diet. This is misleading and unnecessarily dissuasive.
Culture is a term we use to describe myriad facets of any given society. Merriam-Webster defines the word as:
1
a : the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thought, speech, action, and artifacts and depends upon the human capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group
Food is just one part of culture. Food is important because we need food to survive. We eat several times a day. We eat socially. We eat emotionally. We love to eat. So let's get something out of the way: those who do not consume meat (or nuts, soy, gluten, alcohol or caffeine, for example) do still consume. I've visited countries around the world and sometimes I've eaten animals or animal products in those countries and sometimes I have not. But no matter what I eat, I'm eating unfamiliar food that is prepared in a way that is new to me when I travel. I've tried fruits and vegetables that I never knew existed but are simultaneously staples of the diet in other cultures. In that way, I've experienced the food of a different culture and all of the excitement that it brings without having to eat meat.
Because we spend so much time eating and because eating is often communal, having a restrictive diet can make it more difficult to eat with others, especially while traveling. If you don't eat meat, you may have to disclose that to restaurants or hosts in advance. You may have to work extra hard to seek out places that serve what you want to eat. You may have to go grocery shopping while traveling (which is one of my favorite things to do and a good way to gain cultural insight, anyway). You may get lucky enough to have a host who is willing to prepare animal-free food for you. Some cuisines of the world are laden with meat while others are based in vegetables. The difficulty you'll have eating as a vegetarian will depend on where you are. No matter the case, you will eat and what you eat will likely be different from what you normally eat when you're at home.

What's important to recognize though is that food is not the only part of culture. Similarly, an anything-goes diet is not necessary for experiencing culture. If you have dietary restrictions, that's fine. I think we should treat food as medicine and think carefully about what we put into our bodies as regularly as possible, even when we're on vacation. If you're visiting a place wherein locals eat a cow tongue and lard custard, you don't have to feel guilty when you choose not to try it. You can learn about this specific food, if you care to, by asking questions and by learning about the history behind the dish. Nothing compares to trying a dish for yourself, but you don't have to try everything to be a good traveler. You can enjoy other aspects of the culture at hand. You can explore the arts community, listen to live local music and dance the traditional dances of the region all night long. You can listen to and share stories with locals. You can go swimming where locals go swimming. You can shop where they shop. You can visit their churches and schools and you can drink their wine.
This idea that culture cannot be experienced without throwing caution to the wind and eating whatever is set before you while traveling is misguided. I've traveled and eaten in the places I've traveled to with meat and without meat and the difference between the two is hardly memorable at all for me. Travel might be a more difficult if you have diet restrictions, but travel might also be more difficult if you have other restrictions – like being too scared to go free-diving with the locals, insisting on speaking English in a non-English speaking country or not going out dancing because you don't like to dance. Lest we continue even further down the wrong path when discussing travel with others, let's remember that learning about and experiencing another culture is not contingent solely on what you do or don't eat.
 
 
article source : http://www.gadling.com

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Top 10 World’s Best Universities

2011 World University Rankings


ANDREW WARD/GETTY IMAGES
The U.S. News World's Best Universities rankings, based on the QS World University Rankings, evaluated schools in countries such as the United Kingdom, China, Australia, and more. See the schools among the top 10 in the world.

1. University of Cambridge


OLIVER BENN/STONE/GETTY IMAGES
Country: United KingdomOverall score: 100.0
The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world and one of the largest in the United Kingdom.

2. Harvard University


DENISTANGNEYJR/iSTOCKPHOTO
Country: United StatesOverall score: 99.3
Harvard University’s extensive library system houses the oldest collection in the United States and the largest private collection in the world.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology


PETER SPIRO/iSTOCKPHOTO
Country: United StatesOverall score: 99.2
MIT, located across the Charles River from downtown Boston, focuses on scientific and technological research.

4. Yale University


SCOTT GOLDSMITH/AURORA FOR USN&WR
Country: United StatesOverall score: 98.8
Yale University, located in New Haven, Conn., is known for its excellent drama and music programs as well as its secret societies, such as the Skull and Bone Society.

5. University of Oxford


JOHN WOODWORTH/ iSTOCKPHOTO
Country: United KingdomOverall score: 98.0
The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, with roughly nine centuries of continuous existence.

6. Imperial College London


IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON
Country: United KingdomOverall score: 97.6
Imperial College London has more than 3,000 academic and research staff and nearly 14,000 students from more than 120 different countries.

7. University College London


ARPAD BENEDEK/iSTOCKPHOTO
Country: United KingdomOverall score: 97.3
Teaching at UCL is "research-led," meaning that the programs offered reflect the very latest research and are often taught by academic staff members who are leaders in their fields.

8. University of Chicago


DAN DRY/UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Country: United StatesOverall score: 96.1
Founded in 1892, the University of Chicago, situated in Chicago’s Hyde Park community, offers a rich campus life in a big-city setting.

9. University of Pennsylvania


STEVEN MINICOLA
Country: United StatesOverall score: 95.7
The University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, was founded by Benjamin Franklin.

10. Columbia University


EILEEN BARROSO/COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Country: United StatesOverall score: 95.3
Columbia University, located in New York City, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York.

Share Your Thoughts


JOE C. MORENO
What do you think about the rankings of the World's Best Universities? Visit  Best Colleges Facebook page and share your thoughts.


article source : www.usnews.com

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Women-only industrial city to be built


First Lady Michelle Obama greets International Women of Courage Award recipient Samar Badawi, of Saudi Arabia, during a ceremony at the State Department in Washington, D.C. on March 8, 2012. The awards pay tribute to outstanding women leaders from around the world. UPI/Kevin Dietsch


Women-only industrial city to be built
A woman participates in a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Tehran, Iran on April 8, 2011. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian
HOFUF, Saudi Arabia, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia is set to construct an industrial city for women only to allow them to work in an environment in line with the country's strict laws.
The city, to be built in Hofuf, is being built to allow women to become more financially independent, the British newspaper The Guardian reported Sunday.
The Saudi Industrial Property Authority said the city is slated to open next year.
"I'm sure that women can demonstrate their efficiency in many aspects and clarify the industries that best suit their interests, nature and ability," authority Deputy Director General Saleh al-Rasheed said.
The city will create about 5,000 jobs for women in textiles, pharmaceuticals and food-processing, and will be near residential neighborhoods "to facilitate the movement of women to and from the workplace," the authority said in a statement.
Currently, women make up only 15 percent of Saudi Arabia's workforce, the report said. Proposals have also been submitted for four similar industrial cities to be created.


Read more: http://www.upi.com

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mastering The Art Of Solo Travel

pikes peak It was my senior year of college. My friends and I would soon be giving up math classes and research papers for 9-to-5 jobs and business suits. I knew that before that happened, I wanted to do something memorable; see the world for an extended period of time before entering a world of one-week-per-year vacations.

I had always heard Europe was a fun destination, as well as easy to navigate thanks to their efficient train system. Living with five other girls, I proposed the idea in October, many months before May graduation, so we would have time to prepare. Everyone excitedly said "yes," shouting out all the cities they wanted to include on the itinerary.

By January, I was down to only two girls who still wanted to go, and come the end of March, I was completely on my own. Inside, I panicked. Do I give up a trip I had been mentally planning for over a year? Or, do I go solo and open myself up to new adventures?

With shaky fingers, I pulled up the Delta website on my laptop, typing in a flight itinerary that would have me flying into Dublin and out of Athens. Without thinking I grabbed my credit card out of my purse, as if a force stronger than myself was moving me. I chose the cheapest flight, entered in my personal details and clicked "pay now." Oddly, my nervousness vanished completely, and I was left with a sense of pure excitement. I was spending the summer in Europe, solo.
After that first trip going to Europe on my own, I realized I actually loved traveling solo. It's hard for many people to understand, but the trip style has many benefits. Don't ever let having to travel on your own stop you from going to a destination you really want to see. Instead, master the art of solo travel.

If It's Your First Time, Create A Detailed Itinerary Before You Go

I am not joking when I say I pre-booked every hostel for an entire summer through Europe before even leaving the United States. While this is something I wouldn't do now, I do think it can relieve a lot of stress for first time solo travelers. You'll know you won't be frantically searching for accommodation in an unknown place, and it ensures you'll always have a retreat to run back to in case you start feeling nervous. Moreover, if you're traveling on your own for the first time – or even your 50th – it's likely your family and friends will have concerns. Creating a detailed itinerary you can type and print out for them will help assuage their fears.

travel Know That Traveling "Solo" Doesn't Mean You're Traveling "Alone" 

"But, won't you be lonely?"

This is the most common question I get before an upcoming backpacking trip on which I am going companionless. The truth is, not at all. In fact, I find it almost impossible not to meet other people while traveling. At hostels, money exchanges, on tours, in parks, eating at cafes, sitting alone at bars. When you're on your own, it makes you approachable, especially if the person who's thinking of talking to you is also traveling alone. Additionally, you can create situations where you cause yourself to meet new people, like purchasing extra food to share with others in the park or inviting people to do an interesting excursion with you. For a detailed guide on how to make friends when traveling solo, click here.

Choosing A Destination Where People Speak English Can Help Newbie Solo Travelers

If it's your first time traveling solo, I wouldn't recommend throwing yourself into a situation where you won't be able to communicate with locals. It's better to get used to traveling on your own in an environment where you'll be able to book hotels and trains, order food at restaurants and ask for directions without having to hurriedly flip through a dictionary. You may also want to stick with more Westernized countries your first time around to limit your culture shock. Western Europe is a popular choice, especially Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Research Each City Before You Arrive 

How much research you do will depend on your personal travel style; however, I do recommend getting a sense of a place before arriving. Even after numerous solo trips, I always do a bit of Googleing to check out a map, get a sense of what there is to do and, most importantly, learn about any safety issues. For example, while most people think the tourist area of a city is usually the safest, this isn't always the case. In Quito, the touristy "La Mariscal" area is actually one of the most dangerous areas in the city. Although my hostel was less than a 10 minute walk from this area, I knew at night it was not walkable if I wanted to make it back with all my belongings. It's also a good idea to ask your hotel or hostel to give you a map and highlight the safest areas to explore on your own.

rio de janeiro Realize The Perks Of Solo Travel 

If you're going to travel solo, it's important to keep a positive mindset. Instead of going into it thinking "I wish I had someone to travel with," you need to realize the perks of traveling solo. First of all, you can choose when you want to be alone, and when you want to be social. Sometimes when I'm traveling, I like to just go to a park or wander a neighborhood on my own, getting lost in thought and just enjoying spending time with myself. If you're traveling with a friend, they may take this personally; however, since there's nobody to answer to when traveling on your own, you can do this. On the other hand, you can also invite others along with you if you're in the mood to be more social.

The other reason I absolutely love traveling on my own is I never have to compromise my itinerary. If you're interested in adventure and outdoors and your companion is more of a museum type person, you're going to end up missing out on some of the things you really wanted to do. Additionally, there may be certain days when you're feeling energetic but your partner doesn't feel like leaving the hotel room. When traveling solo, you have full control of the what, when and where of your trip.

Furthermore, when you travel solo you open yourself up to both external adventures and internal discoveries. You gain a new sense of yourself, and also realize what you're capable of. It's rare that people go on solo journeys and don't learn something new and positive about themselves. So, instead of lying on a therapist's couch for $80 an hour, get out and explore the world on your own.

Have Travel Goals In Mind 

Traveling solo means nobody will be there urging you out of bed and dragging you to every tourist site in the city. For this reason, you need to be on top of yourself. Sit down, and make a list of what exactly you want to get out of the trip. This may mean figuring out what yourtravel philosophy is so you can pinpoint why it is that you travel. For example, I knew I wanted to backpack through Patagonia in South America in order to immerse myself in some of the world's most unique landscapes. This entailed researching what some of these were beforehand, and making sure I home-based in cities that would give me access to rare hiking experiences. It also meant there would be a lot of early-to-bed, early-to-rise days, which I kept in mind when being tempted with late night glasses of wine and bar hopping. While it's OK to change your goals, make sure you do it with a clear head so you get what you want out of your trip.

Utilize New Technological Tools To Help Make Solo Travel Easier

Everyday, new travel apps and tools are being created, making it easier than ever to travel solo. My absolute favorite resource to utilize while traveling solo is CouchSurfing. While you could use it to save money on accommodation and stay with a local, I use it for the group forums. For example, if I'm traveling to Buenos Aires, I'll join the "Buenos Aires" group and put up a message telling everyone when I'll be in town. I've gotten to attend great meetups and events by doing this, and have also gotten the chance to see the city from a local's point of view. Moreover, sites like Gomio allow you to search hostels and see who will be there before you book. And for social travel planning, sites like Gogobot and Travelmuse allow you to source information from others.

canyoning Keep Yourself Open To New Adventures (But, Don't Put Yourself In Danger)

To do this, you'll have to do what most people find most difficult - let go of fear. Don't lock yourself in your hotel room and only go on guided tours because you're terrified of stepping out into the sunlight on your own. Remember how easy-going you are at home, and try to find that inner peace. If someone asks you to grab a bite to eat or go explore together, go for it. Moreover, if you hear about a tour or experience you've never heard of, try it. That being said, always trust your gut, and don't put yourself in dangerous situations. Meeting a local for a burger in a public restaurant is one thing, going back to their house for a drink alone is another.

Make Time For Yourself

"But, isn't making time to travel already making time for yourself?"

Yes and no. While it's great you made time away from your everyday schedule to explore a new destination, there's still the chance of the dreaded travel fatigue setting in. If you're starting to feel anxious, tired, withdrawn or depressed, stop traveling immediately and remedy the situation. I don't mean you need to go home, but a bit of pampering, journal writing, calling friends from home and TV time can be beneficial to your health in this situation.

Learn How To Stay Safe 

While there are many benefits to traveling solo, you do open yourself up to being a target more easily. Instead of letting this thought scare you into not going on your trip, learn how to keep yourself safe. As mentioned above, always find out where the safe and more seedy areas of a city are. Moreover, don't carry valuables, take taxis at night, leave your jewelry at home and never make your money visible. I love wearing Clever Travel Companion's secret-pocket underwear and tank tops, so I can carry my money, credit cards and ID without anyone knowing. If you're going to carry a bag or backpack, put it in front of you so you can see the pockets at all times. And, number one, always trust your gut. If you're in a situation or place you don't feel comfortable in, hop in a cab and get out of there as fast as you can.

Know That Solo Travel Isn't For Everyone 

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to travel solo. While I reccommend everyone try it at least once – even if it's domestic or nearby – in the end it may not be for you. There's nothing wrong with not being fit for the solo-travel mentality. Some people just feel better having a companion with them when they're visiting a new place, and that's perfectly fine. And, if you can't find anyone to travel with, you can always consider a group tour.
article source : http://www.gadling.com

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Beautiful islands to visit in Korea

Fact: If you tried to visit one Korean island a day, it would take you more than nine years to get to them all (there are 3,358 officially affirmed islands off the South Korean coast).

While most travelers in the region have most likely heard of Jeju, Korea’s most famous island and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, the seas surrounding the peninsula are peppered with lesser-known islands with spectacular views and awesome fishing.

For more information and directions to the islands, try searching for each island on the Visit Korea website, or calling Dasan Call Center (02-120) once you're in the country.

1. Seonjaedo (선재도)

seonjaedo

Magic? Not unless you think the gravitational pull of the moon is magic. But magical? Definitely.
Many are familiar with Moses dividing the Red Sea, but this biblical story has its own, more scientifically plausible version on Seonjaedo.
At low tide, the ocean parts to reveal a sandy path from Seonjaedo to the smaller satellite island of Mok. Who knew the city of Incheon, best known for its airport, had such a patch of natural beauty?

2. Sinuido (신의도 or 상하태도)



The entire ocean may be filled with salt, but some islands are just better at getting the stuff out of it.
Sinuido, which was featured in a 2008 episode of the KBS2 channel's travel program, "1 night 2 days" (12), is the largest producer of sea salt in South Korea.
One visits this island not for the fishing, hiking or swimming -- but rather, to gawk at the surreal mounds of salt in the salterns, waiting to be harvested.

3. Hongdo (홍도)



We'd be worried about the fact that the boat looks like it's about to run into a rock (or several), but we're too busy gawking at how pretty the rocks are.
The rocky, diminutive (6.47 square kilometers) Hongdo, with its killer sunrises and wealth of peculiar rock formations, has been likened to a flower floating on the water.
Named for the crimson light that envelops the entire island at sunset (hong is Korean for "crimson"), Hongdo's 6.47 square kilometers is home to about 270 subspecies of evergreen and about 170 species of animals.

4. Cheongsando

cheongsando

Cheongsando is part of the Dadohae Maritime National Park, and was also the filming location for the 1993 movie "Seopyeonjae," as well as 2006 K-Drama "Spring Waltz." With turtledoves and black coral, mountain goats and clean seas, it's not surprising that in the past people once (well, more than once) fought over possession of Cheongsando.
It also doesn't hurt that the fishing is superb, with abalone porridge and hoe (raw fish) as local specialties.

5. Ulleungdo



Dodong Port on Ulleungdo. As a volcanic island, the landscape is all ridges and rocks; for the enterprising rock climber the steep shoreline cliffs are said to have a view worth the climb.
This popular vacation destination is the major fishery of the eastern coast -- that is, even more so than all the other coastal fishing villages along Korea's peninsular shoreline.
This, as we know by now, translates into good seafood. Ulleungdo's signature catch is the cuttlefish.
Otherwise the island is packed with dazzling little nooks -- caves, waterfalls, seaside walks and ancient trees -- all very well-equipped for visitors.

6. Deokjeokdo

deokjeokdo

Not the best place to tan, perhaps (because of the latitude as well as the lumpy ground) but the water does look inviting.
Deokjeokdo's formula of forest, mountain and shore may not be anything particularly new, but it works.
Near Incheon, this northern island of mud flats, pebbled beaches and 300-year-old pines can nonetheless hold its own in a beauty contest against some of South Korea's better-known southern beauties.

7. Uido (우이도)

uido

The sand dune may not be so impressive, height-wise, but if you've ever tried to run on dry sand you might understand why it's pretty hard to scale.
We already have an island that looks like a cow (Udo). But who knew? We also have the Yellow Sea's Uido, Uido meaning "cow ear."
And while this resemblance is even more tenuous, Uido also has beaches for swimming and fishing, and a rather famous sand dune.

8. Ganghwado (강화도)

ganghwado

It's amazing how well you can entertain yourself with a bit of mud.
As the fifth largest island in Korea, Ganghwado, accessible via a short drive over a bridge, doesn't really feel like an island.
Its main attractions are its many mountains, rather than its beaches -- the tallest and most popular being 468-meter Mount Mani.
Not to say there aren't other activities: You can check out the 120-odd dolmen at the foot of Mount Goryeo, which date back to the Bronze Age, or roll around in the mud flats.

9. Wando (완도)



K-Drama fans may want to revisit the locations where quasi-historical fantasy drama "Emperor of the Sea" (Haeshin) was filmed.
The "Wan" in Wando means "to smile broadly."
Easily done on Wando -- from hiking to the top of 644-meter Sanghwang Peak (or any of its lesser neighboring peaks) to fishing. The island, from beach to peak, is bustling and wonderfully scenic.

10. Jukdo (죽도)

jukdo

Ulleungdo's pocket-sized neighbor Jukdo ("bamboo island"), about 20 minutes away by ferry from Dodong Port.
While it may be a difficult and lonely place to live, lacking its own water source (water is either collected rainwater or water brought over from neighboring Ulleungdo) and difficult to come and go (the only entrance to the island is a spiral staircase of 365 steps), Jukdo's attractiveness lies in its tranquil seclusion -- its current population is two.

11. Geojedo (거제도)



Geojedo's attractions are more picnic-pretty than jaw-droppingly majestic.
With a prospering tourist industry, Geojedo, the second largest island in Korea (second only to Jejudo), while smack at the center of the beaten track, is remarkably clean and well preserved.
Representative attractions include the grassy green hill by the sea, "The Hill of the Wind," and Hakdong Black Pearl Mongdol Beach, where the beach is composed of round, black pebbles that make muted jangling noises when the waves splash against the shore.

article source : http://www.cnngo.com

Parasites, suckers, intestinal visitors: Mike Leahy's 10 terrifying creatures for travelers

On National Geographic's TV series "Bite Me," virologist Dr. Mike Leahy goes looking for the creatures most of us would prefer didn't exist.
 
When traveling overseas most of us would get the relevant vaccinations, maybe take anti-malarial medication, and assume that we are safe.
This is potentially a very dangerous and painful assumption to make, because there are plenty of unexpected threats out there that could turn your vacation into a nightmare –- and possibly kill you.
Here are 10 you may never even have heard of. Not for the squeamish.

10. Loa loa

This disease is spread by the bite of the innocuous mango fly, but can leave you with worms crawling out of your eyeballs. (Google "Loa loa" at risk, the images are rather graphic.)
It’s only number 10 on my list because it won’t kill you, and may not even blind you, but it is pretty freaky.
If you plan to travel in sub-Saharan Africa the best way to protect yourself (and this is a common theme) is to cover up with long sleeved clothing and consider using insect repellent.

9. Assassin Bug and Chagas Disease

Dr. Mike lets the dreaded "Assassin Bug" roam free on his face. The Assassin Bug can find you at night while you sleep, firstly using its natural thermal-imaging camera, then a chemo-sensor that can detect carbon dioxide given off as you breathe.
Once on your face the bug feeds on blood from your lips or your eyelids -- without you even knowing that it's there. As the insect feeds it also defecates, and that’s how a tiny single celled parasite can leave the assassin bug and enter your bloodstream, leading to Chagas Disease.
Over the years Chagas Disease might kill you by stopping the muscular contractions of the guts, meaning you will fill up with your own waste products, or it may simply cause heart failure. The bite of an infected Assassin Bug supposedly killed Charles Darwin, but it took decades of suffering to do so.
Although present in the United States, this bug, and the disease it carries, is normally only a problem in Central and South America. Sleep in a romantic thatched beach hut at your peril, because assassin bugs love making their homes in such places.

8. Botflies

If you knew that there was a large, slow-moving fly at large in South America, and that if it landed on you it was likely to lay eggs onto your skin, which would hatch immediately and release larvae that would burrow into your flesh and eat you alive, then you would probably squash it.
But the botfly has evolved to avoid this response by "kidnapping" other innocuous flies or mosquitoes and laying eggs on them instead of you, its intended host.
When the "kidnapped" fly lands on you the eggs drop off, larvae burrow into your skin and make you into their living dinner -- without the parent fly ever being at risk.
A botfly infestation might not kill you, but is messy, and it hurts. Doctors will usually cut out the larvae pustule and prescribe antibiotics to clear it out of your system.
Again, the best protection is to cover up.

7. Intestinal worms, roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms

These creatures rarely kill you, but they will cause discomfort and embarrassment. In more severe cases, they can grow in your brain causing fits and seizures.
Tapeworms are usually contracted when eating under-cooked meat, whereas the larvae of hookworms and roundworms don’t even need to be eaten. They can access your body by burrowing through your skin without you ever noticing.
Once in your body, roundworms simply share your food (although they can also block your intestines). The hookworm, however, feasts on your blood.
Don’t eat under-cooked meat and never walk barefoot in developing or tropical countries because the roundworm ascaris lumbricoides is said to infect 75 percent of the world’s population.

6. Irukandji

The Irukandji jellyfish, considered by researchers to be one of the world's most poisonous creatures, is only the size of a thimble. A tiny jellyfish that is almost invisible, the Irukandji has a painless sting, but can cause massive pain and suffering shortly after you fall victim to its attentions.
You don’t even have to be swimming in the sea to suffer. It's been reported that a 45-year-old Filipino was stung by an Irukandji while fishing from a bulk carrier.
The man, who was airlifted to hospital, was 25 meters above sea level when stung. It is assumed that the creature was blown up with sea spray. Jellyfish nets won’t protect you either because this tiny animal can slip through.
You could wear a "stinger suit" if swimming in Queensland or the surrounding region during Irukandji season when advised, and never swim on beaches without lifeguards with reliable local knowledge.
This little beast is most problematic around the east coast of Australia, which is a shame, because the warm sea and sandy beaches look so inviting there.

5. Wandering spiders

One of the most venomous and dangerous spiders in the world is the Brazilian "wandering spider," or "banana spider," although its bites are also famous for another nasty side effect.
The venom can cause an involuntary and long-lasting priapism for men.
Chances are you won’t even be able to put it to good use before you die from the other components of this potent toxin.

4. Bloodworms

The very name "bloodworm" sounds macabre. But the damage they can do to the human body, and the sheer scale of the problems caused by these tiny parasites, is far scarier.
The larvae (cercaria) of these little animals live in freshwater snails, usually in relatively clear water. But when they sense a warm-blooded host, such as a human being swimming past, they swim towards it, penetrate the skin, move around the body, and finally make their home in the intestines, or the bladder, where they can live and reproduce for up to 12 years gradually destroying the organ that they made into their home.
It sounds like something out of a sci-fi film, but it is definitely not rare. Up to 200 million people suffer from schistosomiasis (bilharzia) worldwide and a large proportion of these will die prematurely from the illness.
The solution -- don’t swim in slow moving fresh water anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa or South America. In other places check first. People have even contracted the disease in un-chlorinated swimming pools in Rio de Janeiro.

3. Sand flies, Leishmaniasis

On the west coast of New Zealand sand flies are a pain -- literally, but it’s only the intense itching that will bother you.
In South America a sand fly bite can lead to your eyes or nose being eaten away by bacteria, and in the Indian sub-continent the disease that they carry can (and often does) kill.
The tiny flies don’t make a buzzing noise, and can sneak through mosquito nets, so defending yourself can be very difficult.
Insect repellent, long-sleeved clothing and avoiding sand fly habitats are the best tactics, but surely you went on vacation purely to spend time on a sandy beach?

2. Day-biting mosquitoes -- dengue and elephantiasis

Researchers are working on a dengue fever vaccine. For now, the only way to protect yourself is to cover up and wear repellent. Most of us know that we should avoid going out at night without some form of protection against evening-biting mosquitoes, whether that is in the shape of long-sleeved clothes, insect repellent or simply staying inside.
However, day biting mosquitoes can spread a disease called dengue fever, otherwise known as "break-bone fever."
The first time you contract it you will probably survive. The second time it is possible that you will develop dengue hemorrhagic fever, in which case your organs can turn to mush, you may bleed from every orifice -- you stand a good chance of dying.
Dengue is widespread across most of the tropics, with cases often occurring among backpackers on idyllic Southeast Asian islands, but if that’s not bad enough daytime biting mosquitoes can also spread tiny worms that cause lymphatic filariasis.
Also known as "elephantiasis," the worms block the lymph nodes of the body’s drainage system" causing testicles to swell to the size of beach balls and legs to resemble tree trunks.
In areas of India up to one third of the population may be infected, and the disease is essentially incurable.
So, cover up in the day time as well as the evening, unless you know that it is safe to bare your flesh.

1. Candiru fish

I would be lying if I said that candiru fish attacks were a regular occurrence, but the consequences are so dire that it definitely merits its place as the No. 1 weird and wonderful threat when traveling.
The way to avoid this blood-sucking fish’s unwanted attentions -- don’t pee in the Amazon.
Though there's much debate about this fish and alleged tales of its attraction to urine, no man wants one stuck in their urethra, as happened to at least one poor chap in recent years.
Once inside, it will feed on your flesh before surgery is required to get it out.

article source : http://www.cnngo.com

Success of Macau Tourism

Macau is known for its wonderful history and its varied traditions and culture. Within the past few years, tremendous amount of development has taken care in Macau that has allowed Macau tourism to improve a lot. Macau is able to receive a huge amount of tourist every year. There are many things to watch out in Macau. The place is full of ancient monuments and beautiful spots white you can have a good time. The features and the quality standards of the hotels are excellent. Tourists always have a good time at this place and are able to enjoy the various tourists' spots. Among the many places in Macau the Senado square is among the most popular ones. It is basically a stoned street that is lightened up in the night and gives a perfect place to ram around and enjoy. It has number of ancient buildings there, which further add to the charm of the place. The building is surrounded with numerous other non-classical sorts of buildings that further add to the place and create a Mediterranean kind of atmosphere. It is one place in Macau, where a tourist can find everything. From shopping to eating, you can do almost everything in here.

Major Points

Apart from this the Macau tourism also offers you various other places such as the ruins of Saint Paul. The place is one of the most admired landmarks in Macau and has various popular restaurants where you can have good food. Similar to this place you can have a good time at the Fisherman‘s Wharf which is one of its kind theme parks in Macau. You can also enjoy and have a good time at Venetian Macau. The wonderful place will impress you to have a good time. The tremendous developments in the place have made the island a perfect for being visited.

Other Features

Thorough the various packages that are include in the Macau tourism, you can have a good time. There are many hotels in Macau which can allow you to have a very good time. The complete family can enjoy at the place and relax completely. Macau has something for everyone. At the entertainment centre in Macau the complete family including children can get entertained and enjoy some of the most fulfilled experience. The Macau tower is one o the tallest tower in the world and the view from the place will give you a breathtaking experience.

article source : http://www.articlesbase.com

Top Best Travel Tips

Traveling should be amusing, no matter whether you are traveling for business or delight, you need to make the most out of your trip and to have as few complications as possible. To avoid being a target of sin, do not wear prominent clothing or jewelry and do not carry extreme amounts of money. Also, do not leave unattended stuff in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers. If you are planning to wear full length clothes during your walking tours, then make sure that they do not haul on the floor since streets can be dirty and wet. You should not wear clothes that are very slack because they can get caught in protruding stones and surrounding shrubbery. Make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport. Leave copies of your schedule, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency. Traveling off-peak, whether it means flying or visiting a destination during a less popular time of year, means saving money and hassle.

Top Travel Preparation Tips:-
1. Study your destination. Obtain copies of maps of your destination to position routes, attractions, and necessary services. Your library, travel agent, and the Internet are some fine places to get information.
2. Talk to fellow travelers. If you know people who have been to the place you plan to visit, inquire them about what they liked about their trip and what they would do differently next time.
3. Make a list and check it twice. Make a list of prerequisites that you need to pack. Also, make a list of things you want to see and do on your trip.
4. Are you covered? If you are traveling outside of the U.S., your health and accident insurance may not cover you. Also, look into travel insurance for cancellations or other travel mishaps.

Top Travel Packing Tips:-
1. Take benefit of those "hidden" spaces. For example, place small items inside your shoes or the pockets of shirts or jackets you pack.
2. Pack extra bags in your bag. Packing a duffle bag in your luggage gives you additional space to bring things home with you. It's also an excellent idea to bring plastic sandwich or grocery bags for laundry or other items.
3. Label those bags. Mark your luggage with a distinctive luggage tag with your contact information to help you find your bag if you lose it. A distinctive tag makes it easier to spot your bag at baggage claim.
4. Don't pack what you can get at your destination. Our hotels have a hair dryer in every room, along with many toiletry items, so you don't require to pack them.

Top Tips for International Travel:-
1. Get your passport. Did you know that you need a current, valid passport if you are traveling wherever outside of the U.S., including Canada and Mexico? If you don't have a current, valid passport, visit the U.S. State Department's Web site to apply for or renew your passport.
2. Do you need a visa? Additionally to a passport, you may also require a visa to visit several countries. Check with either the U.S. State Department's Web site or your host country or countries' tourism or foreign affairs Web sites.
3. Become skilled at the lingo. Learning just a few basic phrases in the local language makes getting around easier.
4. Make change count. You may be able to get a better exchange rate by changing currency at home. Also, change money only at banks and authorized exchanges.


article source : http://www.articlesbase.com


Holiday Escapes to Beautiful Botswana

– Sarah Manners

Botswana is internationally acclaimed for its supreme and unforced combination of tourism and wildlife. 17% of the country is proclaimed protected and a further 20% made up of wildlife management areas. With its eclectic mix of serenely beautiful landscapes and some of the largest populations of wildlife species found in Africa, Botswana is a premier holiday destination amongst adventure and eco-tourists. Although the country is rich in cultural and historical heritage Botswana's main tourist attractions are the national parks.
Of the many parks and reserves which make up this magnificent country there are three definite must sees when travelling to Botswana.

The Okavango Delta
Undoubtedly the most striking region in the country the Okavango Delta is situated in the Kalahari Desert and is the greatest inland delta system in the world. A natural wonderland of a thousand islands in a thousand streams, born of a great river's determination top meet the sea which it never will, as its strengths are captured by the desert sands which surround the delta.

The delta ranks amongst the finest of wetlands in the world and from above it is a vast, fan shaped, emerald wilderness of waterways, lakes, lagoons and lush forests. Over 1000 species of plant can be found in the delta and the rivers are teeming with fish, 80 species overall which in turn draws many birds to the area, the Delta is in fact one of the most celebrated bird watching and angling regions in Africa. The few people who in fact permanently live here are mainly fishermen. Undoubtedly the best way to view this natural wonder is by means of a mokoro which is a dug-out canoe that manoeuvres swiftly through the waters near impenetrable areas. The waters are crystal clear and crocodiles, hippos and hundreds of fabulous birds can be seen as well as elephants, zebras and giraffes. The only area in the Okavango that is protected is the Moremi National Park; the rest of the delta is carved up into giant private concessions, sprinkled with luxury lodges.

The Okavango Delta has three main areas, the Panhandle which a 15km wide fault in the northwest offers superb fishing but less spectacular game viewing; the central permanent swamp, with its maze of pans and water meadows and the arid seasonal swamps to the south and east. In the months of August to November the Okavango is hot and dry which makes for magnificent game viewing but low waters which often prevent mokoro trips. From December to March the region is hot and wet prompting game to disappear into the undergrowth but this is when bird and plant life is at its best.

As independent travel is very difficult in the delta region the majority of visitors get to experience these amazing swamplands with the help of tour operators who offer package deals to the region.

The Moremi Wildlife Reserve
Acclaimed for its sheer beauty and intense variety of wildlife, this park covers 1812 sq km and is located in the northeast corner of the Okavango Delta. Comprised of lush wetlands, forested islands, lagoons, woodlands and grasslands the Moremi Wildlife Reserve offers spectacular game viewing accompanied by gorgeous landscapes. There are no artificial borers and human encroachment is kept to a minimum, which facilitates game viewing of such excellent nature. Some of the animals you will be able to view are Elephant, Buffalo, Zebra, Kudu, various herds of Buck, Lion, Leopard and Wild Cats. The parks dry months which span from April to October are the best months for game viewing; it is also during this time that the impressive herds of Elephants converge on the Khwai River.
The park is home to over 400 species of bird making it one of Botswana's prime birding areas. The Pelicans, Ibises, Herons and Storks are only some of the species which bring gorgeous splashes of colour and sweet melodies to the area. The reserve is one of the most beautiful unmarred spots in Botswana and a trip to its tranquil plains is highly recommended.

The Chobe National Park
Botswana's common border with Namibia's Caprivi region has been set aside for one of Africa's premier wildlife conservation parks. The Chobe National Park occupies 10,566 sq km of land and is home to a splendid variety of wildlife. The park is comprised of rivers, swamps, scrublands, grassy savannah and natural pans.

One of the most magnificent sights to behold here are the elephants who move in their thousands along the well-worn paths of the Chobe River every afternoon to drink. Boasting the highest elephant population in the world (approximately 45,000) is but one of the Chobe National Park's drawcards. There are also large herds of Buffalo, Blue Wildebeest, Bushbuck, Kudu, Impala and Sable while the wetlands are home to impressive numbers of Hippo and Crocodile as well as an eclectic range of birds. The Savuti area of the park marks what was once the massive super lake which covered most of Botswana, its flat dry lakebed is now a sea of grass which is renowned for spotting Leopard, Cheetahs, Hyena and Lion.

With the exception of certain sections, which are closed in the rainy season during November to April, the park is open throughout the year. The best time to visit it is between May and September when it is possible to see several thousand animals each day. Even though the Chobe National Park is one of Botswana's most developed reserves, many of the roads in the area are only accessible by 4X4 vehicles. Many visitors to the park chose a package option which includes luxury accommodation; safari drives various other guided expeditions.

With the wide range of activities, accommodation and travel option on offer in this magnificent country, a holiday in the wilderness regions of Botswana is made easy and accessible for all tourists. Many tour operators offer exceptional package deals which allow you to experience the true essence of Africa.

article source : http://www.articlegeek.com

Best Beaches in Florida

– Dave Hoff


Fort De Soto Beach is a historic fort built during the Spanish-American War located on Mullet Key. This 900- acre park has 7 miles of beaches, 2 fishing piers, picnic and camping areas, a small history museum and a 2,000-ft. nature trail.

Florida's Gulf Coast, Caladesi is one of the few remaining large undeveloped barrier islands in Florida, and is only accessible by boat. It is an perfect locations for swimming, fishing, picnics, diving, hiking and nature study.

Key Biscayne's beaches in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park's visitors can stroll by the Atlantic, charter a deep-sea fishing boat, ride a jet ski, or just relax. It's one of the best places in Greater Miami for golf, sunbathing & water sports

Perdido Key is a natural paradise is home to plentiful native wildlife. The clear green waters and miles of soft white sand are perfect for sunbathing or water sports and it's considered one of the America's best swimming beaches.

South Beach is a happening hot-spot with a chic night life. The "American Riviera" is great for couples on spring break (that can afford it anyway) since rowdy crowds of teenagers are rarely seen on its upscale sands.

Greater Fort Lauderdale has 23 miles of sun-drenched beaches and is perfect for people watching or shopping and dining at any number of great beach shops and restaurants that line the clean and eco-friendly beaches.

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park's miles of white sand beaches and striking dune formations characterize this Florida Panhandle area. Boating, saltwater fishing, camping, canoeing and hiking are all popular St. Joseph Peninsula activities.

Clearwater Beach offers nearly every water and beach activity conceivable, and nearby Pier 60 Park has a family recreation complex with playgrounds, fishing and concession stands.

Anastasia State Park is home to several rare, threatened and endangered species. Located on Anastasia Island, near St. Augustine, this beach provides opportunities for Camping, fishing, picnicking, hiking, beach volleyball, boating and more.
St. George Island State Park sits on 9 miles of undeveloped beaches and dunes. It is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay, and is a perfect setting for a quiet Florida getaway.

Daytona Beach is called the "World's Most Famous Beach". Visitors can drive automobiles on the sand by day and stroll the boardwalk by night, stopping occasionally to enjoy the arcades. Daytona Beach is also a major surfing hotspot.

Siesta Key is one of the most popular the beaches on the southwest coast of Florida and is famous for its soft white sand. Amenities include lifeguards, concessions, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, showers & volleyball & tennis courts.

article source : http://www.articlegeek.com

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