Explore the Old Vietnamese Way of Life at Hoi An

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Hoi An is one of the many coastal cities in Vietnam that boasts of long sandy beaches and exotic islands. Located in the Quảng Nam Province, the city’s old town, popularly known as the “Hoi An Ancient Town” has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The best time to visit the city is during the lantern festival that falls once every month. Unfortunately, we missed the event but still enjoyed visiting different landmarks and points of interest such as, 

Hoi An Night Market

Hoi An Night Market is a major attraction of the city. Every night thousands of visitors reach Nguyen Hoang Street to enjoy the colorful sights of this exquisite night market. The colorfully illuminated roadside stores and outlets sell a wide range of items including rare jewelry, antiques, lanterns, lamps, clothing, trinkets, gifts, accessories, and eateries. The vendors are quite friendly and conversational. If you are spending a night in Hoi An, you should definitely visit the spot for a couple of hours.

An Bang Beach

Visiting the An Bang Beach was a wonderful experience after spending hours at cluttered market places and hotels. There was no entrance fee, and it was beautiful with clean sand and clear waves despite being the most-visited beach in the city. The tree-lined beach is strewn with rows of umbrellas, palapas, deck chairs, and local food outlets. The warm seawater and the gentle waves make it a perfect beach for swimming. 

Cham Island

A small boat trip from Cua Dai took us to the enchanting island of Cham. We paid a fee of VND 100,000 per person for visiting the place. The ferry charged an additional VND 70,000 per seat. The beaches were clean and not at all crowded. The place offers lots of sightseeing opportunities with its lush green forests, coconut tree groves, and rocky beaches. Diving is one of the popular activities as the place is known for its colorful corals. However, during the offseason, boating and swimming are the most recommended activities. Even though the day trip was not enough to explore the island we enjoyed the adventurous journey.

Fayetteville: A Town by the Cape Fear River

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When I came to Fayetteville in North Carolina, I realized that this town is known for the special operations command center that it houses. Being home to 82nd airborne unit, there is much about the military here, about its art, history and other aspects.

History of the Town

Known to be in Cumberland County in the west, the 71st Township was part of the British regiment of the revolutionary movement, Fraser’s Highlanders or what they are known as. I got to know from popular history records that it was formed of two villages being united, that of Cross Creek and Cambellton in the year 1778 and it lies by the Cape Fear River.

About the City’s Attractions

Fayetteville city has the balance of a town and suburban feel with several suburbs around it such as Spring Lake, Raeford and Hope Mills. Before I embarked on a tour of the city, I listed down several regional attractions from the local tourist center and started out to visit several museums in the city. These were the transportation museum as well as airborne and special operations museum, the latter having several military exhibits and historical artifacts include a motion simulator. Another renowned museum here is that of Care Fear, a historical complex that has several historic and cultural heritage specimens. I would also recommend that travellers with children come by the Fascinate-U children’s museum which has exploratory activities for children between the ages of one to 12.

I also stopped by the Fayetteville linear park and Festival Park, both of them having several ongoing events, fairs, and concerts.  The botanical garden of Cape Fear is also a public place that I found to be well maintained. Other places of popular outdoor activities that I enjoyed were the river trail over the Cape Fear River and the ZipQuest being a treetop and waterfall adventure spot.

Christchurch – The Oldest City in New Zealand

Image result for christchurch city new zealandChristchurch is a beautiful city located on the Avon River. Located in the South Island, it is one of the oldest cities in New Zealand. Named after the Christ Church in Oxford, the city is known for its gardens, parks, hills, and mountain peaks. There are also many resorts, spas, and recreational facilities which make it an ideal place for a full-fledged family holiday. The city has so much to offer that we had an extended stay of nearly 2 weeks.  Listed below are the best places to visit in Christchurch:

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Located at Rolleston Avenue, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens is one of the finest places to spend your weekend in this romantic city.  The place was established in 1863 and over the century it has expanded over 21 hectares.  Here you can see the beautiful Peacock Fountain and the Cumingham House conservatory that houses rare tropical plants.  We particularly enjoyed the Central Rose Garden that exhibits a collection of over 250 modern roses.  The entry fee was only $10 per person.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

Our next destination was the popular Willowbank Wildlife Reserve located at 60 Hussey Road. The entry fee was 69.00 NZD per adult. The wildlife park has created a natural habitat for animals like kiwis, tuataras, lemurs, and ducks. Here you can also watch lots of native birds. Visitors are allowed to touch and feed most of the animals. It is a great place for family outings as kids enjoy interacting with animals.

Canterbury Museum

The historic museum of Canterbury is one of the iconic attractions of Christchurch. Founded in 1867, the museum preserves a wide range of exhibits and artifacts of historic and cultural importance. This includes the traditional Maori artifacts and objects that are centuries’ old. We also enjoyed visiting the Paua Shell House that features over 1000 shells artistically arranged on the walls.

Chefchaouen – The City That Creates

Image result for chefchaouen city moroccoThis is the most picturesque city around the whole of Morocco. The town is precisely famous for its blue colored washed down streets. Narrow streets filled with all tones of blue, what better place do you need for your social media captivity pictures. The city in 2017 was naked as the most Instagrammed city around the world. Visitors come from far away to just visit the streets in here, it is awe-inspiring beautiful. The kind of creativity you get to experience in this city is nowhere to be found that easy. Since the time of its creation, the city has developed so much in its architecture and economic status, it is commendable. Here are the must visit places according to me.

The Souk

One of the best things that you can do coming to this city is visiting the souk here, it is the most famous market around the city, and many tourists are here just so they could experience the souk. The souk is most famous for providing you with ancient shoes. The kind of shoes that you find here are impeccable and nowhere else to be found. Apart from that, you can find spices that are used in the ancient traditional cuisines prepared around Morocco. But you must stay away from any forbidden experience which is very common in the souk curtained as cheap labeled bag sellers.

Rif Mountains

Reaching the top of this mountain, you find the very best panoramic view of the whole city. The mountains are greenest I have ever seen. They are almost 6500 feet above the ground level and give you a major adrenaline rush. You can go for the hiking trails in the day time, it is hectic so pack all those snacks and drinks you can, and if you want to get more adventurous, go for the night bonfires held by guided tours and love the ambiance by listening to some spooky stories.

San Carlos: Here Is Where The Paradise Lies

San Carlos belongs to the Rio San Juan Department of Nicaragua where the city is commonly known as a transportation hub. The capital city of Rio San Juan is surrounded by water, where the Lake Nicaragua meets the San Juan River and hence even though there are buses or plane to reach the location, the most convenient and popular way is by boat. San Carlos spreads in an area of 1,642 square kilometers but most of the tourist attractions are located close to each other basically in a walking distance and so the tours are typically easy going and simple. I feel like San Carlos can satisfy anyone seeking a relaxing getaway near waterbodies along with splendid views of sunrise and sunset. The city offers the visitors natural, cultural, art and historical elements and also outdoor activities such as boat tours and water sports, and hotels on a budget. Some popular destinations/activities are:

  • Zapote Island
  • San Carlo Fortress
  • Museo Las Musas
  • Indio Maiz Biological Reserve
  • Iglessia de Mancarron
  • Centro Ecologico Los Guatuzos
  • San Carlos Sport Fishing
  • Esperanza Verde Nature Reserve
  • Jose Coronel Urtecho Cultural
  • Carbonero Rosales Artisanal Workshop
  • Kayaking at Rio San Juan

The city which first acted as only a transportation hub got lifted after the establishment or redesigning of Malecon which transformed the place into a live tourist destination. A remarkable feature of the city is that it offers several viewpoints or spots from where one could witness the magnificent lake, its birthplace, islands of Solentiname archipelago, some distant volcanic mountains and splendid sunrises as mentioned earlier. Furthermore, San Carlos hosts fishing tournaments and has active waterfronts, which could be interesting for all the sport fishing enthusiasts and seafood lovers.

Summing up, the place is suitable for anyone looking forward to a relaxing trip near the lake on a budget.

Guelph: Discovering The Beautiful City

While visiting Toronto, it took a detour and reached the small city of Guelph. The dynamic culture and limestone architecture makes the city more beautiful. The lively city surprised me with what it has to offer. There is something for everyone. Take a look at the best things you can do at Guelph.

  • Explore the center of the city

The downtown area of the city is incredible. I came across several buildings from the Victorian era. Take a tour of the heart of the city to know about its history. Some of the noteworthy landmarks in these areas are Guelph City Hall, St. Georges Square, Guelph Armoury, and also Douglas Street. There are new buildings, too such as the Sleeman Center and River Run Center.

  • Walk over water

A bridge just for the pedestrians had been developed over Speed River. It had been built by four hundred volunteers in the year 1992. Walking across this 36.5 meters long bridge has been a pleasant experience since I got to enjoy the beautiful scenery. You will get a view of both the sides of the river. You can also take your bicycle to cross this covered bridge.

  • Visit a church

Don’t forget to visit the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate. It is situated in the historic region of Downtown. This had been built in a Gothic Revival form. It has stained glass and decorative carvings on the wall which had been created by the talented craftsmen. You can visit the church any day of the week. However, check the time for mass before you walk in.

  • Bask in the glory of nature

Along the Eramosa River is the Rockwood Conservation Area. It covers an area of 32 hectares and is open throughout the year. The glacial pothole featured by the conservation area is one of the largest you will come across in the world. Since I visited in the month of July, I was able to camp here. You can camp from May till October.

Greater Sudbury: Explore The Wealth Of Culture

Greater Sudbury is the largest city of Northern Ontario. The diversity of culture in this city truly surprised me. The city is popular for its outdoor activities, music, and arts. It is a true gem for tourists. The local people made me feel at home with their hospitality. There is so much to do and see in this city. Here is my list of a few great things to do when you are in Great Sudbury.

  • Check out the Giant Nickel

To visit great Sudbury and not to visit this landmark would have been a mistake. This is a representation of the Canadian nickel from 1952. You will find this on the museum of Dynamic Earth Science’s ground. After you are done checking out the nickel, visit the museum to learn about the mining history of Canada. Take your kids to the exhibits where they will be able to learn mining, look at diamonds, and climb the mineral wall.

  • Stroll around the park

There are many parks that you visit and spend some relaxing time when you are in Great Sudbury. Bell Park is most frequented by the visitors and locals alike. It houses an amphitheater, flowerbed, and a playground for children.  There are sculptures that display the mining history of the city.

  • Visit some museums

Do you want to know about the history of the area? Visit the 4 heritage museums. 3 of these museums are inside heritage buildings while the 4th one is in the library. These are Anderson Farm Museum, Copper Cliff Museum, Flour Mill Museum, and Rayside-Balfour Museum.

  • Click photos on the tallest chimney

Visit the tallest chimney of the country and clicks some pictures. Inco Superstack is a free-standing chimney. It is the tallest one of its type in the planet. I clicked photos with my kids to make our visit memorable.

Abbotsford: Spend Some Time With Nature

Do you stay close to Greater Vancouver and want to go on a weekend trip? Visit Abbotsford, The rich cultural history of the country. This is a great destination for a weekend getaway. The dynamic and beautiful city has incredible natural surroundings. Here are some of the best things to do as visitors.

  • Go skydiving

Skydiving has been on my bucket list for a long time now. I quenched my thirst for adventure by taking an Accelerated Freefall Course. After this, you can go for solo skydiving mission. I had to complete 3 tandem jumps prior to registering for the course. Important info like locating safe landing, opening a parachute, and achieve right free-fall is given through the tandem jump.

  • Go mountain biking

Visit Fraser Valley and go for mountain biking. It is frequented by locals, as well as visitors. New trails are created by the biker association of Fraser Valley Mountain. This is mainly for promoting the art of mountain biking. I was new to this area, so I took the time to look through the website and find out more about the trails. You will get the required info on the website.

  • Go for fishing

Take your friends and family to the water and have some gala time fishing. You can take a private jet board for catching trout, salmon, and sturgeon. The Swiftwater Guiding in charge of fishing expeditions will provide you with bait, equipment, accommodation, and lunch. Cook the fresh fish after you go back home.

  • Have fun at the amusement park

Take your family to the Castle Fun Park. The best part about this park is that it offers free admission. I loved the classic arcade games. You can compete in go-karting. Both kids and adults are going to have extreme fun at the park.

Montreal: Spend A Fun Weekend At The City


things to do in Montreal QC

 It is home to some of the famous museums and great attractions. Whether you visit with your family or with your partner, this is a great destination for a fun-filled weekend. Here are some of the things that you shouldn’t miss out on when you are in Montreal.

  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

I made it a point not to miss out on the primary museums of Canada. No doubt, this is one of the best things that you can do here. This facility is the largest one that you will come across Quebec. It is located in Sherbrooke Street. It houses more than 40,000 pieces varying in medium and style. There are temporary, as well as permanent displays. I came across a concert venue in this museum.

  • Montreal Botanical Garden

This is the most substantial contribution to the horticulture of Montreal. The diverse and expansive collections combined with the comprehensive facility contribute to the reputation it has. You will find an insectarium and planetarium. I found them to be quite educational and interesting.

  • Notre-Dame Basilica

Notre-Dame Basilica is a dramatic architectural feature that you will come across. It is a significant component of the skyline of Montreal. The Basilica has breathtaking interior while the ceiling is rich blue in color. The glass windows of the Basilica depict the religious history of Montreal. You can go to the church as a visitor when mass isn’t going on.

  • Jean-Talon Market

The Jean-Talon Market is a farmer’s market situated in the Little Italy district. When it comes to food, the market is all year round staple. Here, you will find the vendors selling a wide range of produce, ingredients that are local farm fresh and handmade goods. There are spices to freshly cut flowers.

Sao Paulo: Most Beautiful City To Visit

If you are planning for a picnic then Sao Paulo is one of the most beautiful and amazing cities I have ever been. The city also promotes one of the most famous fashion weeks of the world that is Sao Paulo fashion week. Apart from all this, the cuisines of the region are the attraction of most of the tourists. I have been to Sao Paulo. The city rests on the Piratininga Plateau and it has many rivers that quench the interior land. I have explored the length and the breadth of this wonderful city and I will share my experience of some of the beautiful tourist spots. All these tourist spots are widespread and there is a good way to travel between them.

  • Ibirapuera Park

The landscape filled with monuments, playgrounds, museums, lakes, and gardens here offered me the most peaceful leisure time which I had ever experienced. Auditório Ibirapuera here is the wonderful music hall. It is one of the most amazing concert venues.

  • Contemporary Art Museum

This is the wonderful museum which had amused me the most. This Museum houses artwork of numerous art schools. The sculpture garden here is the most beautiful and attractive spot. This museum preserves the wonderful artistic expressions and it is a beautiful place to visit.

  • Parque da Independància and Museu Paulista

The Italian Architect had created the most wonderful design modeled on palaces and Italian Neoclassicism. The place boasts of decorative artwork, a collection of costumes, and furniture of the colonial era. I had visited the place twice as I was impressed with the wonderful artwork here.

  • Art Museum of Sao Paulo

This museum has the most extensive collection of beautiful western art in South America. The Sunday Antique Market and the concerts here great to watch. I would love to visit this museum again and again.