Thailand’s ‘Nzulezu’ Koh Panyi: Where football is played on water

Koh Panyi is a small village located in the Phang Nga Province in Thailand, noted for its stilt nature. The small fishing village is built on water with structures such as houses, schools, restaurants all supported by stilts which stand firmly rooted in the water just as the Nzulezu village in the Western Region of Ghana.

The village is never short of visitors as thousands of tourists regularly make their way to there everyday to see this unique and amazing town and its people who live their entire life in houses built on water.

Koh Panyi
Koh Panyi

And if you ever thought living on water meant they would be deprived of some of the finest and best sporting activities in the world, you are definitely wrong. The latest addition to their many facilities is a football pitch. Yes you read that right, A FOOTBALL PITCH.

The people have managed to build for themselves a small football pitch on the water capable of hosting five-a-side matches and it is an incredible sight to behold as the young kids in the village take to this strange pitch to kick football every day.

Here are a few photos we managed to get you from the newly created football park that hosts the village’s matches.

Koh Panyi football pitch
Koh Panyi football pitch
Koh Panyi football pitch
Koh Panyi football pitch

The Japan Food Town in Singapore

Singapore is a land of many wonderful sights to behold, attractions to visit and amazing food to savor. Many a people travel miles from their homeland to Singapore just to have a taste of the incredible foods the Island provides, from seafood to vegetable goods. Just name it and Singapore it ever ready to serve you with it.

What is more incredible and unique, the small Island does not only offer its traditional food to tourists and travelers, the Singapore city is full of restaurants that offers some amazing continental foods of some Asian countries. For instance indigenous Thai and Malaysian foods like the Pho soup can be found in several special restaurants across Singapore.

Most famous of all these restaurants and food centres is the iconic and popular Japan Food Town, located on the 4th level of Isetan Singapore, right next to the Ngee Ann City.

Japanese husband and wife eating
Japanese husband and wife eating

Covering a 20,075 square feet, Japan Food Town has a wide range of Japanese restaurants offering various indigenous and traditional Japanese foods and cuisines to visitors and tourists at incredibly cheap rates.

The centre boasts of sixteen dining restaurants, all of which offer amazing service and are tasked to maintain a certain level of standard, professionalism and consistency, meaning diners can expect high quality and tasty meals as well as professional customer care.

While the all sixteen restaurants are Japanese specialized restaurants, nationals of other nations regularly visit the centre to enjoy some indigenous Japanese foods.

The centre has also become some sort of tourist attraction over the years, receiving millions of visitors annually, some of who come there not for the purpose of dining but sightseeing.

Machida Shoten

Perhaps the most popular of the restaurant in Japan Food Town, the Machida Shoten specializes in the preparation of noodles in the traditional Japanese town. The noodles come in tonkotsu and shoyu stock, complemented with spicy miso.

Yomoda Soba

Yomoda Soba restaurant prepares the famed Japanese meal, Kake Soba, Katsu Soba and Hote Prok Nanben. These meals are eaten with the dashi soup, one of Japan’s favourite soups. Machida Soba is more frequented by Japanese living or visiting Singapore.

Fried tempura shrimps with sauces
Fried tempura shrimps with sauces

Sabar

This is arguably the most unique and standout restaurant in the Japan Food Town. The number 38 is uniquely incorporated in every aspect of the restaurant. For instance there are 38 dining seats at the restaurant, a 38cm long toro-saba and a lunchtime which is scheduled between 11:38 and 2;38pm.

Inaniwa Yokuke

The Inaniwa Yokuke restaurant specializes in the tasty Inaniwa Udon meal and is served both hot and chilled, depending on the preference of the customer. The restaurant also serves the popular Tempura and Ajikurabe meals.

The other restaurants include the Osaka Kitchen, Rang Mang Shokudo, Tsukji Sushi Takewaka, Tempura Tsukiji Tenka, Taki Kyoto Grill & Sake, Nabe Seizan and Hokkaido Izakaya.

Japan Food Restaurant isn’t just a place to go and enjoy some indigenous Japanese meals, it’s also a place to go and interact with some Japanese nationals, and get to learn more about their culture, tradition and history.

Top things to do in Phuket

Phuket located some few kilometres from Krabi is one of Thailand’s major Islands situated in the middle of the Andaman Sea. The Island is very popular in Thailand due to its amazing resorts, beautiful beaches, and some lovely restaurants and attractions. Outside Thailand however, Phuket is not so known but in recent years has begun to gain worldwide attention as one of the finest tourist destinations in Asia due to the increasing number of visitors it receives, with the number shooting up every year. While it may not be in your plans to visit this unique island anytime soon, you definitely would want to read more about this Island and some o.f the finest attractions it has and things you can do when you find yourself there.

Phuket Trickeye Museum

Phuket Trickeye Museum
Phuket Trickeye Museum

The Phuket Trickeye Museum is the first 3D museum in southern Thailand. The art museum makes use of 3d designs to create interactive and almost real images that stimulates your imagination and creativity, making it almost impossible to forget these paintings even after years of the visit. As the only 3D museum in the southern part of Thailand, the Phuket Museum is the most patronized public gallery in the Phuket province and one of the most sort-after by tourists who visit Phuket.

Khao Rang Hill

Khao Rang is the highest viewpoint in Phuket city and offers an amazing experience for tourists who love to go on hiking expeditions. The Khao Rang Hill also has some amazing restaurants where hikers and tourists can rest and grab dinner while viewing the landscape of Phuket. Aside from restaurants the summit of the hill also boasts of a children’s park, some wonderful bars and luxurious facilities. All these facilities are found in a particular section of the mountain’s summit called the VIEWPOINT and it is from that section that tourists get to catch a glimpse of the landscape of Phuket. The Viewpoint was built in 2014 to provide the needed services to tourists climbing the hill.

Phuket Weekend Market

Phuket Weekend Market is perhaps the weirdest market in not just Phuket or Thailand but also the whole of Asia as a continent. Unlike the everyday normal market where newly produced and unused products are put for sale, the Phuket Weekend market is a special kind of market that deals in the sale of only second-hand items. In other words, items which have been used before and no longer found useful or needed by the owner. From footwear to clothes to jewelry and even utensils, anything you can think of, as long as you have a little money on you, you can find a second-hand one to buy an take home. Aside the second-hand clothing the market is also known for its abundance of pirated goods which come at insanely cheap prices making it one of the most visited markets in Phuket for especially the average residence who cannot afford the luxurious and brand new products in the malls. Phuket weekend market is a must-visit for tourists who visit the city.

Phuket Fantasea Theme Park

Phuket Fantasea elephant show
Phuket Fantasea elephant show

The Phuket FantaSea Park is a modern theme park on the Island of Phuket famous for its beautiful night scenery. The park usually hosts nighttime entertainment events which showcase the culture and tradition of Thailand while at the same time entertaining patrons. Facilities at the park include a 3000 seater capacity state-of-the-art theatre where events like stage plays, magical shows, cultural dance and acrobatics are performed and also a 4000-seat dining hall where patrons can feast and eat special traditional Thai foods. The park currently measures 60 acres, making it one of the biggest theme parks in the tourism world.

Big Buddha

Big Buddha
Big Buddha

The Big Buddha is the most iconic statue in Phuket standing at 45 metres tall and overlooking the Phuket province from the Nakkerd Hills where it is situated. The location of the statue is approximately 6 km from Phuket and is connected to the city by road. The statue was built in 2004 by the Thai state to serve multiple purposes including increasing the tourism potential of Phuket. Big Buddha was constructed with concrete and layered with beautiful white marbles that gives the statue a shining colour especially under the scorching sun. Since the completion of the statue in 2004, it has become a major tourist attraction in Phuket where most Island visitors pass by before departing the small province.

Bangla Road

If you are in Phuket to have fun, there is nowhere to look other than the famous Bangla Road streets near the Patong Beach. Once the sunset, the entire Bangla Road is closed to vehicular movement and the party begins. All the best restaurants, fine hotels, nightclubs, bars, casinos and other entertainment events and centres can be found on this 400-metre road. For those not wanting to visit any of the nightclubs, open bars and casinos, there is something for you too as the street performance of music, and cultural dance events are common on the main streets of Bangla Road.

Bangla Road
Bangla Road

Elephant Sanctuary

Talk of real tourism and preservation of nature, then the Elephant Sanctuary on the Island is the real deal and a must-visit for any tourist who loves animals especially the good old gentle giants called elephants. The park was specially created by the Thai government to provide a safe haven for the increasing elephant population of Phuket. The government has over the years gone a great length to ensure the animals live peacefully in the park, away from dangers of poachers and human activities that could put their lives at risk. The park is opened to tourists and visitors even though interaction with the animals are limited to a great extent to ensure the elephants are not stressed or used as some form of exhibition and entertainment for human satisfaction. A trip to this sanctuary is a must-visit to anyone who visits Phuket.

Phuket Beaches

You simply cannot talk about Phuket and discuss the amazing beaches that this small town has to offer tourists. There are more than twenty beautiful beaches on the island of Phuket and it is impossible to even imagine a tourist visiting Phuket and not go to any of the beaches to soak in the sun and relax on the shores. The most popular among these beaches in Phuket include the Paradise Beach, Kata Beach, Kata Noi beach, Nai Harn Beach, Patong beach, Karong beach and Ya Nui beach. All these beaches together with many others which were not mentioned have modern facilities and safety equipment to give tourists the best experience of their lives.

Phuket Night Market

Phuket Night Market
Phuket Night Market

There is something about Phuket and night market and you only have to visit there to understand this strange love affair. The people of the Island are ardent lovers of night market and you may never meet any group of people who love night markets as much as the Phuket people. There are over 10 major night markets on the Island where foods, drinks, snack and clothing can all be purchased under streetlights rather than sunshine. What’s more beautiful about the night markets, they are filled with street performances of music, making shopping the more exciting and intriguing. The Phuket Indy Market, Malin Plaza Patong and Phuket Walking Streets are among the most popular of the night markets on the small Island.

Top Things to do in Taipei

With a population of 2.6million people, Taipei, Taiwan’s capital is one of the finest and tourism-friendly cities in Asia, built with a mixture of colonial, traditional heritage and modern architecture. The city is known for its vibrant commercial activities, amazing nightlife and the famous Taipei 101 skyscraper which at a point was the tallest building in the world. For many tourists, Taipei is seen as a must-visit destination full of intriguing attractions. Every year, millions of people draw plans to visit the city and if you call within that category you are just at the right place as we take you through some of the finest attractions in Taipei and things to do in the city.

National Museum Palace

The National Palace Museum located in the Chiayi, Taiwan is the most famous museum in Taiwan with over 700,000 artefacts and artwork collection most of which are of imperial Chinese roots and as old as 8000 years dating back to the Neolithic age of China. The facility was first established in 1925 in Beijing, China but had to be moved to other towns and cities before finally being moved to Taipei in Taiwan in early 1960 due to the Chinese Civil War. This was done by the Chinese state to preserve the artefacts and collections of the museum as the frequent wars within China threatened to cause the destruction of the famous museum. It has since remained in Taiwan since it was moved there in 1965 and is today one of the most popular attractions in Taipei worth visiting

Taipei Zoo

The Taipei Zoo is the largest zoo in the whole of Asia covering a land size of 165 hectares. Yes, you read that right. While other more fancy zoos may exist in other parts of Asia, in terms of size, none comes close to the famed Taipei Zoo. The zoo is located in the Wenshan district in Taipei and originally began as a private zoological garden before being converted into a state property when the animal population increased and extensive care of the animals was needed. The zoo is known for its Panda exhibition. It however has other animals sections like the Penguin habitat, Reptile house, Insectarium and koala habitat. Taipei zoo was commission in 1914.

Huashan 1914 Creative Park

The Huashan 1914 Creative Park is a multi-purpose national park in Taipei commissioned by the state to serve as a modern multi-purpose park capable of hosting events such as fanfares and picnics all year round. Within the park, there are several sections that can be toured for a wonderful experience, notable among these sections being the Art Boulevard. Originally, the park was first opened in 1916 as Taihoku Winery but was renamed as Huashan 1914 Creative Park in 2005 after undergoing some major renovations to ensure it keeps up with demands of the modern world and people.

Shi-men Ting

Shi-Men Ting is the ultimate shopping paradise not just in Taipei but in Taiwan as a whole. Located in the Wanhua District of Taipei, Shi-men Ting has been described as the hub of Taiwan culture and nightlife. The entire area is filled with some wonderful shopping malls, restaurants, retail and manufacturing centres. It is the one-stop-shop area where everything can be purchased and every food craved for can be found at any of the restaurants within the zone. As the busiest shopping district in Taipei, the area is visited by millions of tourists every year, making it one of the most popular destinations for tourist and even people on business visits or trips.

Taipei 101

Taipei 101
Taipei 101

The Taipei 101 is arguably the most iconic architectural building in Taiwan. Construction of the building began in 1999 and was completed in 2004, upon which it officially became the tallest building in the world until the completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. The outstanding skyscraper serves as a commercial building, housing the offices of companies. Aside being the tallest building in Taiwan and among the tallest in the world, Taipei 101 is also famous for having the fastest elevators ever seen in any storey building or skyscraper. According to official records, an elevator transportation from the 5th floor to the 89th floor takes not more than 40 seconds, making it the fastest ever seen anywhere on the planet. As would be expected with such an iconic building, the Taipei 101is a major tourism attraction in Taipei and receives more than a million tourists annually.

Chiang-Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Chiang-Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Chiang-Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Chiang-Kai-shek Memorial Hall was built and completed in 1980 as a memorial monument dedicated to the former president of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek. Arguably one of the most historic and monumental landmarks in Taipei, the hall is used for public gatherings and corporate event. The architectural design of the building also makes it one of the finest and largest buildings in Taipei with several sections which are opened to the public and can be toured. Some of these sections which can be toured by visitors include the Guard in the main chamber, the lower level exhibition area, gardens surrounding the memorial hall and the gate of great piety.

Yangmingshan National Park

Yangmingshan National Park is situated between Taipei and the New Taipei City. Unlike most parks which are found on flat, levelled or lowland areas, the Yangmingshan park is located in a very mountainous area and is a great location for hikers. The park is also famous for its sulfur deposits which came about as a result of previous volcanic eruptions which took place there. Venomous snakes are also common in the park, making it one of the most adventurous and daring parks to visit and test your bravery. Yangmingshan has land coverage of 113.3 km and was established in 1985.

Mountain in Taipei, Yangmingshan
Mountain in Taipei, Yangmingshan

Bangka Lungshan Temple

Bangka Lungshan Temple is a famous Chinese Buddhist temple in the Wanhua district of Taipei. The temple was built in 1738 in memory and honour Guanyin, the Buddhist Bodhisattva associated with Compassion. In the 19th and 20th century, the temple served as a major worshipping place for Chinese living Taipei and still continues to serve this purpose today although on a much smaller scale with people of other nationalities allowed to worship there. The temple also houses other smaller gods and Chinese deities such as Mazu and Guan Yi. For those curious about the religion of Buddhism and wanting to learn more about the religion, the Bangka Lungshan temple is a great place to visit when in Taipei as the temple is also opened to the public for visiting and touring.

Top things to do in Malacca (Melaka)

Malacca City, the capital of the Coastal state of Malaysia is a relatively unknown tourist destination but one that has huge potential ion in the tourism sector. Over the last three decades, the tourist population has consistently seen a growth that is impressive, making Malacca one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations in Asia and in the world.

While admittedly most tourists are yet to visit the city, there is every possibility that that would happen very soon or later in the near future. While that trip has not yet happened, it’s still very much important to know some of the major attractions in Malacca and the things a tourist could do in the city to make his or her stay memorable. In this article, we take you through some of the attractions you could visit and things you can do when you are in Malacca.

Visit to Studthuys

The Stadthuys is a famous colonial building in the heart of Malacca city, the coastal state’s administrative capital. The red looking building was built in the mid-1600 by the Dutch to serve as the official residential office of the Dutch governor residing in the city. The Dutch later handed over the building to the British in the 19th century and was used as a school by the British colonial administers. Today, the historical building serves as a national museum where the colonial and contemporary history of Malaysia can be learned by tourists visiting Malacca for the first time.

Trip to Famosa

The Famosa is among the last remaining European Fortresses in Asia, and also one of the oldest on the continent. The fort was built by the Portuguese in 1511 as an important trading post for Portugal as the Portuguese believed Malacca could become a major trade linking Portugal to China. The Fort was also built to protect the Portuguese traders and administrators in Malacca as they occasionally had clashes with the indigenes of the town. The Fort later came under the control of the Netherlands in the 1600s and later under the control of the British in the 17 and 1800s. Even though a huge part of the Fort has been destroyed over the decades, the Fort still remains a major tourist attraction in Malacca and is a place worth visiting for the lovers of history.

Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum

Traditional Baba Nyonya Kitchen -Peranakan
Traditional Baba Nyonya Kitchen -Peranakan

The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum is a historical ethnic related museum in Malacca that highlights the history and tradition of the Chinese-Malays ethnic group that migrated from China and settled in Malaysia in the 1400s. The museum was established in 1986 by Chan Kim Lay, a descendant of a wealthy Chinese family that resided in the house that was converted into the Museum. The Museum is also noted for hosting some of Asia’s most powerful leaders including the president of China, Hu Jintao who visited the Museum in 2009 as part of his visit to Malaysia. On exhibition inside the facility are Chinese porcelain and woodworks some of which dates back to the 19th and 20th century.

The Christ Church

Christ Church Melaka in Malacca, Malaysia
Christ Church Melaka in Malacca, Malaysia at twilight.

This church building falls into the category of Malaysia’s most historic structures with a storied past that. The church was built by the Dutch in the 1600s after they had victoriously defeated the Portuguese and driven then out of Malacca. The building is found at the Church Street are of Malacca is arguably one of the most visited attractions in Malacca. Once in the building, tourists are shown some historical artefacts and monuments as old as 200 years. Some of the artefacts are religious stuff like the cross and cups used by the priests of the church. It also houses some plaques which were dedicated to Dutch soldiers who lost their lives during their battle with the Portuguese for the control of Malacca.

Malacca Straits Mosque in Malacca, Malaysia
Malacca Straits Mosque in Malacca, Malaysia.

The Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary

The Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary is found some 15km north of the main Malacca city and houses over thirty species of reptiles including snakes, crocodiles, and lizards while also serving as home to more than 100 species of butterflies. The sanctuary is regarded as a safe haven for these animals due to its distance from the main city and strict laws protecting the research from harmful human activities like bush burning and hunting. The sanctuary is known to receive thousands of tourists annually with the visiting population increasing each year. For any tourist visiting Malacca, a trip to the Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary is a good idea.

Melaka Sultanate Palace

The Melaka Sultanate Palace is a wooden structure replica of the Sultan Mansur palace of the 15th century. The replica palace is located in the St. Pauls Hills area and was constructed in 1985 with only wooden materials using traditional methods of building. The original palace is generally regarded as the greatest palace ever built in the history of Malaysia and was made up of seven floors. According to the traditional account of the people, the palace was however destroyed a few years after its construction by a thunderbolt lightning.

Taming Sari Tower

The Taming Sari Tower known locally as Menara Taming Sari is the only gyro tower in Malaysia with a height of 110 metres. The tower was officially opened in 2008, after which it became the most famous tourist destinations especially for the brave and adventurous ones who want to experience something more daring and breathtaking. Tourists who visit the facility are taken up to the summit of the tower by around 80 seater elevator constructed around the tower. This 360 rounded elevator carries the tourists to the very top of the tower where they can view the whole of Malacca as one big picture, making it a sight to behold. The elevator-like structure once at the top moves in a circular form, around the tower enabling tourists to see all parts of Malacca from the top.

Street food in Melaka
Local street food in Melaka, Malaysia

Jonker Street Night Market

If you are in Malacca and looking for a place to spend the evening outside of your hotel or guesthouse then Jonker Street is the place to do so. Jonker Street is another iconic night market in Malacca, famous for its vibrant night market and surprisingly cheap products. The area is usually quiet in daytime and sprung into life at night with commercial and trading activities taking over as shops, restaurants, boutiques, stall and so many commercial outlets opening up for business. One major feature about the Jonker street night market is the fact that products sold there come at extraordinarily low prices compared to that of the normal daytime market, making it the favourite marketplace for most people living in Malacca. Aside from its commercial activities, Jonker Street night market usually witnesses a street performance of music by bands and occasionally performances by dancers and acrobats.

Top Things to do in Batam

Batam is part of a group Islands in the South-east part of Indonesia in the Riau Archipelago. Batam is however the most popular of all the Islands in the Riau Province and is largely responsible for the millions of tourists that visit Indonesia every year. Not far from Singapore, the small Island boasts of wonderful seafood, amazing nightlife and some stunning malls that offer products at a shockingly low rate largely because the Island is classified as a free trade zone area.

Welcome to Batam, Indonesia
Welcome to Batam, Indonesia

In the tourism world, Batam has proven to be a force to reckon with and continues to grow in stature in the tourism sector with an annual tourist visitor population growing each year. Tourists who visit the Island never regret the experience as there are a host of things to do and places to visit. Some of these places have been discussed below to help potential travelers make the best choice in terms of where to visit and what to do in Batam.

Batam Bridge

The Balerang Bridge is undoubtedly one of Indonesia’s most important bridges, linking the Island of Batam, Rempang and Galang together. The Bridge consists of a chain of six astounding bridges of various architectural designs, making transportation between the Islands possible. The name of the Bridge Belareng was obtained from the Island itself as the entire landscape of Riau is known locally as Balerang. Due to the unique and grandiose nature of the bridges, they have become one of the main attractions in Batam, with tourists from other parts of Indonesia making their way to the area to see the amazing six chain bridge that links separated Islands together.

Bridge at Batam Island
Bridge at Batam Island

Batam Cable Water Ski

The Batam Cable Water Ski is the ultimate place to have fun in Batam especially for the lovers of water and jet skiing. The cable water ski is located within the Waterfront City Resort in the Riau Islands of Batam and is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Island with an annual tourist population exceeding a million. The resort also has comfortable accommodations for tourists who may want to spend a night or more than a day at the resort.

Galang Refugee camp

The Galang refugee camp is one of Indonesia’s most historic sites, where an important part of the history of Indonesia lives on in memory. The camp was responsible for housing Indochinese refugees between 1979 and 1996. The refugee camp is situated on the Riau Islands of which Batam forms part and lies precisely in Galang. Overall, an estimated 250,000 Indochinese people were believed to have passed through the camp during its active years. After the closure of the camp in 1997, it was transferred from the UNHCR to the Indonesian state and today serves as a very important historical site in the history of the country. Tourists who wish to learn more about Indonesia and the history of the country would find the camp an important place to visit.

Mall Visit

Batam has some of the finest shopping malls in Indonesia, making shopping on the small Island city one of the most popular activities to engage in. From tourists to residents, it is easy to go out and find people touring the wonderful shopping malls in the city. The most popular of these malls are the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, the Mega Mall and the BCs Mall. More uniquely, the malls in Batam have prices of their products amazingly cheap compared to malls in other parts of Indonesia, making shopping in the city a must for tourists and those who would like to save cost.

Golf Courses

If there is one sport in the world Batam is famous for, then it is the sports of Golf. The small island boasts of seven luxurious and international standard golf courses which are up there with the very best in the world. For tourists who are avid fans of the golf game, there is no justifiable reason not to visit any of the seven golf courses on the Island and enjoy a game with other tourists from different countries. Beyond the golfing, it serves as an opportunity to meet and interact with people from other countries and get to know about other cultures. The seven golf courses are Taering Golf and Country Club, Southlinks Golf and Country Club, Indah Puri Golf Resort, Tamarin Santana Golf Club, Padang Golf Sukajadi, Batam Hills Golf Resort and the Palm Spring Golf and Resort.

Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temples

Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya is the biggest Buddhist temple in entire South-east Asia, occupying 4.5 hectares of land. The temple is also home to some of the tallest and biggest Buddha statues in Asia and was built in 1991 to serve as a major religious and worshipping centre for Buddhists. The white temple aside from its religious role is also a major tourist destination in Batam. Tourists who visit the city usually make their way to the large temple to satisfy their curiosity. While the temple is open to the populace for public viewing, it is done under strict supervision, with a caretaker at the temple usually leading visitors on the tour of the temple.

Amazing Seafood

As an Island, seafood is one thing you would expect Batam to have in abundance while also being experts at its preparation and surely the small Island doesn’t disappoint when it comes to that. The city offers delicious and incredibly cheap seafood, which are sold in restaurants across the city. The price of seafood there is less than half the price in other parts of Indonesia and even neighboring countries. What is more exciting, Batam is an expert at preparing seafood and the taste of the seafood here is comparable to none even at their low prices. The most popular restaurants known for serving delicious seafood include the Rezeki Seafood Restaurant, Harbour Bay Restaurant and Sei Enam Seafood. You simply cannot visit Batam and return without tasting their ever delicious seafood.

Golden City Batam

If you ever ask anyone who lives in Batam for tourism ideas and places to visit, the Golden City might be the first place they would suggest to you, and rightly so because it has earned the right to be called Batam’s finest tourist destination, an all in one park where everything about fun, entertainment and site seeing can be found. The park is located in Bengkong, Batam and is arguably the most patronized tourist attraction on the Riau Islands. The park boasts of so many attractions such as Go-Kart rides, paintball games, an illusion room, a number of amazing seafood restaurants, parks and gardens.

Iran Cultural Sites: Photos of Iran’s cultural treasures

Iran’s cultural heritage is rich and unique, especially its religious architecture. The country has over 20 Unesco world heritage sites which have been well-preserved for thousands of years. These sites are of cultural and religious significance, and as such, they mean everything to them.

Let’s take a look at some of the numerous cultural sites of Iran, a country with a civilisation dating back to 5,000 years.

Persepolis

Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture.

Persepolis
Persepolis
Persepolis
Persepolis

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Iranian architecture that was built during the Safavid Empire, standing on the eastern side of Naqsh-i Jahan Square, Esfahan, Iran. The purpose of this mosque was for it to be private to the royal court. For this reason, the mosque does not have any minarets and is smaller.

Sheik Loftallah mosque in Isfahan. Photograph: Leonid Andronov/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sheik Loftallah mosque in Isfahan. Photograph: Leonid Andronov/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The tomb of Prophet Daniel

The Tomb of Daniel is the traditional burial place of the biblical and Islamic prophet Daniel. Various locations have been named for the site, but the tomb in Susa, Iran (Persia), is the most widely accepted. Today the Tomb of Daniel in Susa is a popular attraction among local Muslims and Iran’s Jewish community alike.

The tomb of prophet Daniel, Susa, Iran. Photograph: Dea/Archivio J Lange/De Agostini via Getty Images
The tomb of prophet Daniel, Susa, Iran. Photograph: Dea/Archivio J Lange/De Agostini via Getty Images

Gonbad-e Kavus tower

Gonbad-e Qabus is a monument in Gonbad-e Qabus, Iran, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012. It marked the grave of Ziyarid ruler Qabus and was built during his lifetime in 1006/7.

Gonbad-e Kavus tower in Golestan, Iran. Photograph: Image Professionals GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo
Gonbad-e Kavus tower in Golestan, Iran. Photograph: Image Professionals GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo

Pasargadae

Pasargadae was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great, who ordered its construction. Today it is an archaeological site and one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, about 90 km to the northeast of the modern city of Shiraz. A limestone tomb there is believed to be that of Cyrus the Great.

Pasargadae
Pasargadae

Vank Cathedral

Vank Cathedral is a cathedral located in the New Julfa district of Isfahan, Iran. Vank means “monastery” or “convent” in the Armenian language.

Vank Cathedral
Vank Cathedral

Bridges of Isfahan

Isfahan is one of the most visited cities in Iran due to five historic bridges in the city.

The five historic bridges in Isfahan over Zayanderud River comprises of some of the most exquisite architecture in the city. These five bridges include Shahrestan Bridge, Khaju Bridge, Choobi (Joui) Bridge, Si-o-se Pol Bridge, and Marnan Bridge.

Bridges of Isfahan
Bridges of Isfahan

Dalat: City Profile, Top Attractions To See

Da Lat is the official capital of the Lam Dong Province in Vietnam. As one of the relatively quiet and not so populated cities in Vietnam, the city has a noble population of just 400,000 residents as of 2015, making it a sophisticated cosmopolitan city with people from different cultural backgrounds.

Geographically, Da Lat is located on the Langbian Plateau in the central highlands and lies approximately 5000ft above sea level.

While the city may not be the most popular in Vietnam or boast of having over a million residents like other Vietnamese cities, Da Lat is well known for its fantastic scenery, great tourism sector and hospitable people.

Da Lat has for decades, dating back to the French colonial era been described as the getaway city in Vietnam where tourists and Vietnamese can relax and take time off the everyday stress of the real world.

The city’s tourism is further boosted by its amazing weather and green vegetation, which in itself offers tourists a great sightseeing experience. Surrounding the city are small evergreen forests, villages and sanctuaries and farms owned by inhabitants of the city.

Aside tourism Da Lat is also a major agriculture hub in Vietnam and supplies the rest of the province and country with some of the most popular vegetables used in Vietnam. Notable among these productions include the cabbage, coffee and grapes for wine production.

Popular attractions in Dalat

Linh Phuoc Pagoda

The Phuoc Pagoda known popularly as the Dragon Temple is perhaps Da Lat’s most popular attraction to the outside world.  The dragon-themed temple was specially made with bottles numbering about 12,000 in number. Construction began in 1949 and was officially completed in 1952. The unique mosaic and architectural ingenuity of the temple attracts thousands of visitors from both within Vietnam and outside the shores of the country each year making it one of the most important monument and attraction in La Dat.

Datanla Falls

Datanla Falls is arguably the most beautiful and most developed waterfalls in Da Lat, located some 6km from the central Da Lat city. The waterfall is usually very busy at daytime and quite overcrowded with tourists and visitors from other parts of Vietnam. The waterfall is also very safe as there are quite a number of staff and tour guides close to the waterfall in case of any accidents or unfortunate incidents. Datanla Falls is an excellent place for tourists to meet and interact among themselves.

Bao Dai Summer Palace

Trees and flowers in the garden of Bao Dai (the last emperor of Vietnam) Palace in Da Lat, Vietnam.
Trees and flowers in the garden of Bao Dai (the last emperor of Vietnam) Palace in Da Lat, Vietnam.

Bao Dai Summer  Palace is the most famous and historic palace in La Dat built in the mid-1960s to serve as the official residence of the King of the area. The palace boasts of some 25 rooms with exquisite interior designs fit for a king’s home. Today, the palace is a reserved state property regarded as a tourist attraction and receives thousands of tourists each year. Visitors to the palace are taken on a tour of the palace to see some of the historical artefacts used by the residential king and royal household. The incredible part of the tour, however, is the garden tour of the palace. The palace has a beautiful garden filled with over 300 different species of flowers, some of which are very. The beauty and presence of so many flowers around the palace does not come as a surprise; however, as the city is generally famous for its beautiful vegetation and gardens.

Lake of Sighs

The Lake of sigh was originally a natural lake but was expanded to become a dam by the French colonial administration in the 1950s. The dam now serves as a major tourist destination where visiting tourists can take rides on the dam in boats.  Besides the taking of a safari ride on the dam, tourists can also go on a romantic expedition in the forests surrounding the lake, and comb through the beautiful green pine trees, given tourists an unforgettable experience.

Influence of the French on the City

As a former colony of the French, the impact of the French is felt on the city in all aspect ranging from architecture to the lifestyle of the inhabitants. Most of the buildings in the city are modelled on the 20th-century French building architecture while the inhabitants also have similar taste to the French in terms of luxury.

The city of La Dat is an excellent destination for those with a moderate budget but looking for a beautiful destination to spend a few days, and most importantly it is the prime destination for tourists looking for a place filled with natural endowment and great weather rather than human-created attractions. The beautiful green gardens that engulfs the city is something you would want to see.

Sapporo: The making of one of Japan’s elite cities

Sapporo is the official designated capital of the Hokkaido Prefecture, an Island located in the northern part of Japan. Sapporo is also the biggest city on the island with a population of 1.9 million people making it the fifth most populated city in Japan and the most populated in the northern part of the country.

Historically, the area was first inhabited by the Ainu people; an indigenous ethnic group that existed throughout the Hokkaido Island way before the era of civilisation took off in Japan. They did not speak Japanese and did not consider themselves as one, but were conquered by the Imperial Japanese in the 9th century and assimilated to become a part of the growing nation of Japan.

With the population of the indigenous Ainu people in Hokkaido being too small, (around 70,000 by the 19th century), the Japanese government embarked on a project that was aimed at developing the area and encouraging more Japanese people to settle there. The initiative became a huge success and saw a lot of Japanese in other parts of the country moving to settle in Sapporo in the 19th century, paving the way to making the city of Sapporo one of the country’s elite and most developed cities.

In 1960s, Sapporo made history when it was rewarded to become the host of the 1972 Winter Olympics becoming the first city in the whole of Asia to achieve such a feat. In 2002, the city also co-hosted some World Cup matches when Japan and Korea co-hosted the World Cup together.

The city is quite famous and well known throughout Asia for many things, one being its iconic and envied history of beer production. For centuries, the city of Sapporo has produced local beers for residence and tourists. The city’s famed beer production is one of the main attractions that lure tourists to the city.  To ensure the history of the city in Beer production is well documented and not lost, a Beer Museum has been established in the city. Tourists who visit the museum get an opportunity to learn about Sapporo’s brewing history and how it all started. There is also a Beer garden for lovers of the drink to go and taste some locally brewed Sapporo beer.

Due to the mountainous landscape of the city, it is also one of the best destinations for hikers and skydivers, an activity that attracts thousands of people to the city each year.

The biggest attraction of the city, however, is the Sapporo Snow Festival, celebrated in February each year over seven days. The Snow Festival involves the use of snow ice to make snow statues and amazing sculptures. The event is held at the Tsudome and Odori Park, both located in the centre of Sapporo. It is estimated that each year, the festival alone is responsible for attracting over 1.5 million tourists to the city. This number reached its peak in 2007 when over two million tourists made their way to Sapporo to attend the festival, and since then, the festival has seen an average of about 1.8million tourists attending.

During the weeklong festival, an international snow sculpture competition is held and sees teams from all over the world participating for the enviable title. The snow sculptures and statues could be anything known publicly, from a famous athlete to an iconic building.

Sapporo is also home to some fantastic tourist destinations worth visiting in a lifetime. Places like the Sapporo TV Tower makes for an amazing tourist experience. The tower has a viewing deck that provides an opportunity to see the landscape of the city from high up.

The Odori Park, the traditional home grounds of the Sapporo Snow Festival is also a prominent attraction in the city. Besides the snow festival, the park hosts events all year round, and there’s never a dull moment at the park. What is more beautiful is that the park has green leaves all year round. The leaves do not wither away in the summer season, or blossom when there is rain. It simply remains beautifully green throughout the year, irrespective of weather condition.

And for the lovers of Chocolate (well basically everyone loves chocolate), a visit to Sapporo could be the dream as you would have the chance to the Ishiya Chocolate factory, a local chocolate factory in the city, for a tour.

By all standard, Sapporo has blossomed into a beautiful modern city, worth visiting.

South Korea announces 3 ways to visit visa-free

The Republic of Korea has announced on Thursday three ways on how to visit the country visa-free.

The announcement was made through the websites of South Korea missions abroad.

According to the announcement, those eligible to visit Korea visa-free are (1) tourists in transit to third countries, (2) foreign transfer passengers; and (3) visitors to Jeju area.

1. Tourists in transit to third countries

Tourists transiting through Korea will be granted visa-free access to the country as long as they have confirmed onward flight ticket for departure within the next 30 days, in addition to having no record of criminal offence.
Eligible nationals for this category are nationalities of all countries except these 24 countries: Syria, Sudan, Iran, Macedonia, Cuba, Republic Of Kosovo, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Ghana, Yemen, Gambia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Cameron, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Egypt.

United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand visa holders are also eligible in the first category

2. Foreign transfer passengers

For the foreign transfer passengers, eligible tourists are those transferring through the Incheon Airport and taking part in a Transit Tourism Program on their way to a third country or the country of their nationality.

Citizens of the 24 countries that are excluded in category one are not included.

3. Visitors to Jeju area

The third category are for people arriving at ports of entry in Jeju without a visa for travel and transit. Jeju is a city in South Korea and it’s airport Jeju International Airport, is the 2nd largest airport in South Korea, just behind Incheon Airport in Incheon.

Nationals excluded from this category are travelers from the following countries whose visa free entry is limited: Ghana, Nigeria, Republic Of Kosovo, Macedonia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Palestine, Yemen , Egypt, Gambia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Kyrgyz, Pakistan, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Cameroon, Sri lanka and Myanmar.