As you begin planning your upcoming trip to the People’s Republic of China, there are a few crucial steps you’ll need to take. Get your passport and visas, research flights and buy your tickets to China. But before you start packing your luggage and exchanging currency, you’ll want to decide on your perfect itinerary. Start planning where in this beautiful, dynamic nation you’d like to visit. One of the most popular and fascinating destinations resides in the bustling city of Xi’an (population 8.5 million) — home to one of the most visited UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country. Each year, millions of people fly to China to visit one of the most striking man-made marvels in the world.
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South Korea’s capital city has roughly as many people as New York City and yet it manages to mix the modernity of tech giants like Samsung and LG with a history and architecture that traces its roots more than two millennia back. Travelers who truly want to enjoy their stay when they visit Korea should try to incorporate elements from the modern and the medieval to see how a culture can stay true to itself century over century. Here are some sights that tick one or the other of those boxes.
In partial ruins, travelers who are looking to travel to Korea still need to consider Gyeongbokgung, or Gyeongbuk Palace, priority one if they have any interest in South Korean history. It is the grandest example of a royal residence in the country and traces its beginnings to the late 14th century. The entire facility included several thousand rooms and while just under half of it has been restored, the architecture is still impressive regardless of whether or not travelers can see inside some of the buildings.
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Tokyo has been variously described as one of the most exciting, most metropolitan and most futuristic cities in the world. Frankly, we’d have to agree. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, though, it’s worth bearing in mind that the world outside its capital city is absolutely bursting with the sort of culture, nature and history you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Indeed, nearly 100 million souls reside in the 46 Japanese prefectures outside Tokyo — that makes for almost endless opportunities to become more familiar with one of the most oddly unique countries on earth.
Not yet convinced? Keep reading to learn why you should add at least a few outside-Tokyo destinations to your Japanese bucket list.
Slow down and discover the old world spirit of Kyoto
After exploring the bustling modernity of Tokyo, you may be ready for the quiet and almost meditative introspection of Kyoto.
While the rest of Japan seems to be eagerly following Tokyo’s lead into the ultramodern future, Kyoto is the country’s home base for the traditions of old. Indeed, the city of 1.5 million has historically been referred to as the City of Ten Thousand Shrines. Even today, some 2,000 temples and shrines exist within the Kyoto region.
Temple hunters who want the most bang for their sightseeing buck will want to head straight to one of the region’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The ancient collection consists of 13 Buddhist temples, three Shinto shrines and one very large flatland castle.
Especially popular is the famed 600-year-old Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kinkaku-ji. The Zen Buddhist temple is easily one of the most popular sites in all of Japan, and it’s surrounded by a stunning minimalist garden.
Continue Reading Visiting Japan? Escaping from Tokyo is a Must!
For beach lovers, Indonesia is a traveler’s paradise — this South Pacific archipelago is made up of over 13,000 islands, spanning across two tropical oceans. This has created a haven for gorgeous soft sand beaches, stunning waves and sunny skies. Whether you’re searching for popular tourist destinations or untouched shoreline, Indonesia’s islands contain beaches to suit any taste. Surfers, snorkelers and avid divers flock to the coastline to immerse themselves in the sparkling waters, ablaze with tropical sea creatures. What’s stopping you from booking your cheap flight to Indonesia? Chances are, you’ll find everything you’re looking for and more from Indonesia’s world-famous beaches.
Continue Reading The Beaches of Indonesia – A Traveler’s Paradise
Vietnam is full of natural treasures. This Southeast Asian country has many different climates and remarkable landscapes. Get your cheap tickets and then decide what you’d like to explore; maybe you want to view the lush green rice fields in Northern Vietnam or see where the Mekong Delta meets the ocean in the south. This rapidly changing nation has ancient traditions and temples that are rich with history. There’s no shortage of sights to see in the beauty of Vietnam.
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No trip to China is complete without dim sum. Food is a large part of any culture, and China is no exception. Dim sum is a Cantonese style food is known for being prepared into small bite-size portions, normally served in steamer baskets or small plates. Going out for dim sum in Cantonese is often referred to as going to “drink tea,” since tea is normally served with a meal of dim sum. This style of cuisine has gained large global popularity, with dim sum restaurants popping up all over the world, especially in the Chinatown neighborhoods of large North American cities like San Francisco and New York City. However, to get the full experience requires travel to China. So see if you can find one of our cheap flights to China to try this fantastic cuisine.
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A trip to South Korea is one to remember for a lifetime. This dynamic country is home to delicious food, unique culture and a complex history. It can be overwhelming to decide what to experience first. Once you’ve booked your flight to Seoul, you may consider visiting South Korea’s world-class museums to get a taste of their national pride. And you’ll have plenty to choose from — there are over 500 museums and galleries in South Korea, something to suit everyone’s taste! Now’s the time get your cheap tickets to Korea and start exploring.
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No trip to Cambodia is complete without a visit to Angkor. This vast site is considered one of the most important archeological landmarks in Southeast Asia. This complex civilization is made up of temples, structures and travel routes. The most famous feature of Angkor is Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. It has become an international symbol of the country, appearing proudly on Cambodia’s national flag since 1863. Angkor Wat or “Temple City” draws in global visitors every day that wish to witness its beauty, history and astonishing preservation. About 50% of all Cambodian tourists visit the temple mountain. You can easily spend hours exploring Angkor Wat’s ruins, considered to be some of the beautiful and historic visions of pomp and grandeur. It unrivaled magnificence has made it one of the most famous historic landmarks in the world.
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There’s a reason why wok cooking is so popular. This extremely versatile vessel cooks delicious meals quickly. The wok originated in China and has become one of the most common cooking utensils in Southeast Asia, and is gaining esteem in Western kitchens. The wok is curved with a concave shape, which produces small, hot space that allows for intense heat, perfect for quickly searing food. Woks are used for stir-frying, but also steaming, deep frying, poaching, boiling, braising, searing, making soup and toasting nuts. Its large sloped sides permit for the “ tossing while cooking” technique. Creating yummy, creative and healthy meals is fast and simple with a wok.
Seasoning Your Wok
Just like a cast-iron pan, your iron, steel or carbon steel wok made of porous metals, and needs to be seasoned before cooking. The wok can absorb liquids and can rust over time. Luckily, your wok can also absorb oil, which will repel water and create a protective, non-stick layer, which protects your pan from water or acid exposure. Seasoning your wok will also add more flavor to your food over time.
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For most wine enthusiasts in the Western part of the world, the fermented rice drink known as sake is nothing much more than a slightly exotic alcoholic beverage they tried once at a sushi restaurant.
But in Japan, sake (pronounced “sah-keh,” not “sah-kee”) plays an integral role in the sophisticated world of Japanese cuisine, which for most of us is already confusing enough.
If you’re planning on spending time in Japan, getting familiar with the customs and traditions of sake will go a long way toward helping you to truly understand both the country’s cuisine and its culture.
Continue Reading Drinking Sake in Japan? Here’s What You Need to Know