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Recent Posts Get a Russian Visa for a Second Christmas 2011 Destinations: Get a Bangladesh Visa for a Frugal Adventure Chinese Visa Requirements to Tour the Tea Horse Road Get a Brazil Visa to See the Oldest Rock Art in South America Nepal Visa Requirements to See the Temple of Boudhanath Stupa
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Archive for December, 2010

Get a Russian Visa for a Second Christmas

December 31st, 2010
Christmas always seems to go by too fast, doesn't it? If you'd like to extend the holiday season, consider applying for a Russian visa. As Gadling reported earlier today, Russia celebrates Christmas about 2 weeks later than the United States, on January 7th. Gift-giving, however, happens tonight, as back when Russia was communist giving gifts on Christmas was officially frowned on. How festive is the Christmas season in Russia? Contrary to what you might expect, it's actually quite festive, as Gadling's Meg Nesterov discovered: "I arrived in Moscow last Friday (western Christmas Eve) to find the capital freezing but festive, with New Year's yolki (trees) decorated all over the city and various versions of Ded Moroz walking the streets, and now in St. Petersburg, locals are rushing


2011 Destinations: Get a Bangladesh Visa for a Frugal Adventure

December 30th, 2010
Since it's almost New Year's Eve, I thought it'd be a good idea to spend the next few days looking at different destinations that travel experts have recommended for 2011. First, let's take a look at Bangladesh, a country that is definitely under-utilized by tourists at the moment. The folks over at Lonely Planet recently recommended Bangladesh as one of their top value destinations for 2011, so if you're not yet feeling the economic recovery, this Southeast Asian country might be a good choice for you. According to Lonely Planet, you can eat quite well for less than a dollar a meal and get a decent night's sleep in a hotel room for less than $10. Bangladesh features a menu of activities worthy of even the most seasoned adventure traveler: hiking through dense jungles in one of the


Chinese Visa Requirements to Tour the Tea Horse Road

December 26th, 2010
The Silk Road may get all the glory, but there's another, lesser-known Chinese trade route that's no less interesting to explore. The "Tea-Horse Road"  once carried tea from China to Tibet, where the Chinese traded it for tough Tibetan horses. The original trail was incredibly difficult and rough, and yet Chinese tea porters made the journey with packs of tea on their backs that weighed more than they did.  National Geographic travel writer Mark Jenkins recently traveled what remains of the  Tea Horse road, and found some elderly Chinese porters who were willing to talk about their days hauling tea. The traditional tea porter song that they sang for him illustrates how hard the work was: Seven steps up, you have to rest. Eight steps down, you have to rest. Eleven steps flat,


Get a Brazil Visa to See the Oldest Rock Art in South America

December 26th, 2010
This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Brazil's most significant archaeological treasures. Serra da Capivara National Park is home to numerous examples of amazing rock art that dates back to the Ice Age. In fact, one rock shelter has some paintings that date back to 26,000-22,000 BC, making it the oldest known rock art in South America. At over 25,000 years of age, some of the rock art in Serra de Capivara makes the famous cave paintings in Lascaux, France (painted "only" 17,300 years ago) look like modern art. Serra da Capivara's main draw may be the rock art, but it's also notable for its unique plant and animal life. Some species are not found anywhere else outside of the park boundaries. UNESCO granted World Heritage status to the park in 1991, calling it an "


Nepal Visa Requirements to See the Temple of Boudhanath Stupa

December 25th, 2010
Boudhanath Stupa is one of the most beautiful and impressive Buddhist temples in Nepal. Towering over the country's capital Kathmandu, it is one of the city's chief tourist attractions. It's easy to see why -- the glistening white dome is topped with a gold canopy and surrounded by innumerable brightly colored, fluttering prayer flags for an amazing visual impact. According to legend, the stupa is the final resting place of an important sage called Kāṣyapa. There are several interesting legends describing how it was built. In one, recounted on the NileGuidance blog, an old woman petitioned the ruler of the area for land to build a temple to house the remains of the sage. The king granted her "as much land as a buffalo skin could cover," so she cut the buffalo skin into thin strips and