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Step Out of the Ordinary by Experiencing Halong Bay

'If you have seen one, you've seen them all.' This is one phrase many travelers hate. Think about it-you spend quite a bit of money going to a travel destination and you are excited to see its destinations. You check out the first stop, soak up the sights, and get excited about the local color, flavor, and experience. You get hyped up for the next stop. You go there and notice that, asides from the different name and some minor details, this destination is the same as your first stop. Not to worry, you hang out and enjoy the local flavors, colors, and experiences-although they are pretty much the same as your first destination. You hope your third stop will be different. It is not. On to the fourth stop on your itinerary-more of the same. You probably will not need to go to the fifth spot on your travel itinerary before throwing your hands up and saying 'if you have seen one, you've seen them all.' Sadly, this is a very common traveler complaint. This is especially true for places that boast of one natural feature-beaches. Without there is something radically different between one beach and another, they pretty…

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The Beaches of Sydney

The city of Sydney is easily recognizable by many around the world for its harbor scene with the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House, but rather than just being a pretty image for a postcard the harbor serves a great purpose for the city both in the past and in modern times. Sydney Harbor – which is part of the larger Port Jackson – was the first landing spot of European settlers in Australia. The area was already known by the indigenous people when it was discovered by James Cook in 1770. Cook named the port after Sir George Jackson (a Lord Commissioner of the British Admiralty) and later named Cape Jackson in New Zealand after the same man. Eight years later Governor Arthur Phillip visited the port and set up the first colony in Australia, which eventually developed into the city of Sydney. In those days traveling to Australia by ship was the only way to get to the island, but with air travel now the most popular way to get to the airport, locations. One such place to get a ferry to is Manly, a suburb of northern Sydney. Named by Governor Phillip because of the manly appearance…

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Thailand – A Cheap Travel Destination That Delivers

Fuel prices are up and the economy is down this year. That makes getting the most bang out of your travel buck important. Thailand represents a fascinating and excellent travel destination that is also an incredible deal. Known as the land of smiles, Thailand is one of those truly unique Southeast Asian countries that boogle the mind. From the warm beaches of the southern coast to the mountain palace of the King in Chang Mai in the north, there is a lot to see and do. Best of all, you can do it all for one of the lowest travel costs in the world. In the late 1990s, the Asian economies were absolutely crushed over a one year period. Part and parcel to this disaster was the loss of currency value. Much like the dollar is falling now, the Thai “Baht” suffered. Instead of a down period, however, it fell like a rock dropped from a plane and hasn’t really come back. Put simply, this currency issue has made Thailand a cheap, cheap place. Your biggest expense will be the flight. It can run $650 round trip at a minimum. It should also be noted that the flight is very…

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Long Beach Island Is A Nice Place To Visit

New Jersey has never been my first choice for a vacation destination. Everyone makes jokes about it not being very clean and of course you have the infamous Jersey Shore TV show. So when my partner wanted to go to Long Beach Island which is a part of New Jersey I wasn’t exactly thrilled, but had I done some actual research on the place I would have known beforehand how great a place it is. We stayed in a really great beach house in Beach Haven. The house was beautiful and it had an amazing view. Every morning we would sit out on the deck and drink our coffee and watch the sun come up. I know that seems a bit crazy to be up so early on vacation but it was well worth it. Long Beach Island is a nice place to have a relaxing vacation. There are beautiful old Victorian homes and there is Barnegat lighthouse. I know that might sound a little boring to go and see a lighthouse but it was really cool. The lighthouse is located on the north end of Long Beach Island in the aptly named Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. I really enjoy…

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Sunshine Coast Tourism Bounces Back

In spite of the floods, the oil spill, and a bout of bluebottle jellyfish, not to mention the recession, Australia's Sunshine Coast recorded another bumper Easter break. Coupled with the news that the Sunshine Coast has seen Queensland's strongest growth for business visitors in the last financial year, the region has much to celebrate. Figures from the Queensland Business Events Survey show 20,000 business visitors came to the region, spending a minimum average of almost $ 400-a-day. The figures are particularly significant at a time when businesses are cutting back on their conference expenditure. They demonstrate that quite often a business trip to Sunshine coast accommodation can easily be combined with a family holiday. As a result of the unprepented flooding in the week before Easter, there was projected gloom and doom in the region as some tourism operators were forced to close their businesses over one of the coast's busiest weekends of the year. Owners of campsites and caravan parks for example around the flood hit areas of Kin Kin and the upper reaches of the Noosa River were trying their best to warn visitors to stay away over the Easter weekend as the floods had washed away or…

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Warm Up While Playing The Big Cats at Ocean Ridge

Drop those snow boots, grab your golf clubs and forget about winter for a while at Ocean Ridge Plantation in Sunset Beach, NC Unlike its northern neighbors, Sunset Beach boasts a mild climate year-round. The warm weather and pristine natural surroundings make Ocean Ridge Plantation the perfect destination for active golfers who do not want to settle for just a few short months of golf at home. Sunset Beach experienced no serious weather issues this summer and fall, leaving the courses in beautiful condition. Ideally located between the history of Wilmington and the exclusion of Myrtle Beach, Ocean Ridge Plantation boasts one of the most diverse golf experiences on the East Coast with its three "Big Cat" courses – Lion's Paw, Panther's Run and Tiger's Eye. A fourth course, Leopard's Chase, is in progress. Lion's Paw is an open, hilly 18-hole course that treats golfers to spectacular views of a creek valley and wetlands. It has been described as designer Willard C. Byrd's finest work. Panther's Run, an 18-hole course carved out of rolling woodlands runs along several untouched natural wildlife habitats, and offers large multiple tee areas, giving golfers of all skill levels a fair shot at making par.…

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Tour Cape Town’s Beaches by Train on Your South Africa Holiday

When enjoying a holiday in Cape Town you might like to experience an economical and unique tour of the southern peninsula of Cape Town and the coastal suburbs of False Bay, by train. The suburban rail service that serves the suburbs along the line from Cape Town to Simonstown an inexpensive and relaxing way to travel and see so many of the coastal attractions from a unique perspective – the seat of a railway carriage. Although it is an interesting trip for adults, children wi; delight in such a journey from the surfers paradise suburb of Muizenberg to Simonstown. Board the train at Muizenberg, where you will be sure to admire the historic Colonial red brick and stone faced station building with a teak clock tower, built around 1913. It houses a couple of antique shops and a popular restaurant overlooking the ocean. The train journey offers a unique viewing opportunity, as you travel along the spectacular False Bay Coast and the train snakes along the shore, passing beautiful white beaches and tidal pools; at times skirting the sea with just a wall of rocks between the rail and the ocean. You should open the carriage window and inhale the…

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Health and Beauty Benefits You Take Home From the Beach

There’s nothing like spending a long, beautiful day at the beach. It’s really the only place where you’re encouraged to lie around and do absolutely nothing. Though you may feel mildly guilty for enjoying your perfectly unproductive day, put what little worries you had to rest and know that the beach is a wonderful place to maintain your health. Sun Though it’s a valid and often necessary precaution to cover yourself from head to toe with sunscreen, the sun’s rays are actually a vital element in maintaining and even improving your overall quality of health. Through the sun, we are able to receive our daily dose of vitamin D, considered an essential component in strengthening our immune system. Vitamin D is so crucial to our health that a deficiency can result in illnesses like cancer, autism, heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis. By spending ten to fifteen in the sun without any sun protection, you can reduce inflammation, increase the amount of red blood cells in your body, and stimulate the production of natural brain chemicals. Sun exposure promotes an increase of serotonin and endorphins, making you feel happier and energized. Melatonin is also increased, allowing you to sleep better. This…

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Weight Loss – The Perfect Beach Body Diet

There is nothing like a major event to spur on weight loss. I know that I spent a lot of time dieting for my 21st birthday bash and always following a beach body diet a month before bikini season. I have even died to fit into a hideous bridesmaid's dress. It would of course be more sensible to always eat right, and therefore not to keep gaining and losing the same ten pounds, but sometimes it is very difficult not to gain weight during Winter or over Christmas holidays. And then we need a beach body diet to help us get rid of the bumps and lumps. If you find yourself having to diet to be able to fit into a suit, dress or bikini the best approach is to start early and follow a moderate diet by eating smaller portions and cutting out any take-aways, sweets, and alcohol. Banning sinful treats could lead to fast weight loss, if you eat many sweets per day or have a daily drink or two. I once simply condemned sugar and alcohol for two weeks and ended up losing four pounds per week. The best part is that I even though I was…

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Great Beach Reads

The beach is a great place to relax, books are great way to slip into another world and let your cares slip away. Together they are an amazing combination, and what is better than sitting on a beautiful beach immersed in a great story? If you're heading out for some winter sun, here are some perfect reads. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling might be the ultimate in beach reads. They are easy, addictive and a whole lot of fun. Above all, reading these books is all about escapism which is exactly what you want to achieve on holiday. Best of all there are seven of them, so they will keep you entertained no matter how long you want to lounge on the beach. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is another superb tale. Set in Nazi Germany, it is none too cheery, yet is absolutely enthralling. You will be completely gripped by this tale of a little girl in a small German town – in fact, while reading it you might neglect to do anything else. For people on cheap holidays in Kefalonia and other Greek Islands, Captain Corelli's Mandolin is the perfect novel. It is set in…

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