Peru

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Machu Picchu, Peru

Peru is often called “The land of the Incas”. This name is derived from the famous nation which was destroyed during an invasion of the Europeans. It is interesting to think, where this nation, that was able to build monumental structures, read from the stars and manage a huge imperium a couple of hundred years ago, would be today. If you visit the biggest tourist attractions such as the unforgettable Machu Picchu, mysterious Lake Titicaca, figures in the Nazca Desert, or the famous city of Cusco, this unforgettable event will touch your soul.

It is even possible to go deeper into Peru. You can leave the popular tourist routes and find many places where tribes live without an intervention of the civilization, a place where you would be alone, just silence, and snowy peaks of hills which are six thousand feet high. If you like adventure you can get to the heart of the wild rainforest by a canoe carved from a single piece of wood.

Girl with llama, Peru

This all is Peru, as well as thousands of species of animals that live there, from hummingbirds to huge Andean condors and llamas, lively festivals and celebrations and colorful markets where you can buy anything you can think of. On the top of that local people are ussually dressed in beautiful folk costumes. You should also visit colonial buildings and churches which were built by Spanish conquistadors. Peru boasts not only by countless Inca constructions but also by modern shopping malls. The western part of Peru is surrounded by Pacific Ocean. English is generally spoken in the capital city and larger tourist destinations, but in other parts of the country basic knowledge of Spanish is welcomed and sometimes even necessary.

Climate

The climate of the Pacific coast is cool and dry because of the Humboldt Current. The northern coast is much warmer as the cold stream diverges to the west here. The climate of the Andes (the longest continental mountain range in the world) is alpine and differs according to the altitude. In the Amazonian lowlands of the northeastern part of the country the climate is hot during the whole year. In the City of Lima located near the Pacific coast the average temperature in January is 23° C and the average temperature in July is 16° C.

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South Korea

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South Korean temple with bridge

South Korea is the best example of natural beauty, rich history and economic power. It is the place where culture and traditions meet modern style of life. Here you can encounter old royal palaces and monasteries as well as modern skyscrapers or walk through streets with quiet parks and ponds with a lot of lotus flowers. By means of services for tourists which are of high value South Korea is doing its best to make travelers from all over the world feel good. Tourists can use international credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and EuroCard everywhere in the country. Problems may arise from the language barrier – only few inhabitants can speak other language than Korean, English is used mostly in tourist resorts and major towns.

When to go

The climate of South Korea is mild, the warmest part of the year is during the rainy season in July and August, the coldest part is in December and January. The best time to visit Korea is during spring when cherry blossoms bloom in full force and autumn, when the country is not overcrowded by tourists.

Culture

Majority of the Korean population are atheists. The most common religion is the Christianity, which has got ahead of Buddhism. Numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries remained here as the representation of the rich Korean cultural heritage. Korean architecture is famous for its efforts to reach harmony between buildings and surrounding nature.

Traffic and temple in South Korea

 

Traveling

Koreans are famous for their correct behavior on the roads. In the capital city of Seoul, where the traffic is very heavy, it’s better to choose some form of the public transportation. The subway system, with five lines that perfectly cover the whole city, carries approximately four million people a day. Seoul has a perfectly elaborated urban bus service. it’s also possible to order a taxi. Safe and clean trains are running precisely according to the timetable. In Korea you can choose from three types of trains: super-express (connecting Seoul to Busan, Mokpo, Gyeongju and Gwangju), special-express and express. Many private companies provide domestic air transport. Continue reading

Thailand

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Temple and lake in Thailand

A Practical Guide to Thailand

Different people find different things in Thailand. Thailand is a land of variety and diverse vibrant culture, that has something to offer for everyone. The country has plenty to satisfy single travelers, couples, or families, from Bangkok’s shopping and nightlife to adventure sports in the northern hills or a pampering spa at a beach resort. Thailand remains Southeast Asia’s most popular destination with its sparkling temples, idyllic beaches and mountain trails.

Culture:

Sukhothai Buddha statue in Thailand

Thai culture cannot be fully appreciated without some understanding of Buddhism, which is practiced by 95% of the population.  Most Chinese and Vietnamese living in Thailand follow Mahayana Buddhism, and several temples and monasteries in the country support this tradition as well. The Sukhothai period (13th–14th c.) is regarded as a period of notable achievement in Thai culture, with big advancements made in art and architecture. One of the lasting legacies of the Sukhothai period is its sculpture, characterized by the graceful aquiline-nosed Buddha either sitting in meditation or, more strikingly, walking contemplatively. These Buddha figures are considered to be some of the most beautiful representations ever produced of this genre.

Thailand’s Ecosystems

Beach with a boat in Thailand

Thailand’s different geographical regions provide a large variety of ecosystems, which support a great diversity of animal and plant life. Most of the country’s forests are deciduous or montane, such as those in the northern hills, where the summit of Doi Inthanon forms the highest point in Thailand at 2,565m (8415 ft.). There are a few pockets of primary rainforest on the southern peninsula, in places such as Khao Sok National Park. Other ecosystems that predominate on the southern peninsula and eastern seaboard are coastal forests, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs. Around half of these reefs are under the nominal protection of marine national parks, such as Ko Similan and Ko Tarutao, both off the Andaman Coast. Several regions of the country, most notably Phang Nga Bay, are characterized by karst outcrops – islands or mountains of porous limestone that conceal caves and pristine lagoons. Continue reading