Vietnam is a paradise for both the outdoor adventurer and city explorer alike. Winding down 3,444 kilometers of coastline from the northern Red River Delta near the Chinese border to the Mekong Delta at the southernmost tip of the Southeast Asian peninsula, Vietnam is a splendid blend of picturesque coastline and lush inland terrain. The regions history of conquests and wars makes travel to Vietnam today a rich and rewarding experience during this time of precious peace.During the 20th century, Vietnam was at war for nearly 45 consecutive years with different countries. After French and Spanish forces ravaged the area, most of the south became a French colony by 1867. Finally in 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnams independence, sparking a French rebuttal and attracting international interest of U.S., Russian and Cambodian forces. Minhs dream of an independent (communist) nation was not realized until 1989 when the U.N. subdued the conflict with Khmer Rouge and pulled Vietnamese troops out of Cambodia.Urban and Pristine Wonders of Vietnamese TravelNational identity has become an integral part of life for this war trodden state and today the proud Vietnamese are more willing to embrace foreign travelers and share their magnificent cultural history as their economy begins to mature. Visit the economic capital of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south to witness the vibrant and progressive culture that has taken root in Vietnam. While there, explore the extensive botanical gardens, Buddhist monasteries, and stop by the Binh Soup Shop, which was the secret Viet Cong headquarters in Saigon during the Vietnam War. In the far north, the capital city of Hanoi is a bit more relaxed, speaking to ancient Vietnamese culture and 1000 years of history along the streets of the Old Quarter. Visit the intriguing One Pillar Pagoda build by Emperor Tong in the 11th century and replenish your spirits in the Bach Ma Temple, the citys oldest and most revered.Retreat to the captivating beauty of Vietnams wilderness for a more tranquil portion of your journey. Tropical rainforests abound in the protected area of Ba Be National Park, located close to the Chinese border in the north. The local Tay people live in stilt houses and contribute cultural significance to the area. Take an elephant ride through the expansive Yok Don National Park for a chance to see monkeys, birds and even leopards. If confined spaces dont trigger nightmares, the Phong Nha Cave is a must see. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was created 250 million years ago and boasts a cavernous entanglement stretching thousands of meters below ground. Portions of this natural wonder are open to the public daily. For the claustrophobic, travel to Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, another World Heritage Site, which is dotted with more than 3,000 tiny islands with cliffs and white sand beaches that cascade into the surrounding sparkling waters.Due to the countrys broad north-south range, Vietnam is a wonderful country to explore any time of year. The sheltered forests and increased speed of the coastal cities offer an invaluable variety for a perfectly balanced journey. Travel to Vietnam to discover this underestimated Southeast Asian gem. For more information on international travel and discount airfare to Vietnam, visit www.cfares.com.
The Province of Alberta is approximately 255,200 square miles in size and boasts incredible scenery and abundant natural resources. It is situated between the provinces of Saskatchewan to the East and British Columbia to the west, with Northwest Territories to the North and the state of Montana, USA bordering the south. Alberta is in the Mountain Time Zone which is Greenwich Meantime -7 hours. Between the months of April and October Daylight Saving is in effect and the difference is GMT -6 hours. There are two main cities, Edmonton (The Provincial Capital) in the north and Calgary in the south. Edmonton is located approximately 300 kilometers north of Calgary, with a healthy rivalry between the sports teams and the populations in general. There are several other Towns and Cities that have a lot to offer including Lethbridge, Red Deer, Brooks, Medicine Hat and Fort McMurray to the far north. The Provinces landscape is extremely varied and provides a multitude of Recreational Possibilities. From flat open prairies, raging rivers, turquoise lakes and majestic glaciers to the awesome beauty of the magnificent Canadian Rockies.Not surprisingly, the most prized assets of the province are the Banff and Jasper National Parks, coupled with the pristine Kananaskis Country. Banff is by far the more commercial with the Mount Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise ski hills close by. The town is a beautiful place but becomes fairly crowded during the summer and winter with tourist/skiers flocking to the town. Bears are a fairly common sight all around the area and there are often deer roaming around.The world famous Ice field Parkway offers one of the most breathtaking drives in the world as it winds through mountain passes and past enormous Glaciers and emerald blue lakes. Be warned, photographs and videos do not do justice to the scenery as to appreciate the enormity of the area you have to stand there and take it all in. Once you complete the drive, you will have passed the Columbia ice field where snow coaches will take you for tours on the Glacier. The Town site of Jasper awaits at the end of the parkway and offers a less commercialised mountain town experience. The stunning Maligne Lake and Maligne Canyon are a must see and there are sight seeing tours up the Jasper Tramway to the Whistlers summit (2470m high). Please note that you will need a valid park pass to stop in any national park or to drive on the Ice Field Parkway.Alberta has the lowest overall taxes in Canada (Provincial tax rate is 10%) and is the only province that doesn't have a provincial sales tax. It boasts one of the worlds most vibrant and competitive economies that thrives on the back of massive oil and gas resources with the massive Oil sands projects in the far north promising more Oil than Saudi Arabia! The recent mad cow crisis has damaged the famous Beef industry though this will hopefully be resolved soon. The Provincial Government actively encourages Business Development and investment; this in turn fosters the economic growth and performance that is leading Canada's economic recovery. Alberta is now debt free as a Province after paying off over $20 Billion mainly due to the massive oil and gas revenues. As with all the Provinces, Alberta regulates its own Education System. Currently, the education budget is receiving a great deal of attention from Albertans who are pushing hard for more investment. Also, the money previously used for debt servicing will now be made available for infrastructure investment billions of dollars have been allocated to this.The Provincial agency for assessment of foreign qualifications is The Edmonton based International Qualification Assessment Service (IQAS). This service is critical to enable Canadian employers assess your education and was also a requirement for the visa application when we applied. Also on the self regulation list are Driver Licensing, Workers Compensation Board, Social Welfare Program and a Provincial Nominee Immigration Program. Professional regulation is also governed at a Provincial level - all the information can be found through our "Job search" pages. The major political concern for the Alberta Government (headed by long serving Premier Ralph Klein and his conservative party) is the Provincial Healthcare system. All Canadians want extra funding to forestall what is perceived as a deteriorating service. I must admit that it is definitely better funded per capita than the UK for instance. The Federal Government is paying out several billion dollars to help out over the next few years and the Provincial Government is making it a priority as well. Alberta has a rich history from the prehistoric days of the dinosaurs, the time of the first nations ruling the land, through western settlement and the journey towards independence. There are several world heritage sites in Alberta with the main two being the very impressive Royal Tyrell Paleontology museum near Drumheller and the Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump site near Lethbridge. The Tyrell museum is a world leader on Dinosaurs with some fantastic displays that are a treat for any family. The Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump is an amazing interpretive centre that demonstrates how the native Indians joined together at certain times of the year for the big buffalo jump where they skillfully drove herds of buffalo over a cliff. When successful enough food was gathered for the participants to get them through the winter and all parts of the buffalo were used. Unfortunately, the arrival of the western settlers destroyed this way of life with the buffalo hunted to near extinction. Alberta is a fantastic place to live or visit and the sheer number of Canadian s moving to the Province is testimony to the lifestyles on offer. With the future promising increasing revenues from the Oil and Gas industry and massive investment Alberta is the place to be. The majestic rockie mountains provide fantastic recreational possibilities that are virtually unsurpassed anywhere else in the world.More information on living and visiting Alberta can be found at http://www.onestopimmigration-canada.com/alberta.html
The island of Kauai is becoming a vacation destination for people who want the serenity of a restful break amid the natural beauty of Hawaii. Kauai is not as popular a vacation destination as Oahu and Maui and because of this still has most of its old world charm which is the beauty of the place. There are hotels available in the area but there are also Kauai vacation rentals which may be an even more comfortable and luxurious alternative to hotel living. Many people have homes in the area they use for second homes and make available their home for vacation rentals when they are not in residence there. This is a great alternative to hotels and can be a lot more comfortable especially if traveling with a family or larger group. Condominium rentals are also a great alternative for Kauai vacation rentals. There are more condos available nowadays on the island and you can generally get a great deal on these.Kauai vacation rentals are a great way to experience the beauty that is Kauai. There are many activities and sites to see on the island and it is a perfect getaway for those who enjoy a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere. With the less hustle and bustle in Kauai than on the more popular tourist destinations of Oahu and Maui, this is ideal for families, individuals and couples who are looking for a Hawaii vacation but without the large crowds and more commercial ambiance of the other islands.For Kauai vacation rentals, check into homes. There are many homes available to rent daily and weekly. If you are looking for a summer vacation, you can also get a discount price for monthly rentals. This is a great way to save money, allow you the luxury of a home and be able to cook and save some money on going out to eat every meal. Prices for Kauai vacation rentals depend on the size of the home and how luxurious it is. There are small cottages available all the way up to beautiful, luxury style homes.On the lower end of the spectrum, a home that sleeps four, a smaller one bedroom, one bath cottage can run from one hundred fifty dollars to two hundred dollars per night and from seven hundred fifty dollars to eight hundred fifty dollars per week. For luxury Kauai vacation rentals, the prices can increase dramatically. However, you will get breathtaking views, luxury homes and beach side housing. If traveling with a larger group, the cost of these luxury homes can be split among the parties and you will have a lovely home at a reasonable price. Luxury Kauai vacation rentals start at approximately three hundred dollars per night and can increase up to almost one thousand dollars per night. Weekly rates are usually slightly discounted from the daily rates and can range from one thousand five hundred dollars to over eight thousand dollars per week. Many Kauai vacation rentals for luxury homes require a deposit to insure against damage. This deposit will be refunded upon check out and inspection of the home.Kauai vacation rentals also include condos and even some apartments. These are a bit more affordable than the luxury home Kauai vacation rentals but you can still get luxury and beach front property at a slightly lower price. Condo and apartment rental prices start from approximately one hundred twenty dollars to four hundred dollars per night. Again, there are discounted rates for weekly rentals and you can typically save one hundred dollars or more on a weekly rate than if you rent daily. Many of the condos are close to or overlook the beach so you can have a beautiful view to wake up to and come to every day. These convenient Kauai vacation rentals are among the top choices for alternatives to hotel stays. They afford a bit more privacy, luxury and the feel of a home that is desirable on a relaxing vacation.Kauai vacation rentals are often equipped with Internet services or high speed wireless capabilities so you can stay in touch with work or home via the Internet. You will never be too out of touch even though the relaxing ambiance may seem like you are. Check Kauai vacation rentals for availability well in advance of your planned trip. Many of the more popular locations will be booked early and some homes have standing reservations for repeat vacationers. If you have the home of your dreams you have been saving for, book it as early as possible for the best vacation possible.
Thailand is the perfect tourist destination for nature lovers, shopping lovers and for the followers of Buddhism. Thailand is all these teemed together and much more. Situated in the heart of South East Asia, Thailand has some of the best Buddhist temples, which offer peace, serenity and tranquility. The Grand Palace and the Emerald BuddhaThe temples and monasteries of Thailand date back to a few hundred years. The Emerald Buddha Temple is one of the most sacred sites in Thailand and requires visitors to be properly dressed before they can enter the holy place. The Jade statue of the Lord, which is elevated off the ground is a visual treat for visitiors. This temple occupies just one corner of the court of the grand Palace. Magnificent BangkokYou must be out of your mind, if you visit Thailand and leave without visiting Bangkok. The capital of Thailand has everything that a tourist can dream of. Shopping plazas, Temples, Museums, Hotels offering exquisite Thai food, Islands, Beaches, Tall high-rises and a sprawling nightlife, Bangkok has it all. Be it the largest building in the world to be made of Teak wood, in Vinmanmek Teak Mansion, or the 46 meter long statue of reclining Buddha in the Wat Pho temple, you will never ceased to be stunned by the beauty of Thailand. Shopping enthusiasts can head off to Siam Square, which is one of the most popular shoppers destinations in Thailand. Ma Boon Krong and Siam Center are two of the biggest shopping centers here. You can spend an entire day here and yet comeback unsatisfied. There are so many restaurants, theatres and shops to keep you busy. Thailand also has cheap roadside shopping opportunities for tourists who do not wish to blow away much money on shopping. For Nature LoversNature lovers can head straight to the Ko Chang national park that has many activities. Apart from the wildlife, tourists can also pursue diving, snorkeling or elephant riding over here. The place usually overflows with tourists all the time. Beach lovers can head off to Pataya, which is a pretty serene beach. It is located just 150 kms away from Bangkok. Go discover Thailand!!
The Mayan Riviera, a stretch of coastline on the Yucatan Peninsula running from just outside Cancun in the North to the ancient Mayan site of Tulum in the South is rapidly growing in popularity. Why has this previously quiet area of the Yucatan Peninsula become a magnate for tourists? Costs and Atmosphere on the "Mayan Riviera" For visitors from North America, the Mayan Riviera is a more laid back alternative to Florida. It can also be cheaper to visit than either Florida or the Caribbean islands such as Barbados or Jamaica.For visitors from continental Europe or the UK there is the added attraction of the current favorable exchange rate. This can make traveling to the Mayan Riviera a more cost-effective option than visiting Southern Europe over a two-week stay.Mayan Riviera Ancient SitesFew tropical destinations have the benefit of the fascinating ancient sites on the Mayan Riviera. At Tulum in the South the ruins are actually right on the coast, so you can admire them from your sun lounger! Other sites of note (all possible in a day) are Coba, Chichen Itza, and, Xel Ha.Beaches, Diving, Snorkeling and Water SportsWhere does one even start to describe the beaches on the Mayan Riviera: Beautiful white sand beaches with warm ocean water. Warm breezes and your favorite cocktail served at your sun bed - now that's what I call a holiday! The Mayan Riviera is blessed with the stunningly beautiful Caribbean Sea with all its opportunities for water sports and diving/snorkeling. The island of Cozumel is a real magnate for diving enthusiasts, offering deeper water closer to the shore than the mainland resorts.Activities and Theme ParksIf golf is your thing, you are well catered for here, with courses in or neat all of the major resorts. For the kids try Xel Ha or Xcaret - Eco-Theme parks that they will love. Shopping is fabulous with many bargains to be had including local crafts. Other possibilities include kayaking, sailing, and horse riding.ConclusionThe range of possibilities on a holiday/vacation to the Mayan Riviera is simply amazing. The climate and Caribbean Sea are beautiful, the people friendly, and the cost reasonable - what are you waiting for?