Planning a Trip to Hong Kong

When we think of Hong Kong the first thing that comes to our mind is Disneyland. However, there are more things that are worth discovering in this country than just staying in one place. So if you are only here for three days, here are some tips that you need to know.

1.   Ride the Airport Express

If you want to get to your destination faster, don’t be afraid to ride the Airport Express from the Hong Kong International Airport. It connects to neighboring cities such as Kowloon and Hong Kong Island and the ride only takes around 24 minutes.

2.   Make sure you get the octopus card

Avoid fumbling with coins whenever you purchase tickets to ride the train.  The octopus card is basically like a prepaid debit card, which you simply swipe whenever you ride the subway train. The good news is that it works all over Hong Kong. In fact, you can also use it in 7-eleven, Peak Tram, Star Ferry, and McDonalds. You can save a lot of time using the Octopus card.

3.   Stay at a Central Hotel

Although there are hundreds of hotels in Hong Kong, staying central will give you access to nearby attractions. If you are in Hong Kong Island, you can stay at the Pottinger Hotel which is only a few-minute walk to the MTR station. There is also the Luxe Manor in Kalwoon which is just a walk away from another station.

4.   Try the local little places

If your stomach is getting hungry but you don’t want to spend more, you will want to visit the Dimsum Square on Hong Kong Island. Here you can find great meals  that will not break your budget such as barbeques, wonton noodle soups, and egg tarts. Make sure you also try the Hong Kong waffles as they are the best!

5.   Carry your umbrella at all times

Did you know Hong Kong has 101 rainy days in a year? Hong Kong has rainy weather and if you don’t want to get wet, it is wise t o bring an umbrella with you. Although the best time to visit in Hong Kong is summer, visiting here around September can still be great with the proper gears.

Hong Kong is definitely a great place to visit. Just a friendly warning – it is mostly crowded in Hong Kong even if it is not peak season. For a great Hong Kong vacation, always keep your cool and take time in every place you visit.

Hawaii is Awesome!

Most Visited Attractions in Hawaii

Looking for the best attractions to visit in Hawaii? This place is on nearly everyone’s travel bucket list, but every island has different, eye-catching and unique attractions. We’ve compiled our insider’s tips with the top places to explore.

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

Located on the west coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, it offers tourists a glimpse of ancient Hawaiian culture. The site was once a place of refuge for those who broke a “kapu,” or sacred law, where they could receive absolution from priests to rejoin their community. Today, it’s a 180-acre park where visitors can take a self-guided walking tour through the preserved rock walls, thatched huts and sacred temples that house the bones of ancient chiefs. 

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon sprawls across western Kauai, creating a dramatic landscape reminiscent of Arizona’s Grand Canyon. The 14-mile-long and 3,600-foot-deep canyon awe visitors with its immense size and the vibrant color of its red stone walls. You can enjoy the canyon from one of its many scenic overlooks or they can explore the interior along with a series of hiking trails. A small fee is required for entry into the park, which includes restroom access and use of the picnic areas. 

Bishop Museum

Located on the island of Oahu, Bishop Museum houses one of the biggest collections of ancient Hawaiian cultural and natural artifacts in the world. The museum also offers a comprehensive exhibition of Hawaiian sports memorabilia, a science adventure center, planetarium, library and visitor’s center with a gift shop. 

Halawa Valley

The island of Molokai stands at the center of the Hawaiian island chain. Amongst the most picturesque and remote tourist attractions on Molokai is Halawa Valley, an old settlement website located on the eastern end of the island. The towering valley wall surfaces, countless waterfalls and also rich plants of Halawa Valley make it really beautiful, however, it is the “heiau,” or shrines, that make it an intriguing tourist attraction for tourists with a rate of interest in Hawaiian culture and history. Unlike many parks around Hawaii, Halawa Valley doesn’t currently charge for admission but check with the local park’s authority before visiting just in case.

Maui Ocean Center

The comprehensive and varied educational exhibits found at the Maui Ocean Center earned them the title of “Top-Rated Attraction in Hawaii” . The center offers aquarium tours, a shark dive and an on-site cafe, as well as seasonal whale-watching tours, guided snorkeling excursions, and overnight stays in the aquarium. Hours vary according to the season, but the center is open year-round with both online and on-site ticketing options available.

Planning a Trip to Paraguay

Paraguay is perhaps not the most obvious tourist destination, but visiting it gives you the opportunity to experience authentic South America. Paraguay features a unique blend of European and Guarani cultures, colonial architecture and history, and natural landscapes. Here are the top 5 attractions that you should visit in Paraguay.

1. Asunción

Unlike other South American capitals, such as Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires to Montevideo, Asunción is not built for tourism. Still, there are a few sights in the city center that you can easily discover on foot around the barrio La Catedral, the neighborhood named after Asunción’s cathedral.

This barrio is home to the Panteón Nacional de Los Héroes, a small mausoleum where many of the national heroes rest, the Palacio de Los López and current seat of government, the iconic Hotel Guaraní, a symbol of Asunción since it first opened in 1961, and Casa de la Independencia, one of the few colonial buildings in Asunción, dating from 1772, where Paraguay’s independence was secretly planned in 1811.

The best of Paraguayan art can be seen at Museo del Barro set in an impressive new building. The museum has an interesting collection that includes a range of pre-Colombian ceramics, colonial Christian icons and statues, and contemporary paintings.

2. Areguá

Located about 30 kilometers/ 18 miles from Asunción, Areguá is a town on the shores of Lake Ypacaraí, known as the Paraguayan capital of pottery and strawberry. It’s on the Golden Circuit of historic towns around Asunción.

The main thing you will do is to wander through the colorful “Mercado de artesanías”, an entire street lined with craft shops selling bowls and pots, gnome-like figures, and other ceramic objects. You can also go for the colonial buildings on Avenida Mariscal Estigarribia leading up to the elegant Church of Areguá. The traditional Strawberry Festival takes place in August when you can sample several strawberry-based desserts and juices, including jam, ice cream, and pie.

There’s also the nearby Cerro Koi, a hill and natural attraction, featuring a unique formation of octagonal sandstone. Only in two other countries (South Africa and Canada) have been found similar rock formations, though not exactly the same. Koi Hill also offers sweeping views of Areguá and the lake.

3. Monday Falls

Monday Falls is one of the most famous natural wonders of Paraguay. These 40-meter-tall falls to feed the Monday River – Monday, pronounced monda-i in Guarani, literally means “water that steals”. The falls are breathtaking but perhaps suffer from their proximity to the neighboring Iguazu, less than 40 kilometers/ 25 miles away. The Monday Municipal Park preserves the natural forest around the falls, offering viewpoints, a system of trails and a restaurant.

4. Ciudad del Este

Thousands of Brazilian citizens cross the border daily into Paraguay to buy goods that are heavily taxed in Brazil. Here’s why Ciudad del Este is also known as a Supermarket in South America. Street bazaars and shopping malls sell electronics, clothing, toys, and every conceivable thing you might want. Besides bargain hunting, visitors can admire the Itaipu Dam, a huge hydroelectric power plant built jointly by Brazil and Paraguay. Ciudad del Este is also the gateway to the Iguazu Falls.

5. Jesuit Ruins

Not far from the town of Encarnación, the Jesuit missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993. The missions are reminders of the Christianization of the indigenous populations of South America during the 17th and 18th centuries.

You’ll find this hidden gem to be a great vacation experience. Take a few friends and family members with you. We went to Paraguay and Uruguay as part of a South American hiking trip with friends who helped us start up our new business (Chandler Painting Pros) a few years ago.

Have fun!

Guides to Explore Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

The Dark Hedges is located in North Ireland. If traveling from Dublin you will certainly take the M50 to the N1 towards Ballymoney. The trip from Dublin to The Dark Hedges is approximately 3 hrs so depending upon your arrival time, you may stop in Belfast as well as remain the night near The Dark Hedges so you can arrive there early the next early morning. On our trip, we did simply that. We showed up in Dublin in the late afternoon as well as drove to Belfast where we ordered dinner as well as made our way to Coleraine to remain the evening.

If you have actually seen the Video Game of Thrones, you are possibly knowledgeable about the Dark Hedges. This location was featured plainly in the highly popular HBO collection. If you are a big follower of the program, or if you simply intend to see this amazing grove of trees in person for yourself, after that this is the overview for you.

The Dark Hedges is just one of the most photogenic locations I have shot in quite some time. I had the privilege to visit a couple of years ago, and also I extensively enjoyed recording these exciting surroundings. If you want to visit as well as photograph the Dark Hedges yourself, right here are some tips that I can provide you:

Avoid the Crowds— Make sure you prepare sufficient time to spend at the Dark Hedges since the crowds can be quite thick at times. The Video Game of Thrones has made this website popular and at times it can be virtually impossible to obtain a great shot without individuals in it.

Visit at Sunrise or Sunset— The Dark Hedges goes to its ideal when the light is softer as well as dimmer. Do not get me incorrect, the hedge is an amazing place to visit any time. Nonetheless, if your goal is to photograph it, you will certainly want to visit very early or late in the day.

Bring a Tripod— If you do visit either very early or late in the day, you are going to require to utilize a longer direct exposure to correctly record the details in the darkness of the tree. Consequently, a tripod is a necessary tool that you will certainly want to have with you.

Bring a Wide Angle Lens— You are most likely to intend to have a wide-angle lens with you when you visit the Dark Hedges. To obtain the best shots, you are most likely to wish to be near the bushes, if not inside the start of the row of hedges.

The Dark Hedges lies near the North coast of North Ireland, about 49 miles North of the city of Belfast. The Dark Hedges lies near a number of other wonderful attractions that get on the shore of North Ireland.

5 Things to Know Before Visiting Washington DC

The United States Capitol building.

Washington DC boasts of cutting-edge dining scene, educational entertainment, historic buildings, scenic landscapes, marble monuments, idyllic moonlight views and much more. A visit to the nation’s capital is nothing short of exciting and fascinating. If you’re planning your first visit to Washington DC, you’re probably looking forward to exploring the city’s remarkable sights and attractions and even learning more about the country’s history. Like any other destination, planning for your Washington DC trip and vacation can be overwhelming. Here’s what you need to know before you visit America’s capital city. 

It’s best to Visit in spring or fall

There’s always a better time to visit any destination. If you’re looking be part of the city’s festivals and events like the National Cathedral Flower Mart, Cherry Blossom Festival, White House Easter Egg Roll, Mount Vernon’s Wine Festival & Sunset Tours, National Asian Heritage Festival – Fiesta Asia, and Vintage Virginia Wine Festival, consider visiting in spring. Most of the city’s events take place during this time. Furthermore, Washington DC experiences mild weather in spring and fall. The flowers across the city are usually in bloom. You now see what spring is a favorite time to visit for many? 

All The Smithsonian Museums are Free

Well, everyone seems to get surprised upon learning that visitors get free admission at all the nineteen of the museums within Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Why would you fail to take advantage of the impressive venues at this site? Learn some American history and other important things at the Smithsonian Castle, the Natural History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, and more. 

You don’t have to drive in Washington DC

Don’t worry about renting a car for local transportation. The nation’s capital is one of most walkable cities in the United States. So, spare yourself from traffic and walk around the city while seeing different sights. Note that Washington DC doesn’t experience heavy traffic, especially in the district. If you have to more from one point to the other across the city, consider using the Trolley Tour or public transit. 

Get your Tickets in Advance

If you’re planning to visit popular sights like the White House, you better get your tickets early. It is best you book them long before your trip to the city. If you’re a citizen of a foreign country, you’re required to contact your embassy in Washington DC several months in advance. American citizens should get in touch with their member of congress early enough as well. That’s just one of the sights that will require advance booking. Do your research and get tickets to all the popular sights you might want to visit before you start your vacation. 

Be Hotel Smart

Check out for accommodation options in nearby towns like Alexandria, Bethesda, and Arlington since downtown Washington D.C can be expensive when it comes to accommodation. Hotel rates in Washington DC tend to drop on weekends, though. Take your time to find accommodation in a town nearby the attractions you intend to visit. Avoid towns like Vienna and Gaithersburg as they are far from downtown DC. If you don’t have a car, make sure your hotel room is close to the Metro line.