Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country which consists of one main island along with 62 other islets.
Singapore is a global commerce, finance and transport huband a busy container port.
The country has also been identified as a tax haven.
Singapore ranks 5th on the UN Human Development Index and the 3rd highest GDP per capita.
It is ranked highly in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing.
There are four official languages: English (common and first language), Malay, Mandarin and Tamil; almost all Singaporeans are bilingual.
Singapore is a unitary multiparty parliamentary republic, with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People’s Action Party has won every election since self-government in 1959.
Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate. Temperatures usually range from 22 to 35 °C (72 to 95 °F).
Singapore’s standard electricity supply is 230 volts AC with a frequency of 50 hertz (230V/50Hz).
You can use your electric appliances in Singapore, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220-240 V.
Some of Singapore’s most popular sites are:
Gardens by the Bay is a nature park in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden.
Sentosa is an island resort off Singapore’s southern coast, connected to the city by road, cable car, pedestrian boardwalk and monorail.
The River Safari is a river-themed zoo and aquarium located in Singapore.
The Singapore Zoo, located in a heavily forested area houses over 72 species of animals.
The Underwater World, is an oceanarium located on the offshore Singaporean island of Sentosa. It houses more than 2,500 marine animals of 250 species from different parts of the world.
Orchard Road is Singapore’s retail center, with discount outlets, department stores and upscale boutiques, alongside luxury hotels.
Other top rated locations in Singapore include Merlion Park full of statues and fountains, Jurong Bird Park, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple, Tiger Sky Tower, Peranakan Museum and The National Orchid Market.
There is no doubt that Singapore is not only a economic treasure but it’s an nature reserve treasure. Let me know all about your trip. Have a safe journey.
Dubai is the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Eubayy, iconic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. In particular the Burj Khalifa – world’s tallest building.
Dubai is located on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates; and lies directly within the Arabian Desert.
Dubai has no rivers or oases; however Dubai does have a natural inlet, the Dubai Creek.
Even though Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Eubayy, English is the most spoken language in Dubai.
There are also other languages spoken in Dubai like Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Tagalog, Persian, Chinese, Malayalam, and others.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven constituent monarchies: the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain.
The ruler of Dubai is the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, the head of government.
Tourism is an important part of the Dubai government’s strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the emirate.
Dubai’s main tourist attraction is based mainly on shopping. Dubai has been called the “shopping capital of the Middle East”.
The City of Gold” – There are over 250 gold shops in Deira.
Dubai Creek Park plays a vital role in Dubai tourism.
Some of the most famous tourist attractions in Dubai are the Dolphinarium, Cable Car, Camel Ride, Horse Carriage and Exotic Birds Shows.
Palm Jumeirah Island
Dubai is home to several man-made islands, the Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago.
It is one of three planned islands called the Palm Islands which extend into the Persian Gulf.
Palm Jumeirah has a monorail, that connects the Palm Jumeirah to the mainland, and has an extension to the Dubai Metro Rail.
Dubai Miracle Garden
The Dubai Miracle Garden, is the world’s largest flower garden. It has a total of 45 million flowers.
Dubai has a variety of parks like Safa Park, Mushrif Park, and Hamriya Park. Each park is different from the other; for example Mushrif Park showcases houses from different parts of the world.
Ski Dubai is a large indoor skiing facility at Mall of the Emirates, offering snowboarding, ski lessons, and has a children’s play area and a café.
Burj Al Arab Hotel
The Burj Al Arab Hotel / Tower of the Arabs Hotel , is a luxury hotel, is frequently described as “the world’s only 7-star” hotel on the hotel.
Transport in Dubai is controlled by the Roads and Transport Authority – The RTA. The RTA is a government agency of Dubai, formed by royal decree in 2005. The bus system services 140 different routes.
Dubai Taxi Corporation, is a division of the RTA, they are known for their taxis with red roofs. There are also five private taxi companies.
Dubai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles.
In 2010 they completed the Burj Khalifa – Khalifa Tower in english – the world’s tallest building.
At the top of the Burj Khalifa, you will find the world’s highest observatory deck with an outdoor terrace.
Dubai International Airport is the 3rd busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic. It handles an estimated 83 million passengers annually.
The airport is also the busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic.
The Dubai Metro is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula. All the trains run without a driver and are based on automatic navigation.
The tramway located in Al Sufouh, Dubai, runs for 14.5 kilometres that’s about 9.0 miles.
Arabic Food / Emirati Cuisine
Arabic food is very popular and tasty is available everywhere in the city. There are place in the tourist area that give free on the food laws and observations.
Dubai is known for its nightlife. Clubs and bars are found mostly in hotels due to the liquor laws.
Dress Code and the Law
The Emirati attire is typical of several countries in the Arabian peninsula.
Women usually wear the “Abaya”, a long black robe with a hijab – headscarf which also covers the neck.
The dress code is not mandatory nonetheless there are prohibitions on clothes that reveal too much skin.
Visitors are expected to conform to the dress code, and are encoded in Dubai’s criminal law.
Football and cricket are the most popular sports in Dubai.
The electrical current in Dubai is 220/240 V, 50 Hz AC. British-style 3-pin electrical plugs are used (Type G or 13 amp plug).
Most electrical goods sold in Dubai have European 2-pin plugs. The same power system is used throughout the United Arab Emirates.
There is no doubt traveling to Dubai is a must, discover the beauty of their islands. Take in the view from the highest of skyscrapers and gaze upon the beauty and charm of nature.
Let me know all about your experience in all those skyscrapers.
Take lots of pictures, and send us some. Have a good time.
Brief History of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a great place to travel to, it’s history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them:
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico) is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the Caribbean.
It consists of the main island Puerto Rico, and three small islands which are the Isla de Mona, Culebra, and Vieques.
History books tell of an Ortoiroid people who were displaced by the Saladoid’s, a culture from the same region that arrived on the island some time around 250 BC.
The Taíno culture developed on the island between the 7th and 11th century. By 1000 AD, it had become the dominant race.
By 1493, when Columbus arrived, the island was populated by an estimated 30,000 to 60,000 Amerindians Tainos, led by the cacique chief Agüeybaná.
The Tainos called the island Boriken, which means “The great land of the valiant and noble Lord”.
Christopher Columbus claimed the island, for the Crown of Castile in Spain.
For four centuries after that the island was transformed into a colony of Spain.
This changed the islands ethnic, cultural and physical landscapes. Some of which is still evident in Old San Juan.
During this era the island’s population grew with Africans, Canarians, and Andalusian settlers from Spain.
Hundreds also arrived in Puerto Rico, Corsica, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Scotland.
As the population grew they immigrated to the islands of Vieques and Culebra.
In 1898, following the Spanish–American War, the United States of America appropriated Puerto Rico together with most former Spanish colonies under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.
The Spanish vocabulary of Puerto Rico has words that differentiate them from the Spanish spoken in other Caribbean islands.
It’s similar to the Castilian dialect from Spain, with some Taino words in it.
Mainly in the context of vegetation, natural phenomenas or musical instruments.
They also use some words that are similar to words used in the West African languages, chiefly in the contexts of music dances.
For the last century the culture in Puerto Rico is Americanized which has led to the increment of the use of Spanglish.
Spanglish are english-spanish words. Many of which now grace the pages of dictionaries.
Since the occupation of Spain, the Roman Catholic faith is the dominant religion in the island. Every town has a catholic church in it’s town center, usually close to the Town Hall.
Other christians faith have grown in the island are the Pentecosts, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Adventist and Mormon’s faith, and a few Jewish Synagogues.
It is now the dominant religion in Puerto Rico. All municipalities in Puerto Rico have at least one Catholic Church, usually located in the center of the town, close to the Town Hall.
The largest and oldest Public University is the public Universidad de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico University), it has 11 large campuses.
You must have a B average (3.0 GPA) or higher or to get in, and you must maintain it in order to graduate.
The quality of the education it offers has been compared to Princeton, and Harvard.
It has a four (4) schools of Science and Medicine, and three (3) – ABA-approved Law Schools.
Some of the islands most brilliant minds, prominent senators, scientists, and scholars are graduates of the University of Puerto Rico.
The University of Puerto Rico has helped restore the islands faith in public education.
Puerto Rico also is one of the few countries in the world to have 5 Miss Universe title winners.
Must see places in Puerto Rico
El Yunque National Forest, Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristobal, La Fortaleza, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Culebra, Vieques, Isla de Mona, Condado Beach, Arecibo Observatory, Cayo Icacos, Cuevas de Camuy.
El Yunque Rain Forest
Hike through El Yunque Rain Forest and discover a true green paradise. La Coca Falls has an impressive natural water fall.
Flamenco Beach, Zoni Beach and El Polvorín are three of the must see beaches in Culebra especially for those who like to swim, dive or snorkel in a clear water – white – sand beach.
Culebra is a great place to do some beach hopping, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and even surfing.
You can also hike and do some interesting like bird watching. There are tons of different birds and parrots. Some are huge.
Most people in Culebra park the car and walk everywhere.
Or you can just go there to get away from the city life, connect with nature and relax.
The Island Vieques
Vieques is an island to simply relax. There are no casinos, no golf courses, no strip malls no major shopping centers, like there are in the main island.
Vieques is a getaway. What is there? A low tide beach, great food, and a relaxing atmosphere.
There is a bay that glows in the dark, the other is in Lares.
At night the sky lights up over Vieques – since the island is small the street lights do not dominate the space. The stars dominate the space. There are a few more than the city light allows you to see. I would say, a few hundred more.
The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in the municipality of Arecibo.
The radio telescope terrestrial aeronomy experiments include the Coqui II experiment, supported by NASA. The telescope has military intelligence.
The Arecibo Observatory telescope is said to be the largest on the planet. See the video. The city of Old San Juan
The first thing that you will notice about old San Juan is that it has been preserved. It houses, buildings, streets and forts that date back several hundred of years.
Old San Juan has the largest harbor in the region, and is the the capital of Puerto Rico.
Take a boat trip around San Juan then walk thru the city. It’s a wonderful way to start a day.
By the water front, you will see the Condado (Tourist Area), the Fort San Cristobal, it’s the largest fort built by Spain in the New World.
North you will observe, the Capitol Building – it’s made of marble. Similar in shape as the one in Washington, D.C.
Across the bay you will see the Bacardi Distillery in the (islet) Isla de Cabras with its Fort, San Juan De La Cruz. They have daily tours.
In old San Juan you will also see the – Paseo de La Princesa (full of street vendors), the Roots Fountain, The Governors Mansion (San Catalina Castle) and Fort San Felipe Del Morro – which dates back several hundred years.
Camuy River Cave Park
Once you arrive at the Camuy River Cave Park, you will board a trolley to descend about 200 feet (60 m) underground to an million year old cave, where you will walk through Cueva Clara. It has a limestone floor. And a gothic looking ceiling.
The cave is said to have been used by the Taíno Indians.
For such a small island Puerto Rico has a huge history, one of the great things about Puerto Rico is being able to hop on a cruise boat and sail away.
Puerto Rico Cruises
Have a good time in Puerto Rico, whether you get there by plane or cruise ship – you’ll be amazed.
Don’t forget o let me know about your trip.
Portugal is a southern European country bordering Spain. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced it's tourist attraction - to the beaches, this in turn has played a role in their diet; salty cod fish and grilled sardines are national dishes.
Portuguese is the spoken language, which is related to Galician language, spoken in northwestern Spain.
The kingdom of Portugal lasted some 800 years, from 1139 to 1910.
The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, signed in 1373, is the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force.
Since 1910, the country has been a republic.
The modern democratic republic was founded in 1976.
The first Pirate code was invented in the 17th century by the Portuguese buccaneer Bartolomeu Português.
The modern Portuguese legal system has been influenced primarily by German law.
Due to the influence of Roman Catholicism, Portugal is one of the most socially conservative countries in Europe.
Portugal is the only country in the EU, along with Spain, where life imprisonment has been abolished.
The Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is the longest bridge in Europe with 17,185 m/56,381 feet.
From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles.
Just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.
The Jeronimos Monastery was built in 1502 by order of King Manuel I. It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama’s voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success.
Great figures in Portuguese history are also entombed here, like King Manuel and King Sebastião, and poets Fernando Pessoa and Alexandre Herculano.
Jeronimos Monastery Cloisters was populated by monks of the Order of Saint Jerome , whose spiritual job was to give guidance to sailors and pray for the king’s soul.
UNESCO has classified it a World Heritage monument. This style of architecture became known as Manueline, a style of art that served to glorify the great discoveries of the age.
Each column is carved with coils of rope, sea monsters, coral, and other sea motifs. It portraits an era of sea exploration and the Biblical story of Joseph.
The Tower of Belém is typical of the Manueline style of architecture. The four-story tower was created in the shape of a ship’s bow jutting into the water.
The main side of the fortress faces the sea and is completely different from the side impression of the tower. Built from ivory-white limestone, the real beauty of the structure lies in the decoration of the exterior.
The Pena National Palace was built in the 19th century by Atlantic Ocean , the palace was meant to be a summer home for the Portuguese royals.
Ferdinand’s taste was imposed on the builders and designers, the result was a Palace that looks like it has a little of all the other palaces of the era.
One portion caters to a medieval European castle, a portion of it is modeled after an Islamic tower dome. It’s full of colors – there is a purple wing, a red clock tower, a lots of yellow ornaments.
King Ferdinand said he wanted the palace to look like an opera.
It is now seen as one of the grandest examples of Romantic architecture.
Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city.
The Sao Francisco Church looks like an ordinary 14th century Gothic and Baroque construction.
There is a museum housed in the catacombs below consisting of artifacts from the former monastery.
Praça do Comércio is a large square on the banks of the River Tagus in Lisbon. It was built on the site previously occupied by the Palace Yard following its destruction in the 1755 earthquake. Lisboetas often still use the previous name for the square.
Along with the Arco da Rua Augusta at its northern end, the Praça do Comércio is one of the centerpieces of the redevelopment of the Portuguese capital by the Marquis of Pombal in the mid-18th century.
The U-shaped square, open at the Tagus end, was designed by Portuguese architect, Eugénio dos Santos.
Discover the best of Portugal’s capital on this hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Lisbon. Choose from four different routes, all offering opportunities to see the city’s monuments and explore its charming neighborhoods. An option line to Cascais allows you to explore the magic of that town as well. Tickets can be purchased for 24- or 48- hours.
Hop on a double-decker bus at the Lisbon Terminal in Marquês de Pombal Square. Settle in and cruise through Lisbon on one of four different but equally engaging sightseeing lines, including lines to Belém, Oriente, Castle or the charming beach town of Cascais.
Sunbathe on one of the many sandy beaches along the Cascais Line. Catch the best coastline views before settling onto a beach to unwind.
On the western side of the square is the main Lisbon Tourist Office (Turismo) with a stylish shop selling upmarket craft items from all over Portugal.
On this side of the square is the HQ of Viniportugal, which promotes Portuguese wine. There are tastings Monday through Saturday.
The world-famous Porto wine is a sweet Portuguese fortified wine from the Douro Valley, Portugal.
Over half of the world’s cork is produced in Portugal.
Salvador Vilar Braamcamp Sobral is a Portuguese singer and a former psychology student. He represented Portugal in
the Eurovision Song Contest this past May and gave Portugal its first win since their debut in 1964. Below is a video of the winning song for your enjoyment.
Portugal has great hotels, motels, car rentals, tours and restaurants.
Have a great time in Portugal, let me know all about your trip.
Norway is a great place to travel to, it’s an indescribable beauty that is rarely seen. It’s making contact – with nature.
It’s not unusual to see the guests aboard a ship walk out on deck in the middle of a cold winter night; to catch a glimpse of how the sea brushes upon the fjords.
This ranks as one of natures most interesting experience – especially when it’s 12:00 a.m. and the sun is shinning as bright as it does on any afternoon.
Unlike many countries, this is one of the things that makes Norway a great winter getaway.
In the late 19th century the coast line from Bergen to Kirkenes was a busy route for all sort of ships.
Norway is a great place to take a cruise. A popular route is Bergen to Kirkenes.
One of the exciting things about visiting Norway is being able to take a picture of the sea at 3:00 a.m. without a flash.
In the last few centuries the North Pole has became synonymous with Santa Claus, reindeers, vikings, trolls, salmon and cod fish.
Norway is famous for it’s different types of excursions:
There are ski expeditions, dog sledding, kayaking, birdwatching, snowmobile trips, sea eagle safari, mountain hikes, whale watching, sailing to Geiranger fjord, and naturally fishing in Lofoten – a great place to catch cod.
As you approach the coasts of Norway you might see penguins – they are very communicative – lots of noise in their area.
You may also see Polar bears – they are the opposite – no noise in their area- loners, quiet types – serious – very family oriented. You can see that in the interaction they have with their youngs.
Walrus – on the other hand are very observant – as you approach them – you get the feeling – that they are the ones doing the sight seeing. Besides that – they have great teeth. One glance and you find yourself smiling at them.
Reindeers are and always have been magestic animals – they are a large part of the Norwegian culture. Up north it’s not unusual to see reindeers running thru the mountains in all colors. The white ones – are the most unusual and – photographed ones.
Visiting a Sami Camp in Honningsvag, Norway, (The North Cape) is a great way to learn about them.
Norway is one of those countries you just want to visit in the winter, summer, spring and fall.
Each season in Norway is an indescribable experience. From skiing to sailing.
Seeing the fjords covered in snow as you ski – it’s an incredible experience; then seeing them completely green – as you fish or sail is awesome.
This type of experience can only be matched by seeing the fjords in transition (spring and fall).
Then when is it best to visit Norway? I’ll let you figure that one out.
Below are some must see places while your there:
Bergen was founded in 1070 AD, was the capital of Norway. It’s a colorful city that has retained the history of Norway.
Enjoy a trip on the Floibannen Funicular during your visit to Bergen and see all of Bergen.
This exciting trip up to the mountain is a magnificent experience in itself. Mount Fløyen, it’s approximately 320 metres above sea level.
From above you can enjoy the cityscape, the seaward, and the fjords surrounding Bergen.
The arctic circle marks the border to the Arctic region. During the summer months they have 24 hour sunlight.
This is what is referred to as the midnight sun.
The charm of the Lofoten islands are the small fishing villages with granite cliffs and white sand beaches.
You will find lots of fish racks and traditional fishermens huts.
Great place to try a fish cake.
The Northern Cape
The Northern Cape is the northern most point of the planet. A popular place for the snowmobile tours. There you will see the Sami people grazing reindeers.
Near the top, there is a exciting nature reserve called Gjesvaer Tappan. Great place for bird watching.
The Seven Sisters
When in Norway crossing the Arctic Circle on a ship is an important part of the experience.
Most tours celebrate it by asking all the passengers to meet on deck and there ritual begins. Here’s a tip: wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet during the ceremony.
Along the way you will pass the Seven Sisters.
The seven sisters are beautiful mountains that have influenced social myths, according to some Norwegian folk tales – trolls are turned to stone if they do not hide before the sun rises.
This was the case with the seven sisters – at least they are still beautiful. See for yourself.
Oslo is the capital of Norway, the winter capital of the world. A multicultural city with modern architecture, a sculpture park named Vigeland, a Royal Palace, a Nobel Peace Center, Museums, and home to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump.
Clearly there is so much to do and see in Norway – below is a video that Expedia put together it features some of the most amazing places in Oslo.