Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Travel Guide to Japan

These is favorit places in Japan that you should know before you start a traveling:


Kyoto was Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. It is now the country's seventh largest city with a population of 1.4 million people and a modern face.

Over the centuries, Kyoto was destroyed by many wars and fires, but due to its historic value, the city was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and spared from air raids during World War II. Countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today.


Tokyo is Japan's capital and the country's largest city.

Tokyo is also one of Japan's 47 prefectures, but is called a metropolis (to) rather than a prefecture (ken). The metropolis of Tokyo consists of 23 city wards (ku), 26 cities, 5 towns and 8 villages, including the Izu and Ogasawara Islands, several small Pacific Islands in the south of Japan's main island Honshu.

The 23 city wards (ku) are the center of Tokyo and make up about one third of the metropolis' area, while housing roughly eight of Tokyo's approximately twelve million residents.

Prior to 1868, Tokyo was known as Edo. A small castle town in the 16th century, Edo became Japan's political center in 1603 when Tokugawa Ieyasu established his feudal government there. A few decades later, Edo had grown into one of the world's most populous cities.

With the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo ("Eastern Capital"). Large parts of Tokyo were destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and in the air raids of 1945.


With over two million inhabitants, Nagoya is Japan's fourth most populated city. It is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and the principal city of the Nobi plain, one of Honshu's three large plains and industrial centers.

Nagoya developed as the castle town of the Owari, one of the three branches of the ruling Tokugawa family during the Edo Period. Much of the city, including most of its historic buildings, were destroyed in the air raids of 1945.


With a population of 2.5 million, Osaka is Japan's third largest and second most important city. It has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for many centuries.

Osaka was formerly known as Naniwa. Before the Nara Period, when the capital used to be moved with the reign of each new emperor, Naniwa was once Japan's capital city, the first one ever known.

In the 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi chose Osaka as the location for his castle, and the city may have become Japan's capital if Tokugawa Ieyasu had not terminated the Toyotomi lineage after Hideyoshi's death and moved his government to distant Edo (Tokyo).

With a population of over three million people, Yokohama is Japan's second largest city. It is located less than 30 minutes south of Tokyo by train, and is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Towards the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867), during which Japan isolated herself from the rest of the world, Western nations forced the country to open its ports to foreign trade. In 1859, Yokohama's port became one of the first ports to be openend, and Yokohama quickly grew from a small fishing village into one of Japan's major cities.

Until today, the Yamate residential area retains a Western touch and houses many foreign residents, while Yokohama's Chinatown is one of the world's largest. source:japan-guide.com

all about Borobudur

Borobudur is a ninth century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome is located at the center of the top platform, and is surrounded by seventy-two Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.

The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely, Kamadhatu (the world of desire); Rupadhatu (the world of forms); and Arupadhatu (the world of formless). During the journey, the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades.

Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the fourteenth century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam. It was rediscovered in 1814 by Sir Thomas Raffles, the British ruler of Java. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage, where once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.

There is no written record of who built Borobudur or of its intended purpose. The construction time has been estimated by comparison between carved reliefs on the temple's hidden foot and the inscriptions commonly used in royal charters during the eight and ninth centuries. Borobudur was likely founded around 800 AD. This corresponds to the period between 760–830 AD, the peak of the Sailendra dynasty in central Java,, when it was under the influence of the Srivijayan Empire. The construction has been estimated to have taken 75 years and been completed during the reign of Samaratungga in 825.

There is confusion between Hindu and Buddhist rulers in Java around that time. The Sailendras were known as ardent followers of Lord Buddha, though stone inscriptions found at Sojomerto suggest they may have been Hindus. It was during this time that many Hindu and Buddhist monuments were built on the plains and mountain around the Kedu Plain. The Buddhist monuments, including Borobudur, were erected around the same time as the Hindu Shiva Prambanan temple compound. In 732 AD, the Shivaite King Sanjaya commissioned a Hindu Shiva lingga sanctuary to be built on the Ukir hill, only 10 km (6.2 miles) east of Borobudur.

Construction of Buddhist temples, including Borobudur, at that time was possible because Sanjaya's immediate successor, Rakai Panangkaran, granted his permission to the Buddhist followers to build such temples. In fact, to show his respect, Panangkaran gave the village of Kalasan to the Buddhist community, as is written in the Kalasan Charter dated 778 AD. This has led some archaeologists to believe that there was never serious conflict concerning religion in Java as it was possible for a Hindu king to patronize the establishment of a Buddhist monument; or for a Buddhist king to act likewise. However, it is likely that there were two rival royal dynasties in Java at the time—the Buddhist Sailendra and the Saivite Sanjaya—in which the latter triumphed over their rival in the 856 battle on the Ratubaka plateau. This confusion also exists regarding the Lara Jonggrang temple at the Prambanan complex, which was believed that it was erected by the victor Rakai Pikatan as the Sanjaya dynasty's reply to Borobudur, but others suggest that there was a climate of peaceful coexistence where Sailendra involvement exists in Lara Jonggrang. source: wikipedia.com

History of Colosseum

The Colosseum was used to host gladiatorial shows as well as a variety of other events. The shows, called munera, were always given by individuals rather than the state. They had a strong religious element but were also demonstration of power and family prestige, and were immensely popular with the population. Another popular type of show was the animal hunt, or venatio. This utilised a great variety of wild beasts, mainly imported from Africa, and included creatures such as rhinoceros, hippos, elephants, giraffes, lions, panthers, leopards, crocodiles and ostriches. Battles and hunts were often staged amid elaborate sets with movable trees and buildings. Such events were occasionally on a huge scale; Trajan is said to have celebrated his victories in Dacia in 107 with contests involving 11,000 animals and 10,000 gladiators over the course of 123 days.

During the early days of the Colosseum, ancient writers recorded that the building was used for naumachiae (more properly known as navalia proelia) or simulated sea battles. Accounts of the inaugural games held by Titus in AD 80 describe it being filled with water for a display of specially trained swimming horses and bulls. There is also an account of a re-enactment of a famous sea battle between the Corcyrean (Corfiot) Greeks and the Corinthians. This has been the subject of some debate among historians; although providing the water would not have been a problem, it is unclear how the arena could have been waterproofed, nor would there have been enough space in the arena for the warships to move around. It has been suggested that the reports either have the location wrong, or that the Colosseum originally featured a wide floodable channel down its central axis (which would later have been replaced by the hypogeum).

Sylvae or recreations of natural scenes were also held in the arena. Painters, technicians and architects would construct a simulation of a forest with real trees and bushes planted in the arena's floor. Animals would be introduced to populate the scene for the delight of the crowd. Such scenes might be used simply to display a natural environment for the urban population, or could otherwise be used as the backdrop for hunts or dramas depicting episodes from mythology. They were also occasionally used for executions in which the hero of the story — played by a condemned person — was killed in one of various gruesome but mythologically authentic ways, such as being mauled by beasts or burned to death.

The Colosseum today is now a major tourist attraction in Rome with thousands of tourists each year paying to view the interior arena, though entrance for EU citizens is partially subsidised, and under-18 and over-65 EU citizens' entrances are free. There is now a museum dedicated to Eros located in the upper floor of the outer wall of the building. Part of the arena floor has been re-floored.

The Colosseum is also the site of Roman Catholic ceremonies in the 20th and 21st centuries. For instance, Pope John Paul II would perform his new form of the Stations of the Cross called the Scriptural Way of the Cross (which calls for more meditation) at the Colloseum on Good Fridays. From:wikipedia.com

Daitsuki Hotel in Italy

Aleph, A Boscolo Luxury Hotel

The Aleph, A Boscolo Luxury Hotel, is an excentric property created by gifted architect Adam D. Tihany, who becomes a modern-day Virgil as he leads you on an amazing journey filled with heavenly places and sinful delights in his very personal interpretation of Dante's Divine Comedy: the Aleph.

In this intriguing hotel near Via Veneto in the heart of Rome, the concepts of heaven and hell have been given an unexpected twist.

You will find true paradise in the luxurious spa below, and surrender to the tempting treats served above, where hell is represented by Sin restaurant and Angelo Bar.

Hotel Grand Palatino

The Grand Hotel Palatino is situated in the historical centre of Rome, not far from the Colosseum and the Fori Imperiali and close to the main shopping areas and the Termini railway station.

The accommodations are equipped with all modern amenities and will welcome you in a cosy and intimate environment. The hotel features a number of facilities: two restaurants, a lounge bar, a congress centre with 4 conference rooms, same-day laundry service, room service from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. and several Internet points in the hall.

Hotel Forum

The elegant and exclusive Forum hotel is situated in the very heart of the Eternal City, between Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum, directly facing the remains of the Nerva Forum and Augusto Forum and just a short walk from many of Rome's major attractions and places of interest.

The property features luxurious interiors and spectacular surroundings, a lovely panoramic rooftop garden restaurant, where guests can admire an amazing view of the Roman Forum, Palatine and Capitoline Hill, elegantly-furnished and comfortable rooms, spacious lounges, parking, and meeting facilities.

Famous former guests of the hotel include Brigitte Bardot, Rock Hudson and the Dalai Lama.

Hotel Britannia

The hotel Britannia is situated in a very central and quiet position, opposite the Opera House, close to the railway station Termini and well connected to all the main monuments and attractions of Rome.

The structure is a beautiful building, elegantly furnished in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.

The hotel offers an American bar, a breakfast room and private parking area.

Furthermore the hotel can provide and arrange with dry cleaning, baby sitting, theater, train and flight tickets, guided tours and visits to museums as well as day trips.

I hope you like too. From: en.venere.com

The Romanticism Travel of Lago di Como Italy

here's just something about Lake Como. Perhaps it's simply because it laps gently against Bellaggio, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Or perhaps it's the cobblestone streets or the view of the glittering water from breathtaking terraces and cliffs.

It's located a mere half hour from Milan, but it seems more like you've crossed the world. The frantic pace of Milan is quickly forgotten here, where the people are as mellow and calm as the landscape.

But Lake Como is more than views. It's a place where you can lose yourself in the beauty and old-world charm that surround you in every espadrilled step. And, if you go at the right time, you can immerse yourself in an entirely different personality, completely appropriate for the surprisingly Mediterranean scene.

To the north of the Lake you'll find Como's sole island, Isola Comacina. The weekend after June 24, take the ferry over to the island to celebrate St. John's Day. The celebration consists of a mass within the ruins of the S. Eufemia basilica, followed by a procession, party and fireworks where all who participate are rather elaborately costumed.

To the south, you'll find Bellaggio, 'la perla del lago,' (the pearl of the lake.) This is a town filled with colorful, hidden corridors, cobblestone streets and amazing homes and villas lining the ridge of the lake. You'll find plenty of shade here, but a ride on a boat docked just minutes from all accommodations will allow you to relax and bask happily as the sun rays coddle you gently as you rock gracefully in the warm waters of Lago di Como. This is especially peaceful at sunset, when you can watch the sun fall and meld into a haze before the sharp rise of night.

One of the best ways to explore Lake Como is by bicycle. The easy lakeside terrain allows an average of 25 miles per day, allowing you to stop along the way to sample real Italian ice cream (try Trese, located on the east side of Bellagio, for a real treat). Or, if you're looking for a more challenging ride and hike, climb the imperical Mont Generoso, which is a difficult but extremely rewarding climb. The views lend themselves to an afternoon or evening of romance, but be warned: You're not going to find food where you're hiking. My suggestion is to pack a lunch or dinner with groceries from local markets in Bellaggio or Varenna and picnic above the water.

If you stop in Varenna to pick up food, look around: This is an area infamous for the public displays of affection by its lovers. The ferries come and go from Varenna's local beach, bringing and taking people away but leaving plenty of time for quiet reflection. After the sunset (where you'll find the beach filled with couples madly in love), take a stroll down the passerella (the lakeside walkway). There, you'll find the path dotted with couples whispering passionately and lovingly as they scurry along, stopping occasionally for a grope and a desperate kiss.

Whether you're looking for peace and quiet or romance and a party, Lake Como as something for you. Daily activities also include minor water sports and travels along the old roads in cable cars. If you're looking to escape it all, Lake Como can accommodate you. from: travel-italy.com, twip.org

Cookies Catching in France

This photo is from a “fancy” bakery’s window display in Wimereux, a dingy yet upscale beach town in the north of France - because cookies are starting to pop up here and there. It’s disorienting. Why? While these are cute, they aren’t necessarily enticing and who would choose cookies over French pastries…which RULE?

Not knocking cookies. It’s just that I can just make any ole cookie at home, and we are in France afterall and France has amazing pastries! Why buy a cookie when you can get a Paris Brest or Mille feuille or Tarte au n’importe quoi or Mousse au chocolat or lots of other mouth watering delicate pastries? Cookies, no matter how tasty, just seem so basic. I guess they’re la tendance / the trend - and trendy things seem better. But they aren’t. Necessarily.

Philippe Olivier Cheese

If you find yourself walking down rue Thiers in the heart of Boulogne-sur-mer (northern France) and don’t happen to see Philippe Olivier’s famous cheese shop, you will surely smell it. I’m not gonna lie: it stinks, and we were just there yesterday so imagine what summer smells like! Philippe Olivier knows cheese and his family has been in business for 101 years, 4 generations of fromagers. The list of awards they’ve won cannot fit on the longest scroll in France. it’s a true cheese lover’s paradise and a must visit when in the area.

My Favorite Cute Boutique France

These is picture of Cute boutique in French, Les Ch’ti (pronounced SHTEE) from the very north of France.

source: wired.com

Misery with Air Travel

Long lines. Frequent delays.
Disrobing for security while your flight completes final boarding. Here's why your plane trip is ridden with misery.

Ticket Counter
Expensive? If anything, flying doesn't cost enough: The average domestic fare in spring 2007 was $326. That's $50 less than a decade ago, after adjusting for inflation. During the same period, fuel costs nearly tripled. To stay in business, major carriers have aped the strategies of budget operators like Southwest. Largely gone are the free meals, blankets, and pillows. The savings have been passed along as lower ticket prices — at the price of your comfort.

Security Line
September 11 changed flying forever, and would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid changed it again. The so-called liquid terror plot in the UK made it a trifecta. As a result, the list of prohibited and permitted items is mystifying. Gel shoe inserts, snow globes, or a 6-ounce bottle of spray deodorant? No way. Corkscrews, cigarette lighters, and 6.5-inch screwdrivers? No problem. Meanwhile, security delays vary drastically from airport to airport. The average wait time in Los Angeles on Monday at 8 am is just four to 11 minutes; at Atlanta's main checkpoint, it's up to 26.

A storm in a hub city like Chicago can quickly bog down the entire system. As a result, more than a quarter of US flights were stuck on the tarmac last year. In the peak summer season, that number reached almost 30 percent. A tip: If you book online (and who doesn't?), you may be able to select your flight based on its on-time performance. United's Web site, for example, displays statistics for each flight when you make reservations. The industry on-time average is 73.5 percent.

As many as 80 million bags are checked every month, yet only 7.25 out of every 1,000 travelers complain of mishandled luggage — not bad. But in 2006 it was 6.45, and 10 years ago it was 4.88. If they're not reunited with their owners, many lost bags are sent to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama, where their contents are sold to the public.

Airlines fill planes by overbooking and hoping some people don't show up. But more than half a million passengers were bumped from flights in the first nine months of 2007. While many opted out for free round-trips or other perks, 52,000 were "denied boarding" involuntarily. That may not seem like a lot, but it's up nearly 20 percent from a decade ago.

Control Tower
US airports are swamped. Last year, some 64 million takeoffs and landings were managed by a mere 14,874 air traffic controllers, a quarter of whom were new hires or trainees. Many of those cannot work alone. And despite the new blood, much of the current workforce is expected to retire within a decade.

Airplane Cabin
Nearly 800 million passengers flew on US airlines in 2007, up 31 percent from 2003. But while airports have never been busier, there are actually fewer planes in operation; in 2006, US carriers operated 13 percent fewer aircraft than in 2000. So how do they accommodate everyone? Welcome to the sardine can. Airlines have boosted cabin capacity by slashing legroom — the average coach seat today provides less than 32 inches, down from 35 in years past. On top of that, planes are flying fuller: Historically, 65 to 70 percent of seats were filled; today it's nearly 80 percent. Don't expect things to improve any time soon: The FAA forecasts that we'll have 1 billion passengers in the air by 2015.

The 50-year-old radar-based flight-tracking system is responsible for many of today's problems because it limits how closely planes can fly to one another. A new GPS-based system called NextGen will broadcast precise positions between aircraft for the first time, giving pilots more control over flight tracking and letting many more flights share the same airspace safely. It's scheduled to come online by 2025 and cost as much as $22 billion. In Alaska, where a similar system is already in place for small planes, the accident rate has dropped by 40 percent. Source: wired.com

Tip: Stay Plugged In While Traveling

Here's the first question: what gear should you bring? Furthermore, how do you keep it powered up and safe from harm and/or theft?

For full details on what you need to make sure all your gadgets have plenty (and the right kind) of electricity, check out our Stay Plugged In While Traveling guide. Once you have your power adapters in order, it's worth asking which devices you should bring and which ones you can get by without.

The laptop is tempting, and in many cases a must-have, especially if your destination is a conference or meet-up. But if you're just traveling for pleasure, a good internet cafe is all you need. Going "topless" also spares you the added weight and hassle of lugging a computer around.

If you do have to bring your beloved portable, PACK A CABLE LOCK. This gives quite a piece of mind if you want to leave your hotel room for a dinner without having to worry that your hardware is gonna be missing when you get back.

The availability of internet cafes abroad varies, but generally speaking, they are not hard to come by unless you get well off the beaten tourist path. Do some searching and see what those who have already been to where you are going have found.

Tip: Mac users take note, you will almost always find Windows PCs in internet cafes.

Tip: A number of internet cafes have started banning USB sticks, which ruins your ability to Carry Your Desktop Anywhere with Portable Apps. The practice isn't widespread enough to preclude carrying a USB stick, but you may encounter a few spots where your thumb drive is frowned upon. On the plus side, more and more have Firefox installed.

Tip: Bring a USB stick that is cheap, waterproof and encrypted. Remember that no self-respecting geek would ever get stuck behind a restrictive firewall so be sure to set up your home computer to allow encrypted proxying.

If you do bring a laptop, consider using public Wi-fi networks. Wififreespot maintains a directory of free Wi-fi networks around the world. Partners in Free Wi-Fi also has some good listings.

If you venture off the beaten path at all, don't expect wireless networks to be waiting -- There's no nerd Nirvana in central Laos just yet.
Digital Cameras

Naturally, you want to document the fact that you've made it abroad and let you friends and family back home keep up with what you're doing.

A digital camera is a must. So are spare memory cards and spare batteries, particularly if your camera uses an expensive and hard-to-find lithium variety.

Tip: Pick up some CD-Rs for backing up your images. If you don't have a laptop with you, make your backups at an internet cafe. Not only do CD backups let you clear out your memory card, they also aren't affected by x-rays at the airport. X-ray machines around the world are often much stronger than those in U.S. terminals. Memory card don't get scrambled often, but it does happen, and optical media has definite advantage.

Tip: If you don't have one already, get a Flickr account. You can easily upload your photos from most internet cafes or your own laptop via Wi-fi.

Tip: Spare yourself the bother of carrying around a card reader and make sure to bring the USB cable for the camera. This lets you get rid of an additional piece of equipment and still lets you dump the pics off the camera when you make those back-ups to optical media or dumps to the laptop.

Generally speaking, most modern tri-band GSM phones will work just about anywhere in the world. In fact, you may find data service to be light years ahead of what you're used to in the States (The same goes for internet speed, particularly in Asia).

However, your home service provider will likely charge pretty outrageous rates while you're abroad. A much cheaper way to go about it is unlock your phone and buy local SIM cards in your destination country. The availability of SIM cards varies greatly by country, but disposable SIM cards are the norm outside the U.S. SIM cards are often available at kiosks in the airport.

And even calling home may be cheaper on a local SIM card than paying the roaming rates your home carrier will charge. For more info on how to use and navigate the cell phone networks of the world, have a look at this informative guide.

In the same vein of carrying the USB cable to transfer your pics off the digi-cam, chances are your phone will use the same cable to charge. Now you can just plug everything into your laptop to charge instead of carrying spare power inverters and such.

Tip: If you store your contacts and other data on your SIM card's memory, you'll lose that information when you pop in the new SIM. Read through your phone's manual before you leave and figure out how to store your contact data on the phone memory, rather than the SIM card.

Obviously, iPhone users are out of luck here -- the iPhone is tied down to AT&T, and you can't just pop in another SIM card without some hacking. If you don't want to hack on your phone you have two choices: buy a different phone for travel, or pay AT&T's roaming rates while you're abroad. If neither of those appeal to you, you can still bring your iPhone and leave it in airplane mode. Features like the calculator for currency converter and other useful apps will still work.

The latest iPhone software updates will let you turn data roaming on and off so you can rely entirely on Wi-FI transfers. Look under Settings > General > Network > Data Roaming.

You can also disable the setting which automatically checks for new e-mail, the source of many a phone-bill-induced headache. Go to Settings > Mail >Auto-Check and select "manual."

AT&T has more information for wandering iPhone users at its site.

If AT&T's prices don't bother you, Apple has a list of travel-specific web apps to use. Also, expect to see a number of native travel apps once the iPhone 2.0 update arrives. from:howto.wired.com

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Extreme Hiking or Travel Indonesia

In my country there are many mountain that can make your adrenalin up. You can easy visit to that places and feel the challenges.

4. Bromo mountain
Most wonderful mountain in east java.

3. Rinjani montain
Number 2 of highest volcanic mountains in Indonesia with 3.726m above sea level.

2. Semeru Mountain
3.676m above sea level make this vulcanic mountain is the highest mountain in Jawa island.

1. Jayawijaya mountain

Best views if you travel in Africa

Africa is known with saharas, wild animals, and nature habitats. These a few picture that you will see if you travelling to Africa:

Travel Africa 1

Travel Africa 2

Travel Africa 3

Travel Africa 4

Travel Africa 5

Travel Africa 6

Travel Africa 7

Travel Africa 8

Travel Africa 9

Travel Africa 10

Travel Africa 11

Travel Africa 13

Enjoy you travel!Picture from: flickr.com