is a Hotel review site that launched in June 2009. The site has a mission to provide accurate and reliable reviews of the best Hotels available. An important aspect of the site is the nicely presented and realistic images of the Hotel. When assessing a Hotel, B&B or Hostel I don’t simply rely on their website. It is important to collect other opinions and view photos that have not been overly digitally enhanced. It is also possible to obscure negative aspects of a Hotel by careful photo composition. Oyster.com seeks to report on the reality [ ... ]
You quite often hear the phrase ‘It isn’t the destination…it’s the journey’. When I travel by train I understand what they are talking about. Airplane travel is certainly more exciting and cruising the open Ocean engenders are greater sense of adventure, but for me the relaxing stream of landscapes and towns gives me a chance to pause life, take time out and meditate my way through another country and another way of life. I find it fascinating to observe people going about their lives and having the chance to witness what is important to the local culture by seeing what [ ... ]
Important Buildings of the World – Number 8
The Tower is a magnet for tourists (2.4 million in 2009) visiting London, but don’t let that stop you from witnessing this historic place. The complex is made up of the White Tower, Innermost Ward, Inner Ward and Outermost Ward, with the most secure White Tower taking pride of place in the centre.
The Tower has fulfilled several roles during the history of the building including home for the Royal family, Armoury, Royal Mint and prison. The Norman conquest of Britain took place in 1066 and their talent for building fortifications had [ ... ]
Important Buildings of the World – Number 9
There are not many people that can actually say they have visited the inside of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. For most visitors to Tokyo the palace is a mysterious far off edifice hidden behind an impressive moat and high walls. The element of mystery mixes with the dramatic recent history to create a real sense of occasion when you pose for a picture near the main gate. The Palace is home to the deeply respected Emperor of Japan and the royal family. Visitors are generally restricted to observing the palace from [ ... ]
Important Buildings of the World – Number 10
The Temple of Heaven park in Beijing is the place to witness local residents enjoy life and share hobbies. Groups of enthusiastic musicians, dancers and game players fill the park with atmosphere. The area has been of significance since the early fifteenth century when, during the reign of the Yongle Emperor of the Ming dynasty, the Temple of Heaven became a special centre piece of Beijing.
The Temple of Heaven was the centre of Imperial Court activities twice a year when the Son of Heaven would carefully complete rituals to show [ ... ]
I am excited by the service offered at Plnnr.com
. The site can quickly put together an Itinerary for a trip based on your travel style and interests. This is just the type of service that I would like to see mature and be applicable to a wide range of destinations.
The selections you make have a direct impact on the hotel and activity recommendations made by the site. I particularly like the way they put together a full day plan that maximises the available time. You can easily make changes to the [ ... ]
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One of my favourite experiences while travelling is to experience the best creativity that each culture has to offer. Buildings are one of the great creations of humankind and they can perform fascinating extra functions such as providing a place to worship, community gatherings, and providing a home to highly valued artefacts. Buildings can be created to make a statement and can send a clear message to competing cultures that they have made it and deserve respect. Many cultures identify tall structures as awe inspiring due to the closeness to heaven. Mountains are similarly revered. The bonus to travellers is [ ... ]
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral ecosystem in the world and one of the jewels of the Australian tourist industry. Far North Queensland is my favourite part of Australia to rest and recharge and the Barrier Reef is just one of the special attractions in the area. In recent times the Australian news has been full of natural disaster incidents in Queensland. The state is home to many of the most popular attractions for Australian tourists, however Far North Queensland (FNQ) is famous all over the world for the Reef, Islands and Daintree Rainforest. The Great Barrier [ ... ]
The power to book airline tickets online has been great for choice and for competition. Consumer choice is vitally important as it reduces prices and improves service levels. The airlines don’t necessarily see it that way though and will endeavour to take more control of pricing levels to ensure their ongoing business viability. At present there are many online and smartphone based services available to search and book airline tickets. The end user experience is usually serviced by a small number of back end systems and the control of those systems will be a battleground going forward.
The following are [ ... ]
Smart Phones are taking over the phone market in the developed world and they are becoming more powerful every year. I remember being over the moon with my purchase of an HP Pocket PC back in 2001/2 and I travelled though Taiwan with the device. It helped me stay organised and I used the PDA to record the unique sounds of Taiwan. It had limited connectivity options and didn’t make calls. Ten years later and phones and PDAs have morphed into the one device, and those devices are now becoming mini computers. These portable and convenient devices can really [ ... ]
The major costs of international travel are accommodation and large distance transport. In modern times most people travel long distances by flying and it makes sense to minimise the related costs while still maintaining safety and comfort standards. The Home Travel Agent Site Travel Tips E-Book outlines the importance of leveraging Frequent Flyer Programs to lower your flight costs, but how in detail do you choose and organise the use of these programs? I suggest you choose a program that specialises in your favourite airlines and covers the regions of the world that you intend to travel most regularly [ ... ]
I have really enjoyed coming up with this Top Ten countdown of the most beautiful cities in the world. In some cases fantastic memories have flooded back and in others I have been fired up to visit some wonderful cities. In review, the following are my Top Ten:
9 Rio de Janeiro
7 Hong Kong
5 Cape Town
4 San Francisco
And Number 1…..Paris!
Paris is located in the Île-de-France region of northern France. The city has grown from a small Parisii [ ... ]
Some of the cities in my countdown are beautiful because of the natural setting and some of them are beautiful because of the people and what they have created. Vancouver is a winner on both counts as the city graces the Burrard Peninsula, with the spectacular North Shore Mountains as a backdrop. The people of Vancouver are as friendly as you will find for a city of two million people.
photo © 2007 Jon Rawlinson
[ ... ]
Before visiting Japan, Chinese food would have been my cuisine of choice if forced to choose only one for the rest of my life. After my time in Japan, I am not so sure. Japanese food is generally very healthy and always tasty. Growing up in Australia, Japanese food tended to be quite expensive and usually was prepared by Chinese chefs. As a result authenticity was a problem. Time passes, things change and in recent years Melbourne can boast many excellent Japanese restaurants of different levels of cost and sophistication. Of course Tokyo is a completely different and overwhelming [ ... ]
The city that inspired this series slots in at Number 3. As an Australian I take this city for granted because I have grown up with images of this great city on TV, magazines and newspapers. It is only while visiting after a long period with some time to stop and think that I realised just how amazingly beautiful the city is. On a sunny winter day with the waters on the harbour relatively calm a slow ferry ride gave me time to drink in the views of Rose Bay and Double Bay as we made our way [ ... ]
photo © 2009 Alain Picard
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My earliest memory of the beauty of San Francisco is watching the opening credits for the old TV show ‘The Streets of San Francisco’. Karl Malden and Michael Douglas were [ ... ]
Stunning Cape Town is the capital of Western Cape Province in South Africa. The views of Table Mountain are famous around the world and the city nestles between the mountain and Table Bay.
I have absolutely loved the recently created versions of Sherlock Holmes on TV and on film. Robert Downey Junior and Benedict Cumberbatch both nail the character of Sherlock Holmes and the production values are fantastic in both the cinema feature and the TV show
. (Arthur Conan Doyle also has been a significant inspiration for the creators of another great TV show House). The backdrop to the Sherlock Holmes stories is one of the truly great cities of the world – London.
Many of the great works of English literature emanated from this city and London was the [ ... ]
A new visitor to Venice may feel as if they have arrived at a Disneyland for adults. The fact is though that Venice was built as home for a Byzantine Duke in 827 and was ruled as an independent city state until Napoleon Bonaparte invaded in 1797. The city spreads out over a large area although most visitors will be most interested in the Sestieri area. The districts of Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce and San Marco contain many of the main attractions of Venice. The area is reached from the mainland by a spit of land that carries [ ... ]