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A Hawaiian Islands Guide

It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the only U.S. state located...

Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States, having received statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the only U.S. state located in Oceania and the only one composed entirely of islands.

It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the only U.S. state located outside North America.

Feels like on the edge of the Earth

The last is the largest island in the group; it is often called the “Big Island” or “Hawaiʻi Island” to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago.

The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight main islands are—in order from northwest to southeast: Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and the Island of Hawaiʻi.

Hawaii’s diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists. Because of its central location in the Pacific and 19th-century labor migration, Hawaii’s culture is strongly influenced by North American and Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu.

Beautiful waterfall hidden in the jungle

Hawaii is the 8th-smallest and the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. It is the only state with an Asian plurality. The state’s coastline is about 750 miles (1,210 km) long, the fourth longest in the U.S. after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida, and California.

The state of Hawaii derives its name from the name of its largest island, Hawaiʻi. A common Hawaiian explanation of the name of Hawaiʻi is that was named for Hawaiʻiloa, a legendary figure from Hawaiian myth. He is said to have discovered the islands when they were first settled.

Source: Wikipedia

The Hawaiian language word Hawaiʻi is very similar to Proto-Polynesian *Sawaiki, with the reconstructed meaning “homeland”. Cognates of Hawaiʻi are found in other Polynesian languages, including Māori (Hawaiki), Rarotongan (ʻAvaiki) and Samoan (Savaiʻi) . According to linguists Pukui and Elbert, “lsewhere in Polynesia, Hawaiʻi or a cognate is the name of the underworld or of the ancestral home, but in Hawaii, the name has no meaning”.

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Planning the Perfect Road Trip

The world’s first recorded long distance road trip by automobile took place in Germany in August 1888 when Bertha Benz, the wife of Karl Benz,...

Presently there is a dedicated signposted scenic route in Baden-Württemberg called the Bertha Benz Memorial Route to commemorate her historic first road trip.

The world’s first recorded long distance road trip by automobile took place in Germany in August 1888 when Bertha Benz, the wife of Karl Benz, the inventor of the first patented motor car (the Benz Patent-Motorwagen), travelled from Mannheim to Pforzheim (a distance of 106 km (66 mi)) in the third experimental Benz motor car (which had a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour (16 km/h)) and back, with her two teenage sons Richard and Eugen, but without the consent and knowledge of her husband.

Having fun with friends

The first successful North American transcontinental trip by automobile took place in 1903 and was piloted by H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker, accompanied by a dog named Bud.

Her official reason was that she wanted to visit her mother but unofficially she intended to generate publicity for her husband’s invention (which had only been used on short test drives before), which succeeded as the automobile took off greatly afterwards and the Benz’s family business eventually evolved into the present day Mercedes-Benz company.

The first successful North American transcontinental trip by automobile took place in 1903 and was piloted by H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker, accompanied by a dog named Bud. The trip was completed using a 1903 Winton Touring Car, dubbed “Vermont” by Jackson. The trip took a total of 63 days between San Francisco and New York, costing US$8,000. The total cost included items such as food, gasoline, lodging, tires, parts, other supplies, and the cost of the Winton.

The first woman to cross the American landscape by car was Alice Ramsey with three female passengers in 1909. Ramsey left from Hell’s Gate in Manhattan, New York and traveled 59 days to San Francisco, California. Ramsey was followed in 1910 by Blanche Stuart Scott, who is often mistakenly cited as the first woman to make the cross-country journey by automobile East-to-West (but was a true pioneer in aviation).

New highways in the early 20th century helped propel automobile travel in the United States, primarily cross-country travel. Commissioned in 1926, and completely paved near the end of the 1930s, U.S. Route 66 is a living icon of early modern road tripping.

Motorists ventured cross-country for holiday as well as migrating to California and other locations. The modern American road trip began to take shape in the late 1930s and into the 1940s, ushering in an era of a nation on the move.

500 miles away from home

The 1950s saw rapid growth of ownership of automobiles by American families. The automobile, now a trusted mode of transportation, was being widely used for not only commuting, but leisure trips as well.

As a result of this new vacation-by-road style, many businesses began to cater to road-weary travelers. More reliable vehicles and services made long distance road trips easier for families, as the length of time required to cross the continent was reduced from months to days. Within one week, the average family can travel to destinations across North America.

The greatest change to the American road trip was the start, and subsequent expansion, of the Interstate Highway System. The higher speeds and controlled access nature of the Interstate allowed for greater distances to be traveled in less time and with improved safety as highways became divided.

Travelers from European countries, Australia, and elsewhere soon came to the US to take part in the American idea of a road trip. Canadians also engaged in road trips taking advantage of the large size of their nation and close proximity to destinations in the United States.

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Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan

The first Full Moon Party was improvised at a Paradise Bungalows on the beach in 1988, for giving thanks to about 20–30 travelers. The parties...

The Full Moon Party is an all-night beach party that originated in Haad Rin on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand on the night of, before or after every full moon. It is mostly attended by tourists.

The first Full Moon Party was improvised at a Paradise Bungalows on the beach in 1988, for giving thanks to about 20–30 travelers. The parties gained fame through word of mouth, and the event now draws a crowd of about 5,000–30,000 every full moon evening. The party carries on until the sun rises the next day. The bars on the sunrise beach of Haad Rin town stay open and play music such as psychedelic trance, R&B, drum and bass, house, dance and reggae. The modern event has become a part of the itinerary of many travellers to Southeast Asia.

The success of the Full Moon Party prompted the creation of “Half Moon”, “Black (sic. New) Moon”, and other parties. The ruling military government in late-2014 banned all but the Full Moon Party, the application of sweeping edicts such as this, a proven method of levering the secondary party organizers and local business people adhoc into garnishing further contributions to said administrative coffers. but the 2014 edict may not have been observed by local authorities, given that, as of 5 April 2015, all parties except the Full Moon Party were again banned on Ko Pha Ngan.

The success of the Full Moon Party prompted the creation of “Half Moon”, “Black (sic. New) Moon”, and other parties.

This is to stop the noise pollution which has become a constant source of irritation for the islanders. The ban was ordered by Pha Ngan district chief officer, Mr Krirkkrai Songthani, after a meeting with local leaders on 3 April to discuss complaints from many residents about the various parties which are held up to 25 times a month at one coconut plantation or another on the island.

However, these bans are only ever short lived, and lapse once they have served their unstated purpose. Allowing the re-proliferation of parties. Given the junta’s stated goal of attracting higher-class (wealthier) tourists, it is unclear how much longer the Full Moon Party will be permitted to continue. Already, the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) webpage for Ko Pha Ngan barely makes mention of the Full Moon Party. A police colonel summed up the attitude of the new government when he said, “The sort of tourist that comes here to drink too much and take drugs are not the type that Thailand wants.”

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Surfing in Australia

Australian surfboard-makers have driven innovation in surfboard design and production since the mid-1960s. The country has launched corporate giants such as Billabong, Rip Curl and...

Australia is renowned as one of the world’s premier surfing destinations. Surfing underpins an important part of the Australian coastal fabric. It forms part of a lifestyle in which millions participate and which millions more have an interest.

Australian surfboard-makers have driven innovation in surfboard design and production since the mid-1960s. The country has launched corporate giants such as Billabong, Rip Curl and Quiksilver.

Waiting for the high tides

No surfing is possible in many part of northern Australia due to coral reefs subduing waves. Modern surfboard design has been shaped by both Australian and Californian developments. For many years the sport was closely associated with the surf life saving movement in Australia. Surfing Australia is the national sporting body which guides and promotes the development of surfing.

Major Australian tournaments include the Men’s Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour, Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast (Gold Coast, Queensland), Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach (Bells Beach, Victoria) and the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro (Margaret River, Western Australia). Other tournaments include the Australian Boardriders Battle, Australian Open of Surfing, Beachley Classic, Breaka Burleigh Pro and the Noosa Festival of Surfing.

Surfing was brought to Australia in 1915 by Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku. He demonstrated this ancient Hawaiian board riding technique at Freshwater (or Harbord) in Sydney, New South Wales. Kahanamoku’s board is now on display in the northeast end of the Freshwater Surf lifesaving club, Sydney, Australia.

Wikipedia

In 1956, a team of lifeguards from the US introduced Malibu boards to Australia. In the 1960s, Australian surfboard designer Bob McTavish invented the V-bottom surfboard, which is considered instrumental to the development of shortboard surfing.

Catching perfect waves just after the sunrise

One of the most successful Australian surfers, Mick Fanning, has won four titles at Bells Beach, earning him the current number one spot in the surfing ranks.

Australia has produced multiple ASP world champions, such as Wayne Bartholomew, Tom Carroll, Barton Lynch, Damien Hardman, Mark Occhilupo, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Layne Beachley, Wendy Botha, Pauline Menzcer, Chelsea Georgeson and Mark Richards. The World Surf League incorporates three major championship titles held in Australia: the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, and the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.

One of the most successful Australian surfers, Mick Fanning, has won four titles at Bells Beach, earning him the current number one spot in the surfing ranks.

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Tuk Tuks – Why they are so popular in Sri Lanka

The auto rickshaw is a common form of urban transport, both as a vehicle for hire and for private use, in many countries around the...

An auto rickshaw is a motorized development of the traditional pulled rickshaw or cycle rickshaw. Most have three wheels and do not tilt. An exception is in Cambodia, where two different types of vehicles are called tuk-tuks, one of which (also known as a remorque) has four wheels and is composed of a motorcycle (which leans) and trailer (which does not).

The auto rickshaw is a common form of urban transport, both as a vehicle for hire and for private use, in many countries around the world, especially those with tropical or subtropical climates, including many developing countries. Bajaj Auto is the world’s largest auto rickshaw manufacturer.

Our driver took us to best resturant in Colombo

Japan has exported three-wheelers to Thailand since 1934. Moreover, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Japan donated about 20,000 used three-wheelers to Southeast Asia. In Japan, three-wheelers went out of use in the latter half of the 1960s.

Japan has exported three-wheelers to Thailand since 1934. Moreover, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Japan donated about 20,000 used three-wheelers to Southeast Asia. In Japan, three-wheelers went out of use in the latter half of the 1960s.

Wikipedia

In 1947 Corradino D’Ascanio, aircraft designer at Piaggio and inventor of the Vespa, came up with the idea of building a light three-wheeled commercial vehicle to power Italy’s post-war economic reconstruction. The Piaggio Ape followed suit.

Tuk tuk is waiting for us while we take photos

In 1947 Corradino D’Ascanio, aircraft designer at Piaggio and inventor of the Vespa, came up with the idea of building a light three-wheeled commercial vehicle.

Auto rickshaws in Southeast Asia started from the knockdown production of the Daihatsu Midget, which was introduced in 1957.

There are many different auto rickshaw types, designs, and variations. The most common type is characterized by a sheet-metal body or open frame resting on three wheels; a canvas roof with drop-down side curtains; a small cabin at the front for the driver (sometimes known as an auto-wallah), with handlebar controls; and a cargo, passenger, or dual purpose space at the rear.

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Trekking in Nepal

With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the...

Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (Nepali: सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल Sanghiya Loktāntrik Ganatantra Nepāl), is a landlocked country in South Asia located mainly in the Himalayas but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.

With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south, east, and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km (17 mi) of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. A Himalayan state, Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is the nation’s capital and largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language.

Greatness of Himalayan mountains

The name “Nepal” is first recorded in texts from the Vedic Age, the era which founded Hinduism, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in southern Nepal. Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala.

The Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley’s traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional art and architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal. The Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and later formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonised but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and Colonial India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs in 1960 and 2005. The Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a secular republic in 2008, ending the reign of the world’s last Hindu monarchy.

The country was never colonised but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and Colonial India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs in 1960 and 2005.

Wikipedia

The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, establishes Nepal as a federal secular parliamentary republic divided in seven provinces. Nepal was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, and friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People’s Republic of China in 1960. Nepal hosts the permanent secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), of which it is a founding member. Nepal is also a member of the Non Aligned Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative. The military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia and is notable for its Gurkha history, particularly during the world wars, and has been a significant contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Town in the heart of Nepal

Local legends have it that a Hindu sage named “Ne” established himself in the valley of Kathmandu in prehistoric times, and that the word “Nepal” came into existence as the place was protected (“pala” in Pali) by the sage “Nemi”. It is mentioned in Vedic texts that this region was called Nepal centuries ago. According to the Skanda Purana, a rishi called “Nemi” used to live in the Himalayas. In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a saint and a protector. He is said to have practised meditation at the Bagmati and Kesavati rivers and to have taught there.

The name of the country is also identical in origin to the name of the Newar people. The terms “Nepāl”, “Newār”, “Newāl” and “Nepār” are phonetically different forms of the same word, and instances of the various forms appear in texts in different times in history. Nepal is the learned Sanskrit form and Newar is the colloquial Prakrit form. A Sanskrit inscription dated 512 CE found in Tistung, a valley to the west of Kathmandu, contains the phrase “greetings to the Nepals” indicating that the term “Nepal” was used to refer to both the country and the people.

It has been suggested that “Nepal” may be a Sanskritization of “Newar”, or “Newar” may be a later form of “Nepal”. According to another explanation, the words “Newar” and “Newari” are vulgarisms arising from the mutation of P to V, and L to R.

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Hiking to Machu Picchu in Peru

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the “Lost City...

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows.

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” (a title more accurately applied to Vilcabamba), it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

Llama saying “Hello” at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored and restoration continues.

Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007

Wikipedia

Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.

In the Quechua language, machu means “old” or “old person”, while pikchu means “peak; mountain or prominence with a broad base that ends in sharp peaks”, hence the name of the site means “old peak”.

Cusco Town near Machu Picchu

It was only used for approximately 80 years before being abandoned seemingly due to destruction of the Spanish Conquests

Wikipedia

Machu Picchu was built around 1450–1460. Its construction appears to date to the period of the two great Inca rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438–71) and Túpac Inca Yupanqui (1472–93).:xxxvi There is a consensus among archaeologists that Pachacutec ordered the construction of the royal estate for himself, most likely after his successful military campaign.

Though Machu Picchu is considered to be a “royal” estate, surprisingly, the estate would not have been passed down in the line of succession. It was only used for approximately 80 years before being abandoned seemingly due to destruction of the Spanish Conquests in other parts of the Inca Empire. It is possible that most of its inhabitants died from smallpox introduced by travellers before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area.

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How to pack for Carry-on only

There is normally storage space provided for hand luggage, either under seating, or in overhead lockers. Trains usually have luggage racks above the seats and...

The term hand luggage or cabin baggage (also commonly referred to as carry-on in North America) refers to the type of luggage that passengers are allowed to carry along in the passenger compartment of a vehicle instead of moving to the cargo compartment. Passengers are allowed to carry a limited number of smaller bags with them in the vehicle and contain valuables and items needed during the journey.

There is normally storage space provided for hand luggage, either under seating, or in overhead lockers. Trains usually have luggage racks above the seats and may also (especially in the case of trains travelling longer distances) have luggage space between the backs of seats facing opposite directions, or in extra luggage racks, for example, at the ends of the carriage near the doors.

First rule: Take all you need but not everything

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets guidelines for cabin baggage/hand luggage/carry-on luggage size. They are not mandatory, and individual airlines can and do vary their requirements.

Hand baggage allowance is a topic frequently discussed in context of commercial air travel. On one hand, passengers may want to have more of their possessions at hand during flight, skip often time-consuming baggage claim process, and avoid the risk of having their checked baggage lost or damaged. On the other hand, safety concerns, takeoff weight limitations and financial incentives cause airlines to impose limits on how much and what can a passenger take into the cabin of aircraft.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets guidelines for cabin baggage/hand luggage/carry-on luggage size. They are not mandatory, however, and individual airlines can and do vary their requirements.

Second rule: Don’t forget your passport

The actual size and weight limits of cabin baggage can differ widely, in some cases they are dependent on the aircraft model being used, in other cases it depends on the booking class. Due to the lack of standardization a large number of different specifications were created by the airlines on the maximum permitted cabin luggage restrictions (see below). In 2015 the IATA made an effort to introduce a common smaller size for cabin luggage by introducing the “IATA Cabin OK” logo.

Major airlines have expressed their interest to accept luggage of that size on their flights. This is specified as 55 x 35 x 20 cm (or 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches). There were news that the move was backed by nine airlines including Lufthansa, Emirates and Qatar Airlines. The new size restrictions were criticised widely with the introduction program to be put on hold a few days later. Consequently none of the mentioned airlines has introduced the new format (by April 2016).

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