Category: Asia

Sightseeing in Oman

Sightseeing in Oman

If you choose Oman as your travel destination, you go to the sultanate in the east of the Arabian Peninsula… and to an area that developed into a modern state within a few decades, but was able to preserve old traditions and thus its Arab identity. The landscape of Oman is particularly worth seeing in the narrow, fertile coastal strip of Al-Batina on the Gulf of Oman, which is separated from the desert by the Oman Mountains, which occupies most of the country. In addition to Dhiddat al-Harasis in the interior of the country, there is also the edge of the Rub al-Chali desert in the southwest. Accordingly, the climate is dry and hot, and the temperatures around the turn of the year are best suited to set out on a tour of discovery through the Sultanate. The ruins of the 7th century are particularly interesting from a cultural point of view. 000 year old city Urbar or the ruins of Qualhat, and Nizwa, the religious center of the country, where you can admire the Sultan Qaboos Mosque with its blue and gold dome as well as the monumental fortress from the 17th century In turn, you have a wide view of the city. The capital Masquat is particularly worthwhile for a tour of the old town with its narrow streets, the Sultan’s Palace, two Portuguese fortresses from the 16th century and a visit to the Bai Zubair National Museum. The tomb of the Queen of Sheba is located in Salalah, the capital of the frankincense land of Dhofar. In the mountain village of Al-Hamra you can visit old, typical mud houses. And Sur offers you shipyards in which the traditional dhows are built. In addition, Oman also has hot springs to offer.

Great Sultan Qaboos Mosque

The Great Sultan Qaboos Mosque was planned in 1992 according to the ideas of Sultan Quabus and built from 1995. The largest mosque in Oman has been open to believers, participants in study trips, students of the Islamic religion and tourists since May 4th, 2001. It is one of the special sights in Muscat and is definitely worth a visit. The mosque combines the Islamic traditions of different epochs and stands for a harmonious coexistence of all believers in the country.

The mosque as a superlative building

With the mosque, Sultan Al Qaboos created more than a house of prayer. Islamic art, culture and religious studies are at home in the huge complex in Al-Gubra on the busy main street “Al Qaboos Street” between Muscat and Sib.

The entire area covers 416,000 square meters. According to Omani tradition, it stands a little higher, surrounded by large green areas with well-tended lawn, bushes and frangipani trees. For the mosque with five minarets and two arcades, 300,000 tons of marble from Indian quarries were used. In addition to a main prayer hall and a smaller women’s prayer hall, the complex also includes a library with 20,000 valuable books, the Islamic Institute and a large information center.

Particularly noteworthy is the equipment of the main hall with a 50 m high dome. This was designed with stained glass and carries the largest crystal chandelier in the world. The chandelier is 14 m long, equipped with valuable Swarowski crystals and 1122 lamps. An imposing, hand-knotted Persian carpet with a value of more than 5 million euros lies on the floor. The wall panels with floral patterns in Persian tradition and the calligraphy on the wooden ceilings are also impressive.

Visiting the mosque is one of the most important stops when traveling through Oman. Travelers should observe the dress regulations for the Grand Sultan Qaboos Mosque. Arms and legs must be covered and women wear headscarves.

Old fortresses

Oman is still a real insider tip for holidaymakers from all over the world. If you visit the sultanate in the east of the Arabian Peninsula, you simply cannot avoid the capital Muscat. The two old fortresses Mirani and Jalali are among the greatest attractions in the city of 25,000. The most impressive and at the same time most famous fortifications in the country characterize the historic old town of Muscat and can be seen from afar.

Evidence of Ottoman craftsmanship

The two large fortresses, which are visited annually by thousands of locals and tourists from all over the world, were built at the end of the 16th century directly on the harbor to protect against intruders and were completed by the Portuguese. In the 18th century, the so-called western fortress Al Mirani was expanded to its present size according to the wishes of Imam Ahmed bin Said. From the top of the large fortress tower you have a great overview of the entire city and the immediate surroundings. The Al Jalali Fortress, also known as the East Fortress, is characterized both inside and outside by countless testimonies of Ottoman craftsmanship. A large and extensive museum is now housed in the smaller of the two fortresses.

Old fortresses Oman

Iran History

Iran History

Prehistory

According to Bridgat, Iran has traces of human occupation since the Stone Age. During the Neolithic, a process of sedentarization, stable food production and the establishment of short-distance exchange routes developed.

The Copper Age, characterized by the appearance of copper and painted ceramic elements in Susiana (Southwest Iran) and Sialk (central-west), extends in Iran throughout the 4th millennium BC. Urban settlements begin to emerge, in a regional process that takes place between Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the Archaeological Complex of Bactria-Margiana and the Indus Valley Culture.

Antiquity

At the beginning of the 3rd century BC, a form of writing appears in Susa, possibly derived from the Sumerian system to represent the Elamite language. From 2000 BC the Medes and Persians, Aryan or Indo-European peoples, began to move from the plains of southern Russia and Central Asia to Europe and Asia.

The Median rule, however, was brief, thanks to the work undertaken by a Persian nobleman of the Achaemenid family, Cyrus (555-529 BC), king of Anshan, who unified the Persians, subdued the Medes, and conquered Babylon. Syria, the Mediterranean Levant and Asia Minor. His work of conquest was continued by his son and successor, Cambyses (530-522), who annexed Egypt and marked the maximum extension of the Achaemenid Empire, configuring the largest empire hitherto known in the Near East.

The splendor of the Persian Empire is marked by the figure of Darius I (522-486). He devoted himself primarily to organizing the vast inherited empire through satrapies. He drew up a network of roads that were intended to link the various parts of the empire, the most famous of which is the Royal Road from Susa to Sardis, and also palaces and monuments in the capitals: Susa and Persepolis. He made Mazdeism an official religion. With him also began the decline of the Achaemenid Empire, by undertaking a fight against the Greeks that would become known as the medical wars and continued by his successors: Xerxes, Artaxerxes, Darius II, Artaxerxes II and Darius III. The continuous defeats of the Persians culminated in the invasion (in 334 BC and the end of the empire itself by Alexander the Great (336 BC). At his death, the successors or Diádocos divided their territories, and passed to Seleuco I Nicátor (300 BC).

Middle Ages

When the Arab conquest took place, after 641, the country was Islamized, but it maintained, like almost no province in the Arab empire, its marked individuality, both in its language and in the peculiar orientation of the arts and letters. When the crisis of the Baghdad caliphate struck, Persia gained virtual independence under the descendants of Tahir, the last Arab viceroy, and then under the Seleucid Persian or Turkish dynasties. Despite the political upheaval, the cultural and scientific life of the period was remarkably rich, of which the poet, mathematician, philosopher and astronomer Ummar al-Khayyam is an exponent.

Modern age

In 1258 a new era opens with the Mongol invasion of Kublai Khan. After three centuries of Mongol domination, the dynastic struggles between the descendants of Timur Lenk (Tamerlane) and the Ottomans ended up making room for the Persian Ismail Sha. His grandson Abbas I (1557 – 1629) managed to unify the country, expel the Turks from the western area and the Portuguese who had occupied the Hormuz region, as well as conquer part of Afghanistan. For a short period, Iran was the hegemonic power, from India to Syria. But then he had to face the ambitions of the Russians who were advancing in Central Asia and the English, who were approaching from the Gulf and Afghanistan.

The king’s weakness in the face of the growing foreign presence gave rise to a strong nationalist movement, influenced by the ideas of Syrian pan-Islamic intellectuals.

Recent history

In 2002, the president of the United States George W. Bush included Iran in the so-called axis of evil, alluding to it being a state that supports terrorism. Iran is also accused of trying to develop an atomic weapon.

Iran accuses the United States of waging “psychological warfare” by spreading false news about Tehran’s plans to make atomic bombs. According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Tehran will continue its peaceful nuclear activities without being influenced by the statements of the head of the CIA, Leon Panetta, who said that the Persian nation could build two atomic bombs within two years, justifying a foreseeable attack by United States against Iran.

The US, the largest driver of sanctions on Iran and North Korea for their nuclear programs, has more than 6,000 tactical nuclear warheads, and invests $ 40 billion a year in its nuclear arsenal and in developing new ones. destruction systems, which go to the coffers of the multinationals of war nucleated in the North American Military Industrial Complex.

Except for Russia, the US mathematically surpasses all the capitalist powers on the planet by 9 to 1 in nuclear power and its capacity to deploy troops and conventional weapons is close to the same percentages.

The Islamic Republic was subjected to the fourth round of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council as a result of the development of its nuclear plans, to which the United States and the European powers attribute military objectives.

Iran History

Japanese Literature by Periods

Japanese Literature by Periods

Japanese literature spans a period of nearly two millennia of writing. In the earliest works we see the influence of Chinese literature, but Japan quickly developed its own style. When Japan reopened its ports to Western trade and diplomacy in the 19th century, Western literature greatly influenced its writers, Western influence is still evident today.

Nara period (710-794)

Japanese literature has its origins in oral tradition, the first records of this literature were made in the 8th century after the writing system was introduced from China. The Kojiki (record of ancient subjects) and Nihon shoki (chronicle of Japan) were two government projects that were completed in 712 and 720 respectively. The most brilliant work of this period was the Man’yoshu, an anthology of 4,500 poems composed by people of all walks of life and collected around 759.

The “tanka” verses of 31 syllables (5-7-5-7-7) also began to be worked on. In 905 the poetic anthology: Kokin wakashu or Kokinshu, a collection of ancient and modern poems, was published under the order of the emperor. It was a very important post.

Heian Period (794-1185) In the resplendent aristocratic culture that flourished in the 11th century, when the use of the Chinese-derived hiragana alphabet was spreading, the ladies of the court played the leading role in the development of literature. One of them, Murasaki Shikibu wrote a 54-chapter novel Genji monogatari (The Tale of Genji) (early 11th century); Sei Shonagon wrote Makura no shosi (The Pillow Book) a collection of essays and notes (around 996).

Others wrote diaries and stories that continue to be read today. The appearance of Konjaku monogatari (Tales of a time that has passed) around 1120 added a new dimension to literature. This collection of more than 1000 Buddhist and secular accounts from India, China and Japan is important for the number of descriptions of the life of the nobility and the life of the people in Japan at that time.

Kamakura-Muromachi period (1185-1573)

In the last half of the 12th century, the warriors of the Taira (Heike) clan seized the imperial power of the court, forming a new aristocracy. Heike mono-gatari (Heike’s Tale) portrays the triumphs and defeats of the Taira in their wars with the Minamoto (genji) clan and was completed in the first half of the 13th century.

This period also produced intimate literature such as Chomei’s Hojoki de Kamo (Description of my cabin) (1212), which reflects on the uncertainty of existence; Yoshida Kenko’s Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Free Time) (1330) a work with impressive reflections on life. Both works raise the question of spiritual salvation.

Edo period (1603-1868)

In this period, two very important figures emerged in prose: Ihara Saikaku who realistically portrayed the life of Osaka merchants and Chikamatsu Monzaemin who used joruri, a way of telling hostilities with kabuki songs and works. These two writers made literature flourish. Years later Yosa Buson wrote haiku, excellent works that portrayed nature. The writer Ueda Akinari produced several works on Gothic stories that were called Ugetsu monogatari, Tales of the Moonlight and the Rain (1776).

Meiji period to the present

The Meiji period is the stage in which Japan under Western influence began to develop a more modern literature. At this time the unification of written and spoken language was advocated; and a new form of novel was accepted thanks to Futabatei Shimei’s Ukigumo (Clouds without course) (1887). The translation of foreign poetry helped create a new poetic genre and its corresponding literary movement.

Novelists Mori Ogai and Natsume Soseki studied in Germany and Great Britain, respectively, and their works reflect the influence of these countries. Soseki directed several literary figures. One of them, Akutagawa Ryunosuke, wrote several novels based on his knowledge of Japanese classics. His suicide in 1927 was taken as a symbol of the agony that Japan was experiencing due to the rapid processes of modernization, these changes were also subjects of literature.

In 1968 Kawabata Yasunari received the Nobel Prize for literature, he was the first Japanese to get it, years later in 1994 Oe Kenzaburo, also Japanese, also received it. These two writers and other contemporary authors such as Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Mishima Yukio, Abe Kobo, and Inoue Yasushi have seen their works translated into various languages.

Culture

According to bridgat, the culture of Japan is the result of a historical process that begins with the waves of immigration originating from the continent of Asia and the islands of the Pacific Ocean, followed by a strong cultural influence from China and, later, a long period of isolation with the the rest of the world called Sakoku from the Tokugawa shogunate until the beginning of the Meiji Era, at the end of the 19th century, where it received immense foreign influence and which increased after the end of World War II. This resulted in a culture distinct from other Asian cultures.

In Japan, personal interrelationships are highly influenced by the ideas of “honor”, “obligation” and “duty”, and which represents a different custom to an individualistic and liberal culture of Western countries. The conceptions of “morality” and “desirable behaviors” are less practiced in family, school and friendship situations, however a more formal practice is observed in front of superiors or unknown people.

On the other hand, the Japanese have an intricate and complicated sense of humor, which is highly reflected in language, culture, religion and ethics, which is sometimes considered very difficult to interpret by other cultures.

Japanese Literature

Saudi Arabia Main Cities

Saudi Arabia Main Cities

Mecca

Mecca, Al-Makka, city ​​in the west of Saudi Arabia, in a rocky, desert-like basin of the Hidjas landscape, between the coastal plain and the highlands, 277 m above sea level, (2018) 1.97 million residents.

As the birthplace of Muhammad, Mecca is the holiest city and most important place of pilgrimage for Islam (Hajj; 700,000–900,000 pilgrims annually, mainly via the Djidda airport), a pure cult and cultural center (excluding agriculture and industry) with an Islamic-theological college, school for Islamic jurisprudence, Saudi Arabian institute for further education, several madrasas and libraries; Water supply originally from the Ain Subaida well, 15 km away, today from seawater desalination plants in Jeddah. Mecca and its immediate surroundings are not accessible to non-Muslims.

The center of the city and the most important goal of the pilgrimage is the Kaaba in the courtyard of the main mosque (built 775–785, today’s shape in the 16th century, expanded in 1955; seven minarets). Other places of pilgrimage are the Semsem well and the graves of the companions and the first wife of Muhammad (Hadidja) in the Al-Mala cemetery. R. Gutbrod, F. Otto and Hermann Kendel built a mosque and a hotel in 1974 with conference rooms grouped around a green inner courtyard. The world’s largest clock has been located on the Mecca Royal Clock Tower since 2010.

History

Mecca, mentioned as Makoraba around 150 AD, was already an important trading center as a crossroads of old caravan roads in the border area between the rain- cultivated areas of the southwestern Arabian highlands and the desert steppes in pre-Islamic times. The Koraic, also because of its religious attraction (through the Kaaba), made it a center of the Trans-Arab caravan trade at the end of the 6th / beginning of the 7th century, Mecca gained political status through Mohammed(622 Hidjra; 630 conquest of Mecca) as the center of the Islamic world Meaning. Looted by the Karmatians in 930, 960–1803 and 1813–1924 Sherif of the Hasan family (grandson of Mohammed) had the emirate of Mecca owner (10th to 15th centuries under nominal sovereignty of the rulers of Egypt, since 1517 the Ottomans); 1803-13 Mecca belonged to the Wahhabi Empire. In 1916, Husain I. Ibn Ali made himself independent of Turkish suzerainty, but had to give way for good after the occupation of the city by Ibn Saud in 1925; In 1926 Mecca was incorporated into Saudi Arabia.

Medina

According to bridgat, Medina, Al-Madina, is an oasis city in Saudi Arabia, in the Hidjas in an irrigated plain at the foot of a volcanic plateau, 639 m above sea level, (2018) 1.4 million residents.

Islamic University (founded in 1961), Taibah University (founded in 2003), libraries. Medina is (after Mecca) the second most important place of pilgrimage in Islam (closed to non-Muslims) and an important trading center; extensive date palm groves and vegetable gardens; Seawater desalination plant; Airfield.

The “Great Mosque” (built in 707–709), which was groundbreaking for the development of the Islamic mosque, with a. the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed, crowned by a green dome, was reconstructed and rebuilt after fires (1256 and 1481) (especially 15th / 16th centuries), most recently in the late Ottoman period (1848-60). Much of this renovation was replaced in the first half of the 1950s by a new building with two inner courtyards, which was greatly expanded in 1985-90, so that it now occupies almost the entire space of the former, demolished old town and takes into account the rapidly increasing number of pilgrims (Space for 130,000 people).

Medina, when Jathrib was already an important city on the Frankincense Route in pre-Islamic times and since the 1st millennium BC. Inhabited in 622 BC, took in Mohammed and his companions after his emigration from Mecca (Hidjra) and was renamed in Medina (Arabic for “place of [religious] jurisdiction”), the center of the early Islamic community he created (632–656 capital of the Arab-Islamic empire and residence of the caliphs). The Umayyad Caliph Walid I (705-715) left the site of the former house and the grave of Muhammad and his daughter Fatima build the “Great Mosque” with the help of Byzantine builders; therefore, as the “city of the prophets” or “enlightened city”, Medina became one of the holy places of Islam. From 1517/1532 under Ottoman rule, 1803–13 belonging to the Wahhabi Empire, 1916–18 center of the “Kingdom of Hidjas” of Husain I Ibn Ali, Medina came to Saudi Arabia in 1924.

Jeddah

Djidda [d ʒ -], Jeddah, Jidda [d ʒ -], Jedda [d ʒ -], port city in Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea, 70 km west of Mecca, second largest with (2018) 4.4 million residents City of the country.

Djidda is the seat of foreign diplomatic missions and the state radio and television company, has a university (founded in 1967), technical schools and museums (Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum). As the economic center of the country, it is the seat of numerous banks and insurance companies as well as the Saudi Arab Airlines; Oil refinery, steel rolling mill, cement factory, assembly plant for commercial vehicles, large power plant, seawater desalination plants. Main trading port in the country; the international airport, 25 km north of Jeddah, is one of the largest and most modern on earth (design: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill); Terminal with large tent roof construction (completed in 1982). The port and airport are meeting points for pilgrims to Mecca.

Three reconstructed city gates give an impression of the former city fortifications (destroyed in 1940). In the listed old town (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014) there are tower-like houses with wooden-barred oriels from the 18th and 19th centuries. Sights include the restored Nasif House and the Al-Shafee Mosque. The skyrocketing oil profits since 1973 made the modern expansion of the city possible. The sports hall of the university (1981) was built by F. Otto and R. Gutbrod. The National Commercial Bank was built by the SOM group of architects from 1982. The Kingdom Tower has been located since 2013 (Architect: A. Smith) under construction, which, with a planned height of around 1,000 m, will be the tallest building in the world upon completion. In the open-air museum “Corniche” a. Sculptures by H. Moore and V. Vasarély.

Djidda, a pre-Islamic foundation, important in the Middle Ages as a fortress and especially as a port for Mecca, came to the Ottomans after 1532. At the beginning of the 19th century it was the scene of the clashes between Mehmed Ali and the Wahhabis. Up until the destruction by the Wahhabis there was a monumental burial place of the ancestral mother Eva (Djidda is the Arabic term for “grandmother”). In 1916, Djidda came to the Kingdom of Hidjas, and in 1925 to Saudi Arabia.

jeddah saudi arabia

Customized trip – Everest Base Camp & Island Peak 6189m Climbing trip

Customized trip – Everest Base Camp & Island Peak 6189m Climbing trip

Basic travel information

Climbing trip in the legendary Mount Everest National Park, Nepal’s Himalayas.

We get used to the thin atmosphere by visiting Mount Everest base camp before climbing Island Peak. The demanding but rewarding journey culminates in the ascent to the top of Island Peak, or Imja Tsen in Nepali (6189 m). The ascent takes place along fixed ropes with the help of logging and ice irons.

The mountain is not technically difficult and is well suited for the first 6,000-meter Himalayan peak. The trip is suitable for experienced hikers and those interested in mountaineering.

MINIMUM GROUP SIZE 2 people

Itinerary

DAY 1 – KATHMANDU

Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel. In the evening there is the opportunity to make last minute purchases for hiking.

NOTE: Hotel accommodation according to international practice from 14:00. If your flight arrives in the morning, when booking your trip, select the day before arrival as the arrival date.

ACCOMMODATION IN
HOTEL MOONLIGHT OR SIMILAR

DAY 2 – LUKLA – PHAKDING

An early flight to the Everest area to Lukla, where our trek begins. Our equipment will be transferred to our sher carriers. Overnight in Phakding village (2610 m).

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 3 – NAMCHE BAZAAR

We ascend through the pine and spruce forest sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar (3450 m).

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 4 – NAMCHE BAZAAR

We get used to the thin atmosphere by taking a few hours walk to the vantage point above the city from where there is a magnificent view of the Everest massif

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 5 – PHORTSE

The route of the day begins at about 2h with a steady transition to Sanasa, after which we ascend a calm and airy route to the pass of Mong La, where we will have lunch. We descend to Phortse Thanga, from where about an hour ascent to the village of Phortse (3840 m). The scenery of the Kang Tega and Gokyo Valley glaciers is bold.

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 6 – PANGBOCHE

One of the most beautiful hiking trails takes us high above the Imja Khola River to the village of Pangboche (3860 m), one of the highest year-round villages in the Everest region.

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 7 – DINGBOCHE

Our route rises steadily over the tree line to the village of Dingboche (4410 m) at the beginning of the Khumbu Valley. We get used to the thin atmosphere and take a trip to the village of Chukung (4730 m), located at the foot of the impressive three-kilometer south wall of Lhotse. Island Peak appears from Chukung for the first time.

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 8 – DINGBOCHE

At this altitude, it is good to get another rest period to adjust, just relax or enjoy a nice day trip to Chukung overlooking the Imja valleys and Lhotse face.

ACTIVITIES
FREE DAY

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 9 – DOUGLA

Short hike to Dughla (4600 m). In the afternoon, the opportunity to ascend to the edge of the Khumbu Glacier, which offers stunning views of the upper valley.

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 10 – LOBUCHE

Following the Khumbu Glacier, we ascend to the barren village of Lobuche (4910 m). In the afternoon the opportunity to climb to the edge of the glacier to admire the huge stream of ice.

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 11 – GORAKSHEP

We continue our journey following the Khumbu Glacier to Gorakshep (5140 m). Opportunity to ascend the ridge of Kala Pathar (5545 m), which offers the best views of the summit of Everest and the base camp.

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 12 – EVEREST BASE CAMP

We hike following the edge of the glacier and eventually along the Khumbu Glacier itself to Everest Base Camp (5360 m). The views of Khumbu Icefall are breathtaking. We return the same route to Gorakshep and on to Lobuche.

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 13 – DINGBOCHE – CHUKUNG

We ascend a familiar route to the village of Chukung (4730 m) where we will stay for the next 2 nights.

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 14 – CHUKUNG

A day of rest and practice in Chukung. We practice the rope and climbing techniques needed to climb Island Peak and gather strength for the coming dawn.

ACTIVITIES
TRAINING IN CLIMBING TECHNIQUES

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 15 – ISLAND PEAK BASE CAMP

Following the edge of the glacier, we ascend to the base camp of Island Peak (5150 m) and prepare for the ascent of the next night. (L, I)

ACTIVITIES
CLIMBING

ACCOMMODATION IN
TENT

DAY 16 – ISLAND PEAK

We start the ascent towards the top of Imja Tsen (6189 m) in the morning in the light of the headlamps. We ascend from the glacier to the top with the help of solid ropes. Stunning views of the south wall of Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Makalu. (UNDER)

ACCOMMODATION IN
TENT

DAY 17 – ISLAND PEAK

We have set aside an extra day for the summit in case of bad weather or illness. (UNDER)

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
TENT

DAY 18 – CHUKUNG

After the summit, we return to Chukung and further down towards Namche Bazaar. (A)

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 19 – NAMCHE BAZAAR

In Namche, we celebrate the last days of hiking by taking a sauna in the Finnish sauna and making the last souvenir purchases in the small alleys.

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 20 – LUKLA

We hike to Lukla and have our last supper together with the whole expedition. We say goodbye to the plaintiffs, chefs and helpers before the next morning flight back to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu.

ACTIVITIES
HIKING

ACCOMMODATION IN
GUESTHOUSE

DAY 21 – KATHMANDU

We fly early in the morning from Lukla to the human bustle of Kathmandu.

ACCOMMODATION
HOTEL MOONLIGHT OR SIMILAR

DAY 22 – KATHMANDU

We will visit Kathmandu’s Royal Square and Swayambhunath’s Buddhist stupa and relax before returning. (I)

ACTIVITIES
CITY TOUR

ACCOMMODATION
HOTEL MOONLIGHT OR SIMILAR

DAY 23 – RETURN

Transfer from the hotel to the airport. (A)

MEALS: [A] BREAKFAST [L] LUNCH [I] DINNER

Customized trip - Everest Base Camp & Island Peak 6189m climbing trip

Money and Fund Transfer in Turkmenistan

Money and Fund Transfer in Turkmenistan

According to plus-size-tips, the Turkmenistan currency is the new Turkmenistan manat (TMT). The exchange rate is set by the Turkmenistan Central Bank and has been based on a rate of 3.41 manat per dollar since it was devalued in January 2015. With this exchange rate, the currency is considered significantly overvalued. Accordingly, a lively black market for currency transactions has developed. The deviation from the official exchange rate is between 20 and 100% depending on the season (smaller deviation in summer than in winter), day of the week (the greatest deviation is achieved in the middle of the week) and time (smaller deviation at noon than in the morning).

In the course of the current economic crisis, the TMT on the black markets fell significantly in value in the course of 2017 and is currently 4 to 7 TMT per US dollar, depending on the region and negotiating skills. Taking into account the associated (considerable!) Risks, visitors can therefore significantly reduce the costs of their stay in the country with good negotiations.

However, exchanging money outside of the state-licensed exchange offices and banks is illegal and is severely punished. The risk is incalculable. Accordingly, black market transactions are urgently advised against, despite the tempting exchange rates. In addition, every time you change money, you have to obtain an exchange receipt stating that the exchange has taken place legally. Receipts issued on the black market are often crude forgeries that can hardly be identified as such by the visitor, but unequivocally by the inspectors upon departure and then lead to major problems.

Traders still use the units of the old Turkmenistan manat, but for the sake of simplicity reduced by a factor of 1000. If a trader requests “150” for a product in the bazaar, this can mean 150 TMT (about 44 USD according to the official exchange rate or 25 USD if it was exchanged at a cheap black market rate). As a rule, however, this means 150,000 old Turkmenistan manats and accordingly 30 TMT, which in turn results in a dollar price of 5 to 8 USD. Whether the product offered in the example is offered for USD 5 or USD 44 depends on whether the retailer is calculating in the old or new manat as well as on the honesty and skill of the visitor in exchanging his foreign currency in TMT.

It should be noted that hotels, travel agencies and other service providers are increasingly requesting receipts from state banks for the exchange of currency when paying in TMT.

All foreign currencies must be declared upon entry. It is not allowed to export more foreign currency out of the country than was brought in on entry. The difference between imported foreign exchange and the (lower) sum of exported foreign exchange must be proven by means of exchange receipts during random exit controls. It is essential to keep the exchange receipts issued for every legal exchange of money. These controls can be time-consuming, and a corresponding waiting time should be taken into account when planning the time to cross the border. In line with the increasing discrepancy between the official exchange rate and the exchange rate traded on the street, these controls have been tightened since the beginning of 2015.

Incorrect information in the currency form will be severely punished. The import or export of money that goes beyond the usual needs should be clarified with the Turkmenistan business partners to avoid difficulties.

Almost all payments are made in cash. Very few hotels accept credit cards (VISA, Master Card). Credit cards are unknown outside of these hotels. Dollar bills can be changed at all major banks, euros at the branches of Prezidentbank and some other banks. The commissioned tourism organization can provide information on this. In any case, make sure that the dollar and euro bills are absolutely flawless. The bills will be rejected if they are damaged, discolored or marked. If they show only minor damage or several kinks, it is occasionally possible to exchange at least at a worse exchange rate. All US $ bills printed before 1996 will be rejected without exception. In addition, exchanging US $ 100 bills can be difficult.

The export of manat is not allowed, but is tolerated for the smallest amounts (in the sense of souvenirs)

Outside of Turkmenistan, it is not possible to buy new Turkmenistan manats or to exchange them for other currencies.

The exchange of manat for foreign currency has not been possible without restrictions since 2016. No consistent regulation is currently discernible in this regard. Numerous banks forbid the redemption entirely, some only exchange upon presentation of exchange receipts as proof of legally acquired manat, with some banks the redemption is still successful. In line with the unpredictable development, it is therefore advisable to orient the exchange of foreign currency in manat to actual needs and to exchange them if necessary. The exchange of foreign currency in manat is possible at any time without any problems.

Experience has shown that foreigners can usually still be exchanged for comparatively small sums by submitting the exchange receipts as proof of the previously legal exchange of foreign currency into manats. The exchange receipt will then be canceled according to the amount exchanged.

ATMs are extremely rare. Locations of functioning machines are currently not known.

Due to the constantly changing regulations, no guarantee can be given for this information either. If in doubt, it makes sense to inquire at the tourism agency and the relevant Turkmenistan embassy.

 

Sign for the Prezidentbank Turkmenistan

The Best Street Food Cities in Asia

The Best Street Food Cities in Asia

George Town in Malaysia

George Town in Malaysia

My last three stops are literally being traded as the Mecca of street food . We’ll start with what is probably the best street food city in Malaysia: George Town on Penang in western Malaysia, which has also made it onto the UNESCO World Heritage List.

You should try this:

  • Char koay teow
  • Dim Sum
  • Nasi Kandar
  • Satay
  • Nasi Campur

The city has long been known to foodies and Asia lovers as a top destination for good and above all inexpensive street food, so that George Town has rightly earned a place on the list of the best street food cities. The Malaysian cuisine, which is similar to the Indonesian, has a mix of cultures and tastes ready for you. Indian, Chinese, hot, mild, sweet, sour – in Malaysia it’s definitely the mix that makes the difference. Taste your way through Malaysian cuisine in the buildings called Hawker Center before going on a sightseeing tour of one of the most diverse cities in the country. Tip: Especially at the George Town Festival, which takes place every summer, the whole city is on its feet and shows what it can do culturally. Well then, selera makan yang baik, bon appetit!

Thailand – not only worth a visit in culinary terms

Singapore - the mother of street food

Still popular with foodies despite the ban, Thailand’s capital is Bangkok, where it’s incredibly difficult to escape the delightful smell exuding from the food stalls. According to healthvv.com, at every corner you also come into contact with locals, who like to bring you closer to their culture on this way.

You should try this:

  • Thai curry
  • pad Thai
  • Sticky rice with mango
  • Papaya salad

In this context, I can recommend Bangkok’s night markets , because locals in particular like to eat there. When it comes to the selection of stands, there are now even street food guides who are supposed to make the selection much easier and also give helpful tips on the way so that you know exactly what is ahead of you. In general, it can be said that Thailand’s cuisine scores with freshness, healthy and light ingredients and quick preparation. The different curries are always recommended (have you read my Bangkok tips , do you know what to look for here!), Fried rice or fried noodles with all kinds of vegetables and all kinds of soups. And certainly one or the other is brave enough to do the same giving fried insects a chance. These are considered a delicacy in Thailand and score with their high protein content. Unfortunately, most of the street food stalls in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, have now been banned by the government . Nevertheless, you can still find the typical food stalls in the back streets of the metropolis. Kor hai mue nee pen mue arhan tea aroi na!

Singapore – the mother of street food

Singapore - the mother of street food

Have you already had to loosen your belt or have you even slipped into your sweatpants? Now it is time to mobilize the last of your strength to pay a visit to THE street food city par excellence.

You should try this:

  • Dim Sum
  • Satay skewers
  • Lor Mee
  • Katong Laksa
  • Curries

We’re talking about Singapore! An annual street food festival, countless guides to help you find the perfect location, huge malls that want to outdo each other in terms of the number of their street food stands. As you can see, everything in Singapore depends on the concept of “food to go”. Here, too, you should try curries, soups and noodles, but also try crabs (served whole) with chilli, “dim sum” (filled and steamed dumplings) or satay skewers with peanut sauce. A poem, I tell you. If you want something to look at with dessert, you should go for Ice Kacang. This “mountain” of all kinds of exotic ingredients gets its bright color from condensed milk, which is dripped over the top together with rose syrup and sarsis syrup. The saying “eat with your eyes” takes on a completely different meaning here, doesn’t it? You should definitely visit Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle , the cookshop has even been awarded a Michelin star .

That brings us to the end of my street food journey! Surely you were able to collect a few suggestions for your next travel destination and why shouldn’t this time be chosen based on its culinary highlights ? Have you discovered any interesting street food on your travels or do you have a tip for me as to where my next culinary journey should take me? Then always bring it on! Until then I have to get rid of some ballast …

Discoverers and vegetarians listened to and off to Tel Aviv

Now I’m going to Israel, more precisely to Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is not only an ideal destination to break out of your travel routine, it is also ideal for discovering new, exciting dishes.

You should try this:

  • Falafel
  • Hummus
  • Sabich
  • Shakshuka

Especially the vegetarians among you will find a true paradise here, but all dishes will certainly taste delicious to meat eaters. Falafel in all possible combinations is probably Tel Aviv’s most famous street food and is eaten here almost around the clock.

The fried balls (primarily made from pureed chickpeas or beans as well as spices and herbs) come with tahini (sesame paste) or hummus (chickpea puree) in a flatbread and can then be eaten with pleasure by hand. Sabich actually comes from Iraq, but is also gaining popularity in Israel. Behind this is a pita that is filled with fried aubergines, eggs, pickled cucumbers, onions and hummus, although the composition varies depending on the location and provider. You can find the best at Frishman Falafel & Frishman Sabich near Tel Aviv Port. With this delicacy in hand, you can then look for a quiet place on the harbor promenade and keep an eye on the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.

Vietnam Travel Plan

Vietnam Travel Plan

Shot for VM by abbreviationfinder, Vietnam is the country with friendly people, culture, food experiences and wonderful beaches. As a visitor here, you are regarded with curiosity and a never-failing hospitality. The Vietnamese culture is exciting and history is reminded everywhere in the many fascinating sights. Here is soft white sand, clear water and palm trees that provide much-needed shade. The Mekong River flows down from Laos via Cambodia and offers fantastic experiences along the way. Make short excursions from the boat and take the opportunity to visit the countryside, why not by bike! You can not get closer to the population, highly recommended.

Vietnam

VIETNAM

Hanoi
Many travelers consider Hanoi to be the most beautiful capital city in Asia. It is the combination of esplanades surrounded by large trees and small intimate streets along with low-rise buildings and many open spaces with parks and lakes. In addition to this, Hanoi has active commercial life, good cafes, fantastic street food and many pagodas, churches and temples. You should experience this – it’s a great mix!

Halong Bay
Halong Bay takes your breath away! In this scenic area are no less than 3000 sugar-top-shaped islands that stretch towards the Chinese border. Crossing the turquoise waters and visiting the thousand-year-old limestone caves is a fantastic experience that will be long forgotten. There is a lot to discover and in the archipelago it is easy to find a peaceful place where you can swim, fish or just take it easy surrounded by majestic scenery. This is a very special and romantic getaway.

Hoi An
Is the highlight of any trip to Vietnam. This city is full of charm and history and has largely escaped destruction during all the wars that have befallen the country. The once sleepy village on the river bank is now a tourist town with hotels, restaurants, bars, tailors and souvenir shops dominating the streetscape of the old center. Despite this sense of unreality, Hoi An’s charisma is pervasive.

Saigon
Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, is the most modern and vibrant city in Vietnam. There are many reasons to stay a few days in Ho Chi Minh City and the historical sights are just a few of them. The Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City Museum and the Cu Chi Tunnel showcase parts of modern Vietnamese history and are definitely worth a visit. The city offers beautiful art, exotic shopping and fragrant noodle soup. But perhaps it is still the knowledge that one of the most significant wars in modern history took place here that most people associate with the city.

Mekong
A cruise that is far from today’s mammoth ships but instead a quiet journey that takes you back to colonial times. From the water you experience nature and local life in a completely different way than from land. Houses, villages, temples and people’s smiles come very close. The Mekong River is the lifeblood of millions of people and it is teeming with life both in the water and along the shores. There is always something to stare at or someone to wave to. The river is one of the world’s longest and most water – rich.

VIETNAM

Saigon “by night”.
You will be picked up with scooters at the hotel at 18.00. Your first stop is at Café Zoom to “see the world go by” (quoted by Lonely Planet), enjoy a cocktail and light meals before your dinner at a local restaurant. You will experience Saigon’s nightlife as the locals do, everything from the saddle of a Vespa. You make your way through the bustling traffic to Chinatown and then to District 4, along busy streets and alleys, to experience the nightlife, try food and drink from street food, places that few tourists find on their own. You continue from District 4 to District 3 and pass through the center on the way to Banh Xeo, with food specialties from southern Vietnam. A little later in the evening you make a back-street stop at a café with live music and finally you have a drink at a local bar before you return to your hotel at 22.00.

VIETNAM

According to Countryaah, Vietnam stretches just over 160 km along the Gulf of Tonkin, the South China Sea and the Gulf of Siam in Southeast Asia. The country borders China, Laos and Cambodia and is on the surface as three quarters of Sweden. Where it is narrowest, the country is only 50 km from the coast to the western border.

Climate

Vietnam is located in the tropical region and especially in the south, the climate is hot and humid. Since a large part of the country is mountainous, the climate elsewhere is rather subtropical. In the north and at high altitudes it can be really cool.

Visa

Swedish citizens can stay in Vientnam for up to 15 days without a visa. A valid passport and departure ticket must be presented on arrival. If you do not have an exit ticket or want to stay in the country for more than 15 days, you should apply for a visa in advance.

A visa is required for Cambodia.

Currency

Viet Nam Dong VND

100VND = 0.04SEK

Language

Vietnamese is the official language. At least thirty minority languages ​​(eg Thai, Thai, Chinese).

Vaccinations

Mandatory – The yellow fever vaccination is required if you arrive from certain countries in Africa or South America.

Recommended – Malaria prophylaxis. Check with your vaccination center for personal needs.

Vietnam 2