About Indonesia

The Republic of Indonesia comprises the world's largest archipelago, spanning 3,200 miles from east to west along the Equator-roughly equivalent to the expanse of United State from coast to coast-and 1,100 miles from north to south. Indonesia's 13,667 islands are nestled between two continents, Asia and Australia, and two oceans, the Indian and the Pacific.

Main Islands: Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Bali, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, and Irian Jaya (the western part of New Guinea).

Area: Indonesia's land are totals 782,665 square-miles and its sea territory 1,222,466 square-miles. Indonesia shares land border with Malaysia, Brunei Darusalam and Papua New Guinea and sea border with Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia.

Major Cities: Jakarta (the capital; 1990 Census population: 8.2 million), Surabaya (2.5 million), Bandung (2.0 million), Medan (1.7 million), Semarang (1.2 million).

Climate: Equatorial, but cooler in the highlands. Temperatures generally range from 68 to 89 degrees. Humidity ranges from 60 to 90 percent. Indonesia's "wet season" lasts from November through April and its "dry season" from May through October, with slight variations in its regional sub-climatic zones.

Population: With 179 million inhabitants in 1990, Indonesia is ranked the world's fourth most populous nation after China, India and Pakistan.

Annual Growth Rate: 1.97 percent from 1980 to 1990.

Language and Ethnicity: While largely of Malay stock, the inhabitants of the Indonesia archipelago constitute a rich array of some 300 distinct cultures, each with its own individual language or dialect. Virtually all Indonesians are united by a common national language, Bahasa Indonesia.

Religion: A full 85 percent of Indonesians subscribe to the Islamic faith, ten percent to Christianity, two percent to Hinduism, and three percent to either Buddhism or animism.

Education: Ninety percent of Indonesians attend primary schools, and 86.3 percent are literate. There are 49 state universities and over 200 private universities.



Yogyakarta or simply Yogya, is one of the foremost cultural centers of Java. Located at the foot of the active Merapi volcano, Yogyakarta was in the 16th and 17th centuries the seat of the mighty Javanese empire of Mataram., from which present day Yogyakarta has inherited the best of traditions. The city itself has a special charm which seldom fails to captivate the visitor.

This province is one of the most densely populated areas of Indonesia. The city came into being in 1755, after the division of Mataram into the Sultanates of Yogyakarta and Surakarta (Solo). Gamelan, classical and contemporary Javanese dances, the wayang kulit leather puppet theater and other expressions of traditional art will keep the visitor spellbound. Local craftsmen excel in the arts of batiks, silver and leather work.

The Sultan's palace is the hub of Yogya's traditional life and despite the advance of modernity, it still emanates the spirit of refinement which has been the hallmark of Yogya's art for centuries. Next to the traditional, contemporary art has found fertile soil in Yogya's culture oriented society. ASRI, the Academy of Fine Arts is the center of arts and Yogya itself has given its name to an important school of modern painting in Indonesia, perhaps best personified by the famed Indonesian impressionist, the late Affandi.

Yogya is often called the main gateway to the center of Java where it is geographically located. It stretches from Mount Merapi to the Indian Ocean. There is daily air service to Yogya from Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali as well as regular train service and easy accessibility by road.

Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace

The palace court with its grand and elegant Javanese architecture lies in the center of the city. It was founded by Prince Mangkubumi in 1755. The Prince was then called Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono

I. He chose the right location of the compound between the Winongo River and the Code River. The palace stretches out from north to south.

The front yard is called alun-alun Utara (the North Square), and the back yard is called Alun-alun Selatan (the South Square).

The layout of the buildings shows that the Palace, the commemorative column and Mount Merapi lie in one line.

The palace meeting hall is called the Pagelaran, where formal meetings of palace officials are held, while the "Manguntur Tingkil" hall is the place where the Sultan is seated.

The palace visitors can enjoy the atmosphere of the kraton in former times by visiting the life-size diorama of wedding ceremonies on the palace meeting hall, performed by puppets which are intentionally arranged to create such an atmosphere. Sets of Javanese musical instruments, antiques and heirlooms have made the palace of Yogyakarta worth to visit.

Water Castle

Built in 1758 by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I just west of the kraton, part of this pleasure garden and castle is at present no more than an intriguing collection of ruins, pools, arches and underground passages enclosed by massive walls, however, the central courtyard with the nymph-baths has been restored.

The Water Castle is located in the older part of the city within walking distance from the Bird Market. A number of batik workshops line the avenue leading to the pleasure garden's entrance.


Imogiri is the official cemetery of the royal descendants from Yogyakarta and Surakarta. The royal graveyard is located on a hilltop, reachable by 345 stone steps leading to it.

Imogiri is about 17 kms southeast of Yogyakarta and easily accessible by bus or car. The tombs are built within three main courtyards.

Entry into the smaller courtyards housing the tombs of the princes is allowed only on Monday 09.00 - 12.00 or Friday 13.00 - 16.00. Traditional Javanese dress has to be worn, which however can be hired on the spot at a modest fee. The cemetery is closed during the Moslem month of Ramadhan.

Prambanan Temple

This magnificent Shivaite temple derives it name from the village where it is located. Locally known as the Loro Jonggrang Temple, or the Temple of the "Slender Virgin", it is the biggest and most beautiful Hindu temple in Indonesia.

Seventeen kilometers east of Yogyakarta, it is believed to have been built by King Balitung Maha Sambu in the middle of the ninth century. Its parapets are adorned with a bas-reliefs depicting the famous Ramayana story.

The first open-air theater on the southern side of the temple was built in 1960 and the new theater on the western side of the temple in 1988. During full moon evenings in the month from May to October, the Ramayana ballet is performed right here. The temple complex of Prambanan lies among green fields and villages. It has eight shrines, of which the three main ones are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.

The main temple of Shiva rises to a height of 130 feet and houses the magnificent statue of Shiva's consort, Durga.

Museum Sonobudoyo

This museum, founded in November 1935 and designed by the Dutch architect Kersten, is built in traditional Javanese architecture. It exhibits weapons, leather and wooden puppets of wayang theater, masks, statues, textiles, curios and old Javanese gamelan instruments. The museum is situated on the northern side of the city's main square in front of the Sultan's Palace.


Kotagede, about five kilometers southeast of Yogyakarta, is a neat little town which was once the seat of the mighty Mataram empire. In this old palace town with its walled-in houses, the graves of the first rulers of Mataram are still to be found. Since the 1930s, however, Kotagede has become famous for being the center of the Yogya silverwork industry. Kotagede is easily reached by "andong", the four wheeled horse-drawn cart, by taxi, bus, or car.

There are a number of workshops where visitors are welcome to watch silver being transformed into beautiful works of art known as "Yogya Silver".

Affandi Museum

On the main road between the airport and the city stands the Affandi Museum (1907 - 1990) in a lush garden next to his peculiar private home on stilts. He was Indonesia's foremost impressionist painter who built a private museum for his own paintings and of those of his daughter Kartika. Affandi's grave (died in May 1990) lies in the backyard next to the museum.


Southwest of Yogyakarta lies the village of Kasongan, known for its artistic pottery and earthenware. Guidance from contemporary Indonesian artists has turned Kasongan earthenware into works of art which can be bought inexpensively at art shops all over Java.

Batik Research Center

Situated on the eastern outskirts of the city, it has an interesting permanent exhibition of batiks in classic and modern designs. The process of batik can also be seen here, both the hand drawn and hand stamped.

Parang Tritis Beach

A seaside resort 27 km south of Yogyakarta on the Indian Ocean. According to Javanese mythology, the Goddess of the South Seas, Nyai Loro Kidul or Ratu Kidul, was married to Panembahan Senopati who founded the Mataram Kingdom. Since that time, every year the sultans of Yogyakarta have made special offerings to her in a beach-side ceremony called "Labuhan".


This resort on the slopes of Mt. Merapi, 24 km north of Yogyakarta is surrounded by an enchanting countryside. The "Telogo Muncar" waterfall and swimming pool make this resort a very pleasant recreation place. Bungalows are available for rent.

Shopping Hints

Batik, leather puppets, silverware, tortoise shell and horn ornaments, pottery, antique jewelry and paintings.


Easy Bali Travel Guide

Easy Bali Travel Guide - One must have Guide for Beautiful Beaches of Bali   by Gen Wright

We know Bali is beautiful and it's a Great place to Visit. We cannot define Bali in words. But to enjoy Bali all that it offers you definitely need one Easy travel guide. A must have guide for everyone.

Visiting Indonesia is perfectly a sail you will never Forget. Program a continued ride to get there, because Its a pretty long distance from US, Minimum of 28 hours.

Bali is terrific area with range of fun filled activities to select from. It is the main tourist destination of Indonesia. Best thing you would like is that people of Bali are very very co-operative and friendly too, and they enjoy tourists visiting their Areas. People talk English so it is not a problem for you to interact with them. They've selected to save their culture for all to see rather than alter it to become like other nations. The beaches are a main attraction with surfing being one of the most popular activities. Others enjoy renting a boat for the day to relax on the blue waters. people of Bali love painting, weaving, carving, basket making, and other arts because it's part of culture. People start learning it from their childhood.

Residing in Bali ranges from small bungalows to huge fancy hotels, all with basic accommodations to meet the needs of tourists. view from your hotel will be fantastic because of the rich beauty of the area No matters where ever you stay in Bali.

Another main attraction of Bali are temples. They are called Pura in language. Those temples provide an opportunity to explore religion and art of the culture. Temples show respect for their religious beliefs The people of Bali are still very religious, and it is very important that those visiting Bali show respect for their religious beliefs

In Indonesia there are more than six hundred volcanoes in which one twenty eight are still active. It provides an historical view of this natural creation to celebrate. Gardens are also a very popular attraction. Displaying fauna, flora and other plants as well as promoting conservation, people are drawn to the beauty of such attractions.

Another Best thing about Bali is Food. Due to its tasty foods and flavors, It is popular all over the World. Beautiful Bali has a large variety of restaurants and cafes, serving both International and Indonesian food. but I prefer you to always select Indonesian Food. For better or may be for bad, some US based franchises have made a presence in Bali, although almost exclusively bounded it to the south tourist regions. In Bali you will easily find McDonald's, KFC, Starbuck's Coffee, Pizza Hut, and Subway.

In southern Bali Metered taxis are easily accessible and are very common. The starting fee you found will be Rp 5,000 for the first 2 km and the meter ticks up Rp 5,000 per kilometre afterwards. Waiting time is Rp 20,000 per hour. and Trips outside southern Bali will incur added you charge of 30%, as the driver has to get back empty.

Traveling Bali through bi-cycle is possible and easy, it also provides a very different cultural experience.

About the Author

Do you want to rent a private villa in Bali? has been accommodating satisfied guests for years with private villa rentals in Bali.

Bali Hotels

Bali Hotels: Complete Comfort in Indonesian Island

Bali is the ideal place of visit for you, if you are looking for rejuvenation, discovery and fun filled activities. This picturesque land of Bali, with its resplendent beaches, long stretch of coastline, lush green forests and majestic volcanoes just make for a picture perfect place. Bali has still preserved its rituals and customs evident in the ceremonies, cultural programs and festivals. Bali hotels are abundant to accommodate large number of business as well as the leisure travelers planning to spend their days in this Indonesian Island.


At the island of Bali, you would come across luxury hotels, five star hotels, mid – range hotels and budget hotels. Each of the Bali hotels varies from one another in their style, design, amenities and facilities. So choose a hotel in Bali which satisfies your modern tastes and preferences.

The five star hotels of Bali that are mostly opted are the Ritz Carlton, Oberoi, Grand Hyatt, Aston Bali Resort & Spa and Karishma Villa. As you step inside these hotels, you will be greeted to a world of luxury and elegance. The large and spacious cozy rooms would help to relax and unwind and ensures you a gala stay. A host of amenities and services are offered by these hotels to meet the expectations of the business as well as leisure travelers. These hotels also offer a wide range of recreational activities as well. The onsite restaurants serve global cuisines that are a feast to the eye and the palate.

There is no dearth of entertainment at this island as cinema complexes, shopping centers, nightclubs and bars are spread also across the place. You can also try out the thrilling water sports. A stay at Bali would definitely be an out of the world experience.

Some of the well known mid-range Bali hotels are Kutu Seaview Hotel, Green Garden Beach Resort & Spa, La Taverna Hotel and the Barong Kuta Hotel. The mid-range hotels offer comfortable lodging options. The amenities and services offered by these Indonesian hotels cater to your individual needs. Most of these mid range hotels feature on site restaurants serving tasty regional as well as International delicacies.

Bali Scuba Diving

Liveaboard Bali Scuba Diving Cruise

What can be a more adventurous and fulfilling scuba diving vacation experience than liveaboard luxury yacht cruising and scuba diving in the tropical islands of Bali?

Contrary to what many scuba divers think, liveaboard scuba diving may not be as expensive as you think. In fact if planned properly, live on board diving vacations may even save you money and inconveniences. Firstly, you will on transportation time and costs traveling to your dive operator's boat and then after your dive, returning to your hotel or resort lugging your cumbersome scuba diving gear with you and repeating the same process for the next couple of days during your vacation in Bali.

Next, you save money on hotel or resort accommodation because since that you are living on the dive boats, there will be no need for hotel or resort bookings. Furthermore, you do not need to hunt for expensive meals in your hotel or resort since all liveaboard scuba diving packages will include delicious meals which will also mean that you will be probably having very fresh and delectable sea food caught by the crew while you are enjoying your liveaboard cruise.

The highlight of your liveaboard Bali vacation is that you can dive in many exotic dive locations instead of only the dive spots near where you stay. This is because since that you need not return to your resort or hotel to retire for the day, the liveaboard dive yachts will cruise away to far flung scuba diving locations while you are sleeping. This again saves you time and best of all, you get to save more money by diving in more places for the same price.

Here is a typical example of a liveaboard Bali scuba diving itinerary. It is a 7 day Bali excursion.

Day One - Visit one of Bali's most interesting street on the way to Pemuteran & Menjangan North West Bali which will also include a stopover in View Point Restaurant Sanda. You will dive in Pemuteran House Reef & Reef Project or Secret Bay in Gilimanuk

Day Two - Your liveaboard boat will cruise to Menjangan Island. You will be diving at the National Park, Walls, Anker Wreck, Coral Garden, buffet lunch on the white powdery sandy beach of the island. The boat will then land and send you to the north coast and visit a well kept secret Waterfall and a hot spring.

Day Three - Scuba diving activities will be at Amed Tulamben or Secret Spot, Drop Off, Liberty Wreck Dive (American battle ship sunk during WW2) & some wall diving.

Day Four - Some land excursion to enjoy the view of Bali's world famous terraced rice fields in the morning. Then your liveaboard yatcht will take you diving at the Blue Lagoon & White Beach. There will also be a night dive at the Blue Lagoon.

Day Five - Continue your Bali vacation by cruising to Gili Mimpang & Gili Tepekong or Gili Biaha for fantastic dive sites.

Day Six - More scuba diving activities at Gili Biaha or Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan. The sea at these diving locations could be rough at times, so the dives would very much be dependant on the weather. However, if the weather allow, you will be scuba diving in one of the most breath taking underwater scenery in the world.

Day Seven - More scuba diving at the Blue Lagoon, White Beach and the Channel and then off to Bali airport to your next scuba diving adventure.

So if you want to save time and money during your Bali scuba diving vacation, why not try liveaboard luxury boats instead?

Source: Free Articles

About the Author
Chris Chew have been scuba diving for 3 decades. Read his blogs at and

Choose Bali Blinds

Choose Bali Blinds - Enjoy The Choice Of Vinyl Or Aluminum

Bali blinds come in a wide array of colors in both vinyl and aluminum window blinds. You can choose vertical or mini blinds depending on the look you want to achieve in each room of your home. For a special coordinated look, contrast Bali vertical blinds with horizontal Bali blinds in the same room. The type of blind you choose will, of course, depend on the size and shape of your window, but you can get Bali blinds custom made to suit irregularly shaped windows as well.

If you choose vinyl vertical blinds in the Bali style, the slats are 1 inch wide. For horizontal aluminum Bali blinds the slats are larger - 2 inches wide. One inch vinyl Bali vertical blinds or mini blinds are perfect for the bathroom or kitchen window or another room of the home where they may be high levels of humidity on times. These Bali window blinds come with a light-blocking head rail, but it doesn't have a valance. It is designed so that you can install it between the window facings. If you wish you can have a cloth valance over the top of the Bali blind.

For a more contemporary look, try the sleek ? inch micro aluminum Bali blinds. Both these and the 1 inch aluminum Bali window blinds come in an amazing array of colors. The aluminum blinds by Bali contain an advanced finishing technology so that they will resist dust and dirt and are easy to clean. They are also hard to dent or scratch, so that if you want to peep out the window without raising the blind, you can pull the slats apart a tiny bit.

To care for and clean your Bali blinds, regular vacuuming will do the trick. If you notice a stain on one or more of the slats, you can easily wash them off with lukewarm water and a mild cleaner. If you have Bali vertical blinds, you can take out the vanes individually and let them soak in water or lay them flat to wash them off. You may be surprised to learn that if you leave a thin film of detergent on the vanes, it will help eliminate static electricity. Therefore, there is no need to rinse your Bali window blinds completely.

Bali blinds are very durable and will provide you with the window coverings you want for many years. Along with giving you the privacy you need, you can choose to completely block out the light or allow some light to filter through the window blinds. Browse the catalog of Bali blinds to see all the different kinds available and to read about the features of each one.

Source: Free Articles

About the Author
To find out more about Blinds visit Peter's Website The Blinds Guide at and find out about American Blinds and more, including Vertical Blinds, Venetian Blinds, Custom Blinds and Discount Blinds at


Beautiful Indonesian

Beautiful Indonesian teak furniture + Quality Teak Dining Room Furniture

Looking for Indonesian teak furniture is quite exciting. Whether it is for indoors or outdoors, it is durable and long lasting. Teak furniture does not splinter and does not rot. That makes it perfect for outdoors. Add a little beauty in the garden with a teak bench. Put a teak table and chairs on the patio for pleasurable outdoor dining. You can even find wonderful pieces for your indoor living. Desks and tables, occasional tables and bars. So many exciting pieces of teak furniture to choose from.

Many pieces are available in Indonesian teak furniture. Chaise loungers, bars, Adirondack chairs, table and chair sets, and benches. Depending on the style you are looking for, the prices vary just as much. You can also purchase matching cushions to add to the comfort and beauty of your teak furniture.

Indonesian teak furniture turns a beautiful silvery gray patina over time. You can always add a little teak oil to it and bring back the honey glow that was once on it. In Indonesia the people make the furniture by hand. It is quite an art and has become a tourist attraction even . Crowds stop to watch the furniture makers at work. Detail is crafted into this beautiful furniture that will last for years to come. Hardy and long lasting, teak wood is the perfect wood for patio or outdoor use.

Shopping for Indonesian teak furniture is fun. You can find it at many pool and garden shops. Fine furniture stores also carry a wide variety of teak furniture. Shop online and compare prices. Don't forget to ask about shipping and handling. Many items can be found on sale during the summer clearance time at the end of summer. Also, Memorial Day sales and Fourth of July sales are great times to keep an eye out. Teak furniture cost more, but it lasts forever which makes it very economical.

You will be the envy of all your friends with Indonesian teak furniture. Its natural beauty and quality of style will have your friends asking for your help decorating their own homes. So enjoy your furniture for years to come.

Are you searching for a teak dining room furniture set? Not sure where to start? First you need to decide what style you might like. There are many styles to choose from. From antique to contemporary, the choice is yours. Teak dining furniture is available in many styles and sizes.
Do you have a large family? Maybe you need a teak dining furniture set that will seat 6 or 8. They can be found. Smaller ones are more readily available. If you are looking for something that you can use on the patio, teak is the perfect wood for this.

Teak dining room furniture is great for outdoors . Or maybe you want to bring the outdoors inside. Teak wood is a sturdy hardwood that does not splinter. It withstands water, does not rot and lasts a long long time.

Let me tell you where your teak dining room furniture comes from. Southeast Asia is the most common place for finding teak. It is harvested on teak farms and it takes 50 years to complete the cycle. The people of Indonesia craft this wood and it has even become a tourist attraction in the city. Watching them hard at work is a must see. Teak wood turns a silvery gray patina over time. The weather does not harm the wood only gives it a personality. You can use a little teak oil to restore the honey glow to the wood.

You can find teak dining room furniture in many fine furniture stores. The styles and prices will vary. Check online and compare prices before you shop. Research the company and the customer service policy. Also, read the feedback that other customers have left for you. You can also purchase teak online. The shipping and handling fees vary so be sure to ask.

You will be glad you purchased teak dining room furniture when you have your first dinner party and your friends and family will rave over your taste and selection in fine furniture. You will be the envy of the neighborhood. Teak wood lasts a lifetime so that makes it such an economic purchase in the long run.

Source: Free Articles

About the Author
Having spent months of research on different subjects, for independant companies, Andrew Manifield has decided to publish his articles on many subjects at his own website, visit to learn more.


Indian Travel Tourism

Indian Travel Tourism    by juliemeena

The worldâ leading travel and Tourism Journal, “Conde Nast Traveler, ranked India amongst top 4 preferred holiday destinations in the world! There are number of factors responsible for the growth of Indian tourism at global level. India is a peaceful country without any political disturbance except for few destinations where a tourist is required to get special permission from local authority to enter into that area. The country has a federal structure with elected Governments in States. There are 28 states and 7 Union Territories administered directly by the Central Government. There is healthy competition of Tour Packages among all the states to attract the tourists from all over the world for speedy economic growth and employment generation. Not only this Ministry of Tourism and Culture has recently launched a campaign called Incredible India! in order to encourage different types of tourism in India.

Types of Indian Tourism All types of tourism in India projecting India as the ultimate tourist spot. The reason why India has been doing well in all types of tourism is that India is a multilingual, multicultural and multireligious with tremendous geographical diversity, hospitality, uniqueness and charm. The different types of Tourism in India are as follows:

Religious or Pilgrimage Tourism India is famous for its temples and that is the reason that among the different kinds of tourism in India, pilgrimage tourism is increasing most rapidly. Narayan Sarovar, Sudamas Porbandar, Kabirvad Shuklatirth, Kayavarohan, Bhadrakali, Haridwar, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Varanasi, Gangotri and Yamunotri, Rishikesh, Shamlaji, Bodh Gaya, Ajmer, are important pilgrimage destinations which have kept alive the religious sentiments of the people where lakhs of pilgrims from all over the world make their religious tourism every year.

Archaeological Tourism There are a number of places of archaeological importance which can be broadly classified as Stone Age, Indus Valley, Neolithic-Chalcolithic, Megalithic-Early Historic and Late Historic periods. Famous archaeological sites of the Stone Age are abound in Peninsular India, more prominently at Pallavaram in Tamil Nadu, Hunsgi in Karnataka, Kuliana in Orissa, Didwana in Rajasthan, and Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh. The sites of Neolithic-Chalcolithic Age are Inamgaon, Walki, Navdatoli, Ahar, Balathal, Gilund, Budhihal, Sangankalur, Maski, Brahmagiri, Utnur, Golbai, Pandu-Rajar-Dhibi, Chirand and Burzoham etc. Famous sites of Indus Valley Civilisation are Indus and Ghaggar river valleys, Kutch and Saurashtra, Dholavira, Kalibangan, Lothal, Surkotda and Rakhigari. Famous sites of Megalithic Phase are Brahmagiri, Maski and Rajan Kalur, Bhagimari, Gadabas etc. Excavations at Kosambi, Saranath, Hastinapura, Vaishali, Rajgir and Bodh Gaya, Chandraketugarh, Sisupalgarh etc. have revealed fortified cities dating back to this period. Famous sites of Buddhist Phase are Sanchi, Saranath, Ajanta, Kaneheri, Amravati, Sanati and Lalitgiri. Sites of Jainism Phase are Khandagiri-Udayagiri, Mathura. Some Islamic Archaeological sites are Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Hyderabad, northern Karnataka, Aurangabad, and Bhopal.


Germany Travel Tips

Germany Travel Tips

Restaurants and Bars - You do not get water for free, you have to pay for it. If you order water you will get carbonated water. In most restaurants you can request tap water and they may or may not charge you but it is most likely straight from the sink. In some American fast food restaurants, (i.e. McDonalds) you must pay for ketchup as well. Be aware that the menus at most fast food restaurants in Germany are not exactly the same. You may also notice that a sandwich that you recognize from back home may taste a little different or it could be smaller. When you enter a restaurant you will not be seated, just walk right in and pick the table of your choice!- the tip should be much smaller than you would give in the States (this is because the waiters/waitresses get paid more than in the states) A tip of two or three EUR would be considered a good tip for very good service.

Supermarkets - If you shop for groceries in Germany you will notice the supermarkets have all of their large rolling carts outside in a designated area and they are locked to one another. In order to utilize a cart you must place one EUR in the cart itself, you will see the slot on the handle. Upon leaving the supermarket you latch the cart back to the other carts and pull the device out where you placed the coin, now you can retrieve your coin. When you have all of the groceries you want, proceed to the check-out counter. You will have to purchase plastic bags to put the groceries in or you can take one in yourself. If you decide to purchase one they are usually visible at the counter and normally only cost a few cents. If there is a long line do not put all of your groceries in the bag, put them back into the cart and bag them away from the line.

Closing hours - On Sunday everything is closed except for some restaurants, bars, gas stations and shops at the main train station and bigger airports. Some bigger stores are realizing that they can make much more money if they open on Sunday so they are doing just that, but I would not rely on it. During the week shops in bigger cities close at 8 PM at the latest. You may see shops in smaller cities closing even earlier.

Public Phones - Public phones are very rare in Germany. If you find one you will notice that they only take telephone cards. You can buy a telephone card in different shops like "T-Punkt", "Telekom", "Post", and "Vodafone" or you can go to an Internet cafe.

Miscellaneous - "Bad" in front of a towns name does not mean that the people or the city is bad for example, "Bad Homburg". Bad in front of a towns name normally means that the town is designated as a healthy location normally with very clean air and water.

Paris travel guide

Paris travel guide: Paris on a budget   by Joshua Thorpe

Although normally associated with visions of grandeur and high society, at times of tightly stretched credit cards a trip to Paris doesn’t have to cost the earth. Accommodation Paris is often the biggest stumbling block and choosing an economical yet comfortable option can be really tricky. Paris apartments not only give you the opportunity to ‘live like a Parisian’ but also often work out much more economically than a hotel or guesthouse.

Sights and attractions on a shoestring: For a spectacular view of the city climb up the stairs of the northern tower of Notre Dame cathedral, ogle at the lurid yet strangely appealing gargoyles then take in the spectacular Parisian vista from above. What’s more the cathedral is one of the few major attractions of the city which is free to enter. Les Tuileries is Catherine de Medici’s magnificent park and most centrally located green space in Paris. This expansive collection of formal gardens, sweeping paths and even one or two galleries connects the Louvre with Place de la Concorde, bordering the Seine. There are various sculptures located sporadically around the gardens and L’Orangerie museum, housing works by Cézanne, Matisse, Renoir, is well worth a visit especially if you are fortunate enough to time your visit with the first Sunday of the month when entry is free.

Eating out every day in Paris can be an expensive affair but a baguette in the park can be equally enjoyable on a fine sunny day. Why not pick up a sublime poulet baguette from the Brioche Dorée boulangerie chain, found all over the city, and take it to the Jardin du Luxembourg (Le Luco). This “people’s park” is frequented by great numbers of students, families and boules-playing retired locals alike, and provides a delightful lunchtime spectacle. Paris’ largest park is also the ideal place for children with an enclosed play area, marionette shows and other attractions to keep them out of trouble.

On a Sunday morning, there is no better pleasure than a meander down the Rue du Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement to the home of Paris’ most famous pedestrianised street and street market. Indulge your senses in the divine flavours and appetizing of stall after stall of cheeses, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables. I challenge you to resist! Depending on the time of the day, this is a great district to treat yourself to a very reasonably priced brunch or lunch in a range of bistros and restaurants from all corners of the globe. Just take your pick!

To save on transport costs, if you are staying in Paris for a week or more it is worth investing in a Carte Orange, a photographic metro pass which allows you unlimited access to city transport for around 16 euros for zones one and two, depending on the location of your Paris apartments. Alternatively one day tickets work out economically if you intend to use the transport system frequently.


Beach Holidays

Beach Holidays For Fun In The Sun

Everyone loves beach holidays! The little ones can dig in the sand and splash in the lapping waves. The older ones can swim, get a tan, or just relax. The inquisitive types can explore for sea life, tide pools, and drift wood. The warm breezes and natural beauty are invigorating and restorative. Any trip, however, can cause discomfort if you do not plan well. Here are things you can do to make your beach holidays easier, safer, and more meaningful.

In many parts of the world, people head for their beach holidays in the family car. When planning a trip, it's always a good idea to give the car a good cleaning out first. This will give you more room for your luggage. Stock you glovebox, too, with a few first aid and comfort items, such as sunblock, acetominiphen for headaches, a roll of antacids, a few cough drops, and a few bandaids. Don't forget a couple of scrunchies or pony-tailers for long hair. Get the tires checked and replace any that are likely to go flat. Get an oil change if it's getting close. Road trips are not much fun when they include breakdowns. And whatever you do, make sure you have a map and a place to keep it handy.

Travelling with kids is always a challenge. They may be particularly excited and impatient when they know they are going on beach holidays. Make sure they have cool water bottles and healthy snacks to munch. Try a simple car game to make the time pass. Many kids like looking for letters of the alphabet on signs. If several people get involved it can be quite fun.

With beach holidays particularly, there is always a need to provide for skin safety. Be particularly careful about being in the sun for long stretches of time between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Use a sunblock with a high SPF rating and replace it after getting wet or drying off with your towel. The towel you choose can make a difference too. Thick towels get heavy and tend to trap a lot of sand. You may find you like thin towels at the beach. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and some sort of foot protection to keep your feet from being burned on the hot sand.

With a little preparation your beach holidays can be enjoyable and problem-free. When you arrive home you will be relaxed, refreshed, and ready for work. Take a minute to unpack and get your laundry going. It won't belong until the kids will be shouting, "When can we go on beach holidays again?"


Lost In Another Country

How To Survive When Lost In Another Country

Traveling is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But especially for trips to another country, where everything is new and strange, traveling can be quite a drag.

And if worse comes to worst, being lost in another country could be the most horrible nightmare of your life. That is when learning the skills to survive when lost in another country helps.

Here are some tips to help you endure the consequences of being lost in a strange place and live through the means of survival until you can go back to your homeland.

1. Presence of mind

Being lost in another country is one thing, but not having presence of mind is another and could be the worst thing that could happen to you.

It is still understandable that you might get lost in another country because the place is totally strange to you. The only way to survive being lost in another country is to have presence of mind so you can think of ways to get a ride back home.

Or if luck permits it, you can possibly discover your way to your exact destination without having to spend more than what you can afford.

2. Stay where you are

If you think you are lost, without the slightest idea where you are, or if you do not have any clue how to head back to where you have come from, stay where you are. Attempting to move further or trying to discover ways to go back will only make matters worse.

Besides being a complete waste of energy, according to statistical reports, nearly 70% of people who are lost cannot find a way to return to where they came from.

3. Learn to provide your basic needs

If you really cannot think of a way to find your way back home, maintain your basic needs by carrying an ample food and water supply as well as clothing before you leave your place.

You never know what will happen next once you have arrived in another country. So it is best to carry your basic needs with you in case something goes wrong, such as getting lost.

Keep in mind that traveling to another country is not all play. You have to keep your senses with you and your mind clear to anticipate the necessary things that you have to do in case something occurs, such as being lost in another country.

Travel Insurance Policy

How Many Excesses Does It Take To Make A Travel Insurance Policy?   by Simon Christopher

No one likes to think that bad things will happen while you're on holiday, but it becomes a reality for lots of travelers every year.

The right travel insurance policy can reduce the impact that injuries, illnesses, delays and lost property have on your precious holiday time. Finding the right travel insurance policy, unfortunately, is not as easy as ticking off the box next to "Do you want travel insurance?" at the travel agent. In fact, that could be the most expensive cover with the least benefits. According to Direct Line insurance, buying your travel insurance through your travel agent could cost you up to five times as much as you'd pay if you take the time to research and buy your own travel insurance policy.

Doing that requires a little knowledge beforehand though. It's important to understand the types of medical situations that are typically covered by a holiday travel plan, and which tricks to watch out for that could leave you without the cover when you need it most. Here's a quick guide to what to watch for when you're comparing holiday travel insurance.

1. Watch the excess.

Excess is the amount that you must pay before your travel insurance kicks in and picks up the remainder of the cost. On the typical travel insurance policy, there's an excess of £50 which is often counted against each incident. A few count an overall excess - they might require that you pay the first £150 of all insurable expenses on the trip no matter how many incidents are involved. This can be a vital difference. If, for instance, you stumble and fall, breaking a leg - and your expensive digital camera, along with your eyeglasses - some insurers may count that as three separate incidents, and charge you an excess for each of them, although they all stemmed from the same incident.

Solution: Consider getting a policy with an overall excess.

2. Watch the cover.

Read through the policy carefully so that you can be sure that the most important items are covered. Many policies don't cover you for the most common losses and injuries while you're on holiday. For instance, nearly all policies exclude injuries that happen while engaging in "winter sports".

Solution: If you're going on a skiing holiday, go over the policy, and if necessary, take out specific "winter sports cover" because it's better to be safe than sorry.

3. Cover your baggage.

Your baggage should be insured for at least £1,500, but keep in mind that many items you commonly carry may not be covered. It's typical for baggage insurance to exclude cover for sunglasses, mobile phones, cameras, watches, baby buggies and other expensive pieces of equipment. It's also typical for insurers to set an upper limit for how much they'll pay toward the loss of any one item. If your upper limit is £75 and you lose your £800 laptop, you'll be out of luck.

Solution: Look at getting separate cover for any expensive items that you plan to take with you.

4. Cover your pre-existing conditions.

If you have pre-existing medical conditions that flare up while you're abroad, you may find yourself responsible for all expenses related to them. Pre-existing conditions are also the most common reason for travel insurers to reject your policy. If you have a condition like angina or high blood pressure, a history of heart problems or diabetes, you might be wise to look into travel cover that takes those conditions into account and will cover you regardless. You may pay a bit extra for the premium and have a higher excess, but the peace of mind will be worth it.

Travel Solar Charger

Buying a Travel Solar Charger for Your Next Trip?

A travel solar charger is a great purchase for anyone who likes to travel. This portable energy device is easy to use and runs off of the sun's energy. A portable charger does not need any international voltage adapters because it never needs to be plugged into electricity. You will not have to worry about what adapter is used in the country you are going to; just bring your solar charger with you.

Portable energy has long been talked about among fanatical energy conservatists. It no longer is only for those people who are against electricity and the overuse of it. Now solar energy is becoming very mainstream and people of all economic levels are using portable solar energy.

You do not have to be extremely concerned about the environment to use solar portable energy. Although it is a great way to use our natural resources, solar power also offers great benefits to those that use it.

A travel charger that operates off of the sun's energy can go anywhere you go. You do not need to have an electrical outlet close by to charge your cellular phone. You can be backpacking in the mountains and have your phone continually charging. If you like to go on road trips you can set your solar charger right on the dashboard and let it charge your batteries or device while you drive to your next location.

The convenience that a solar charge brings to a travelers life is not just in its portability. Solar chargers are also a great way to save money. Instead of buying multiple adapters for international outlets, you can use the same solar charger in any country you travel. You also will not have to own multiple charging devices to power all your different electrical equipment because one solar charger can be used to charge most small electrical devices.

Travelers can use a solar charger to charge their batteries. They can also use this type of travel charger to power other small electrical devices like radios, MP3 players, and even laptop computers. There are many varieties of solar chargers available with numerous accessories you can add on. When purchasing a solar charger, you are only limited by your own imagination.

Many travelers have put off buying a solar charger because they believe these types of chargers will be too technologically difficult to operate. But solar powered chargers are as simple as any other charging device. You do not need a high tech degree to operate them. Most chargers simply have to be set in the sun and plugged into your device.

Solar energy is not a new technology. It has been around for several years. The portability of solar chargers has evolved dramatically in recent years. It used to be that you would have to own a huge solar panel just to draw a little bit of energy from the sun. Today, you can buy a small single solar cell panel that can be used to charge your electrical devices and batteries.

Traveling With Your Pet

Traveling With Your Pet This Holiday Season   by Gary Madden

In spite of high fuel costs, Holiday Travel is expected to be at an all-time high this season. Many people are considering traveling with their pets and here are a few tips and suggestions.

First, several tips to keep in mind:

1. If you travel by plane know that each airline has certain requirements that must be met before your pet can be boarded.

2. Call the airline well in advance and ask them about their requirements, which may be different from airline to airline also check with the Dept. of Agriculture for any requirements they may have.

3. Traveling with your pet through the airlines can range in cost from $170 to $200 but it could be zero if you are able to carry your pet on board.

4. Restrict your pet's food and water 4 hours before departure to minimize his urge to potty and give the main meal at the end of the day or after you reach your destination.

5. Freeze the water so it will thaw by the time your pet is thirsty but won't splash out during loading or unloading.

6. Take along a few of his favorite chew toys and something with your scent on it to help settle him.

7. Veterinarians recommend against tranquilizing your pets while traveling by air since the effects of tranquilizers on animals at high altitudes are unforeseeable which raises their risk of breathing and heart problems.

8. Be certain your kennel is good shape and is approved for air travel.Defective kennels can lead to injury and escape.

These are only a few suggestions, but should prove very beneficial. The kennel that you use is very important. There is a new "heavy duty" crate available that is "Airline Approved." The great benefit of it is that it folds flat upon arrival and is therefore easy to stow away.

If you would like to carry your small pet on board, another great suggestion is the new Essential Pet 2-in-1 Pet Stroller. Use it as a stroller to get through the airport. Then fold the frame flat and check it with your luggage and use the carrier as a carry-on. It is a beautiful piece and comes with "designer" fabric so you will never be embarrassed carrying it on the nicest of airlines. NiceDogShop



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