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Journalist and travel writer View all posts by Andy →
June 17 (TravelAndy): Egypt is promoting itself at the Football World Cup, currently on in Russia, to attract visitors to the North African country.
Egypt tourism minister Rania al-Mashat said the campaign, named “Egypt – Experience & Invest”, which will be prompted in the tournament’s 64 matches, will help attract tourists to Egypt, said reports.
The minister said the campaign also intended to encourage the Egyptian team. Continue reading Egypt promotes itself at Football World Cup →
July 16 (Notintown.net): The mosques of Sharjah are distinctive for their eye-catching aesthetic architecture and the tourism authorities are wooing the visitors with a new focus on these beautiful monuments. Tourists and believers alike visit Sharjah for the tranquil and hospitable nature of the cultural hub of the UAE.
The cultural ethos of Sharjah has made it the emirate for visitors looking for an experiential journey. It is an emirate routed in tradition, while opening its doors to the contemporary world, thereby offering the best of all worlds. Those seeking greater knowledge of and connection to Islam will certainly find it in this emirate graced with over 600 mosques.
The largest house of worship is the King Faisal Mosque. The complex geometric design and the likeness of the massive structure to a multi-pointed star make it the most recognizable landmark of Sharjah. The charm of this mosque is that it is very well-suited for worship with admirable acoustics, a very useful audio guide and the captivating voice of the Imam in the vast but quiet space, it all comes together to create a very special atmosphere.
Situated on the banks of the Khalid Lagoon, the Al Noor Mosque has a dream setting. Construction of the structure was completed in the year 2005. Visitors can take inspiration from architectural trademarks such as the minarets, domes and arches, which are reminiscent of traditional Ottoman architecture. This is because the mosque is modelled after the ‘Blue Mosque’ or the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Turkey. Private tour bookings are possible, or one may opt for the regular free tours that are held every Monday at 10:00 am.
In order to promote a cross-cultural understanding, an excellent briefing program covering basic principles of Islam is provided for visitors, along with an opportunity to try on the ‘abaya’ and scarves that the local women of Sharjah generally wear.
The Al Noor Mosque is known for its guided tours and hospitable treatment to guests, however, it is also of great religious significance to the locals and outsiders who follow the faith. On Ramadan evenings, the mosque becomes unusually busy due to a large number of worshippers. The interlaced decorative interiors and architecture, in addition to the cooling effect of the use of gypsum (traditional building material made of coral) in building the mosque, creates a relaxing Islamic cultural ambience where peace and contentment permeate
The Al Noor Mosque is also one of the ten locations in Sharjah from where the Iftar(the breaking of the Ramadan fast) cannons are fired. On the Ramadan days building up to the much-awaited Eid al-Fitr, throngs of visitors arrive to witness the firing of cannons announcing Iftar time. This old custom of announcing the breaking of the fast is a charming cultural tradition that keeps Islamic heritage alive in the emirate.
Sharjah offers a true glimpse into modern life combining heritage and Islamic traditions with a cultural and educational identity that goes back many centuries and an enduring, gracious welcome.
The emirate of Sharjah is well-known for its rich, cultural heritage – an identity that has been recognized a number of times as shown by the winning of the Cultural Capital of the Arab World 1998 and Islamic Culture Capital 2014 awards. It is a vibrant city with an exciting food and arts scene, a heritage area that is the largest restoration project in the region along with various commercial centres and over 22 museums.
June 15 (TravelAndy): Bungoolee Tours has launched a new website, allowing visitors to book tours online.
There is the option to join respected Bunuba elder Dillon Andrews on a culturally insightful journey through the heart of Windjana Gorge, or venture deep beneath the limestone of Napier Range and discover the secrets of Tunnel Creek and its spiritual significance to the Bunuba people.
While there, tour-goers have a chance to meet Boab Nut Carvers, who share the unique local story behind each carving. Continue reading Australia: Aboriginal tour group goes online →
June 14 (TravelAndy): The North Ronaldsay Sheep Festival is seeking volunteers for the event that will take place from July 29 to August 10, 2018.
North Ronaldsay is the northernmost island in the Orkney archipelago in Scotland.
The volunteers will help rebuild a historic structure which is essential to the conservation of the rare, seaweed-eating North Ronaldsay sheep.
Said to be the longest drystone structure in the world, the Sheepdyke runs 13 miles separating the foreshore from the rich inland grazing of North Ronaldsay. From more details click here.
Under the guidance of local experts, dyke-building sessions will be held during weekdays of the festival along with a range of activities and fun events.
Adventure-seekers and bird watchers might also want to visit North Ronaldsay where there is evidence of Iron Age settlements. Visitors will find themselves in the flight path of migrating birds. There is also the possibility of seeing porpoises and dolphins.
The North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory has two volunteer vacancies at its base throughout the year. These are ideally suited to keen birdwatchers looking at a future in conservation or simply help out at the observatory while enjoying the island lifestyle.
June 14 (TravelAndy): The Yukon Territory celebrated its 120th year of existence on Wednesday.
“Happy 120th birthday, Yukon!” the government of Yukon wrote on its official Twitter handle.
On June 13, 1898, Yukon was made a Canadian territory.
The tweet had a picture attached that shows Dawson City in 1989, the same year it was made the capital city of Yukon. Continue reading Yukon Territory in Canada turns 120 →
June 13 (TravelAndy): The first ever direct flight between Scotland and China has landed at Edinburgh Airport.
The four-weekly, year-round service with Hainan Airlines from Beijing Capital International Airport is Scotland’s first connection to the Far East.
It is a major boost for tourism in Scotland and increases business links with the Far East, both of which will benefit the Scottish economy. Continue reading Hainan Airlines operates first direct China-Scotland flight →
June 12 (TravelAndy): China’s tourism department organised a photo exhibition at Harvard University over the weekend to attract visitors to the country.
According to a Xinhua report, the exhibition — organised by the China National Tourist Office in New York as part of the 39th Boston Dragon Boat Festival on June 9 and 10 — displayed more than 30 photographs of tourist destinations across China.
The exhibition was part of the tourism department’s ‘Bringing China Tourism to American Universities’ campaign. Continue reading China woos US tourists with photo exhibition →
June 12 (TravelAndy): If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong from Kolkata, have a Plan B ready.
Thousands of rejections of the online pre-arrival registration of visas without allegedly stating a reason have cut down the number visitors from the east Indian metropolis to the autonomous administrative region in China drastically, say reports.
Hong Kong introduced the pre-arrival registration system in January 2017 and the problems started thereafter. Indian nationals earlier did not need a visa to enter the former British colony. Continue reading Hong Kong visa rejections hit traffic from Kolkata →
June 11 (Notintown.net): The Uzbek government has approved the concept of development of the free tourist zone (FTZ) Charvak near capital Tashkent.
Experts note that the Tashkent region today has a significant tourist potential, which is primarily due to the unique natural conditions that allow for developing virtually all types of tourism.
In particular, the region has everything necessary for the development of mountain and extreme tourism, including mountaineering, snowboarding, aeronautics, cycling, motorsport, as well as environmental, rural, pilgrimage and gastronomic tourism. Continue reading Uzbekistan to develop free tourist zone at Charvak →
June 11 (TravelAndy): Celebrity chefs Adam Liaw and Marion Grasby will headline this year’s Shinju Matsuri (festival of the pearl) to be held August 25 – September 2 in Broome – the pearling capital of Australia in WA’s North West.
Shinju Matsuri is the much loved festival which encapsulates everything that is Broome and the surrounding areas of the Kimberley region. Featuring an incredible kaleidoscope of events, Shinju Matsuri pays tribute to their heritage and culture.
Celebrating four diverse cultures that have come together in Broome for pearls – Japanese, Malaysian, Chinese and Indigenous Australian – Shinju Matsuri features a unique dining program in extraordinary locations. Continue reading Broome in Western Australia gears up for Shinju Matsuri →
June 10 (TravelAndy): Tourism Ireland aims to increase the number of the Chinese visitors to the island to 175,000 by the year 2025, Xinhua reported.
“China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years,” the report quoted James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s China manager, as saying.
Hainan Airlines will launch a direct Beijing-Dublin flight service starting on June 12. This is the first direct flight ever to be launched between the Chinese mainland and Ireland. Continue reading Ireland woos tourists from China →
I had my first experience with pad Thai at a shack on the way to a beach on a Thai island.
They served a plate that looked much like noodles from back home, but not quite. Apart from the sticky noodles, there were copious amounts of mung bean sprouts, peanuts sprinkled all over and half a lemon. I didn’t quite know what taste to expect. This was a territory unknown to me. I squeezed the lemon over the plate, wrapped some of the noodles and sprouts around my fork and put it in my mouth.
The sprouts crunched, the sweetness in the noodles complimented perfectly the sourness of the lemon and the nuts cracked between my teeth. Continue reading Anthony Bourdain: The man who inspired me to move →