The Four Castles in Edinburgh

The Four Castles in Edinburgh

A trip to Edinburgh means that you’re in for a real treat. The history and culture within the city is vibrant and distinct. For those seeking to explore the many castles around Scotland, Edinburgh is a great place to start your search. As you explore these old castles, don’t be surprised if you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. But don’t worry, after you leave, you’ll realize you still have all the conveniences of the 21st century. To help you condense your planning time, we’ve compiled a list of the four castles in, and around, Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle

What better place to start your castle tour than with the iconic Edinburgh Castle? This castle dominates the city from its perch . You will be astounded by the history surrounding the complex, from the battles and sieges that were fought over it to the royals who lived and died it in to the countless generations of Scots that have been inspired by it. People have lived here for over 1000 years which means that history buffs will have a lot of history to catch up on before they explore the Edinburgh Castle.

The Edinburgh Castle sits in the middle of the city. There are many of the best hotels in Edinburgh surrounding the castle and this is a good area to start your hotel search.

Craigmillar Castle

This ruined medieval castle is just three miles south of the city center. On a low hill in the city, this 14th century castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland. The defensive features of the courtyard wall were particularly strong for the age they were built in and will remind you of why castles were perfect for a defense stronghold. While you’re in the halls, you’ll be walking the same paths as royals of old, including Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI. It’s not often you can say you’ve walked among royals.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

While technically not a castle, this royal dwelling is one that is still in use today. Queen Elizabeth still spends at least one week a year in residence at this former Mary, Queen of Scots, apartment. You will get a really great feel for the level of luxury and opulence that royals are accustomed to as you’re wandering the halls of this great palace. After a few minutes here, you may wish you had been born into royalty.

There are many castle tours you can book which will show you around and give you the history of the buildings you are visiting, if you are looking to have a more informed visit.

Stirling Castle

This castle, less than an hour away from Edinburgh, should not be missed as it is one of the largest and most important castles in all of Scotland. Surrounded on 3 sides by steep cliffs, you’ll feel extremely safe as you walk the walls Stirling Castle. The famous William Wallace has a lot of ties to this castle, which means history buffs will never want to leave this historic site.

Historical Sites in Edinburgh

Historical Sites in Edinburgh

When thinking of Scotland, many visitors to this beautiful country conjure up mental images of rolling hills, bagpipe playing Scotsmen and haggis. While these are all true elements of the nation, the rich history of the land is something that must be added to the list. Edinburgh is a great place to explore the local history of Scotland. With such a long list of historical sites within this capital city, it can be overwhelming to pick what you’re going to see on your trip. Here is our list of the top historical sites in Edinburgh you shouldn’t miss.

 

Edinburgh Castle

 

The best place to start your tour of the history in this city is the Edinburgh Castle. This gigantic complex houses many important relics of Scottish history. From the crown jewels, to war museums to the royal palace to St. Margaret’s Chapel, you’ll be able to spend day’s here and still not see everything. History buffs will salivate as they explore the castle, which houses some of the oldest buildings and relics in the lands. Photographers will hardly be able to choose a good shot from the plethora of options.

 

Mary King’s Close

 

This old close under the buildings of the old town area in Edinburgh is filled with history, and even ghosts if you believe the local legends. A tour through this area will give you an example of what life would have been like between the 16th and 19th centuries. Tourism to this area funds the continued exploration of the hauntings that Edinburgh is internationally known for. Not to be miss by any visitor to the city.

 

Centrally located, this is a great area to find some of the best hotels in Edinburgh. If you fancy walking your way through the town, this is the best place to stay.

 

St Giles’ Cathedral

 

While the current building dates back to the late 14th century, this area has been a religious focal point for 900 years. With so much history centered here, it is easy to see why it made our historical locations in Edinburgh list. Those wanting to tour the cathedral can do so free of charge although a donation is suggested. If you do take a tour, you’ll be left speechless at the lovingly crafted interior. The stained glass windows are especially spectacular for visitors to witness.

 

Scott Monument

 

Architecture, history, and literary lovers will enjoy this monument to the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott built-in the 1800’s. The intricately designed and created monument will leave you aching to learn more about the man who inspired such a beautiful remembrance to be made of him. Tours of the historical and cultural sites in and around Edinburgh are abundant and will give you a better understanding of the reasons behind erecting such monuments.

 

Palace of Holyroodhouse

 

While it is the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland, visitors can tour around the 14 historic apartments in this palace. The ruins of the Holyrood Abbey should not be skipped over. Savvy travelers will use the complimentary audio tour to help them learn more about the events that have taken place in this area over the centuries.

First Timers Guide to Miami Beach

First Timers Guide to Miami Beach

Miami Beach is everything you have heard about, but experiencing it for the first time can be extremely overwhelming. From the famous nightlife to the art deco architecture to the spectacular beaches, this city has everything you need for a fun-filled vacation. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling solo, as a couple, in a group, or with your family; you’ll find plenty to keep you all entertained. Check out the list we have compiled below of the places and experiences you can’t miss on your first trip to Miami Beach.

Miami Beach Boardwalk

Walking the boardwalk will give you a great view of the ocean, the city, and everything special about this popular Sunshine State destination. The best time to walk this area is early morning or evening, as the sun can get a bit intense. But if you are looking for a tan, daytime is the time for you. Along the boardwalk are some of the best hotels in Miami Beach. Travelers who are looking to be lulled to sleep by the ocean sounds should book a hotel in this area.

 

South Beach

 

If you want an experience to remember, head over to South Beach. Just like it’s depicted in many movies and shows, this area is perfect for finding entertainment any time of the day or night. Nighttime will bring clubs, music and extremely large drinks. Daytime relaxation on the sand can help you work on your tan.

 

Foodies will feel as if they have died and gone to heaven after sampling some of the delicious fare in this part of town. If you want the insider’s scoop, try booking a food tour to find the best restaurants in South Beach.

 

Holocaust Memorial

 

If you are looking for a more educational experience while in Miami, the Holocaust Memorial is the best place for you to visit. This somber and heartbreaking museum will give you an honest look into this horrific part of World War II history. This memorial was originally started by Holocaust survivors, so don’t be surprised if you meet one while touring around this facility.

 

Art Deco Historic District

 

Miami Beach’s Art Deco District has over 800 structures of historic significance for your viewing pleasure. Built between 1932 and 1943, these fanciful pastel buildings are a sight to behold. From porthole windows, sleek curves, shiny chrome exteriors and glass blocks, photographers will spend hours here trying to get a good angle for their shots. After walking around this historic district, you might find yourself not wanting to go home.

 

Collins Avenue

 

Shopping for days — that is what you’ll find as you walk along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. The vibe of this area is positive and happy. With all the high-end stores, boutique shops, and the multitude of restaurants, how can it not have a good vibe? Travelers who bring their families will find enough entertainment to keep everyone happy for even an extended trip to Miami Beach. Foodie travelers will find more than enough places to satisfy their appetite here, as well.

Title: The Best Hostels in Bangkok

Title: The Best Hostels in Bangkok

Bangkok is the perfect place for budget travelers to get the best bang for their buck. The tricky part is finding the top hostels at the best prices. The cheapest hostels can bring you a good time but also cockroaches. Here is a list of the best hostels in Bangkok that will help you meet other great travelers without sleeping with unwanted bugs.

Phiman Riverview Guesthouse

This quaint hostel is located right on the river and has the best owner in town. Jane, who runs the Phiman, has created a Zen-like space right on the river. The entrance to Phiman is a bit hard to find but once you walk through the gates, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of the hectic Bangkok and into an alternate dimension. The rates are some of the best in town, especially for how beautiful the river is from the

Phiman porch.

Khao San Immjai Hostel

Across the canal from backpacker alley is this highly recommended hostel. The dorms are segregated for those female travelers that feel more comfortable in a girl only room. Many of the rooms include breakfast, always a good money saver for budget conscious travelers.

Sawasdee Smile Inn

The vendors and street food sellers around this hostel are very calm compared to those found across the street on Khao San Road. Inside the hotel, breakfast is offered which is not common among the hostels in this area. The common area is the perfect gathering place for travelers looking to make new friends.

Khao San Palace Hotel

This is the place for travelers looking to stay where all the party action is. The luxury you will receive while staying at this hotel is astounding for the minimal price that you are charged. Don’t be surprised if the five-star treatment ruins your image of budget hotels around the world.

Lucky House Bangkok

This hostel is right next to Khao San Road, which is the central area to find all of the cheap hotels in Bangkok. Single rooms for less than ten dollars a night is a steal, by anyone’s standards. This multi-level hostel is a five-minute walk to the best street food in Bangkok. The great view of Bangkok is free for all guests, which is especially nice on nights that fireworks are exploding for one of the Thai national holidays.

Happio Bangkok

Within walking distance to the Grand Palace and other cultural attractions, this conveniently located hotel is perfect for budget travelers wanting to explore the sites. Right on the river, evening sunsets can be spent relaxing by the hotel. Nighttime partying is just across the street. Daytime exploring can be done on foot or by traditional Thai tuk tuk.

Baan Dinso 2

With some of the best reviews online, this hostel is far enough away from backpackers ally to escape the 24-hour noise but still close enough to partake if you so choose. The friendly staffs are very knowledgeable about Bangkok and the best sights to see in the city. Don’t be surprised if you don’t want to leave after you stay your first night.

This article is part of the #hipmunklove project. I would never recommend a site I didn’t use myself.

Kathu: Off the beaten track in Southern Thailand

Kathu: Off the beaten track in Southern Thailand

You adore beaches and appreciate the comforts of a resort hotel but your partner loves mountains and appreciates getting back to nature? Sounds familiar? It’s a common dilemma for many couples and families choosing where to go for their holidays.

Why not compromise? Spend a week basking in the sun beside the sea in Phuket and then head a few kilometers inland to experience what Kathu has to offer.

There are plenty of cheap hotels in Kathu and its green hills, rivers and abundant wildlife offer a perfect respite from Thailand’s coastal hotspots.

Put on your hiking boots

If you’ve had your fill of exploring the region’s lagoons, caves and amazing rock formations by water, Kathu’s Kamala hills, where the climate is slightly cooler than at the coast, are the perfect place to walk, unwind and take in the province’s beautiful flora and fauna. In addition to palm and rubber trees, look out for a range of bird life including the ‘Asian Brown Flycatcher’ and the ‘Little Spider Hunter’.

Allow half a day to explore the Kathu waterfall. It’s a challenging climb to the top but there are shaded steps most of the way. Take a picnic and stop half way. Don’t forget to take your swimming costume because, if you make it all the way up, you’ll find a plunge pool to swim and cool down.

Learn about the origins of the ‘Nine Emperor Gods Festival’

Phuket’s annual vegetarian festival is held on the first day of the 9th Chinese lunar month, usually late September or early October. Those of Chinese ancestry commit themselves to a 9-day vegetarian diet; a purification they believe will help make sure that the forthcoming year is trouble-free.

Originally called the ‘Nine Emperor Gods Festival’, its roots in Thailand can be traced back to ancient Kathu. Legend has it that the health of visiting Chinese opera singers was magically restored when they adopted a non-meat diet. The musicians may be long gone but you can still join locals for prayers and offerings at the Kathu Shrine.

Blend in with the locals

One of the attractions of Kathu is simply that its one of the least ‘touristy‘ parts of the province of Phuket. Hang out at its vast daily market which sells seasonal fruit and vegetables like avocados, dragon fruit, durian, jackfruit and much more. There are also stalls with delicious street food, making it the perfect place to stroll and enjoy a mid-morning snack.

Afterwards, visit the nearby ‘Tin Mining Museum’. You’re likely to find yourself surrounded by yet more of Kathu’s residents, namely school children on an outing to learn more about the province’s most significant industry before tourism came along.

Not only will you discover all about the process of tin extraction, but you’ll also have access to an interesting reconstructed mining village. An added bonus is a permanent exhibition housed in a beautiful pavilion built in the Sino-Portuguese style.

This article is part of the #hipmunklove project. I would never recomend a site I didn’t use myself. I recently booked a trip to India and after looking at several providers, they were actually the cheapest.

Travel to Cyprus

Travel to Cyprus

If you’re flying to Cyprus for a holiday or have business plans, the taxi service in Cyprus is always ready to help you. The taxi service in Cyprus is known to have a good reputation. It gives you just the right start you need when you arrive at Cyprus airport. You need not have to worry about transport from the airport as the taxi service is reliable, efficient and easy to access. As you may be tired travelling by plane you will surely want a helpful start to your sojourn.

Cyprus taxi services are very dependable. They keep a track on the plane’s arrival time so that you won’t have to wait at the airport. The taxi service is known to be prompt and efficient and it is very proud to live up to its reputation. Having a taxi waiting for you at the airport and keeping a track on the arrival time is really helpful. The taxi service understands that you’ll be quite jaded after the flight and that you will require a taxi to take you to your destination as soon as possible. The Cyprus taxi service has maintained its high standards. A delay is unlikely to happen.

A wide range of taxis are offered by the Cyprus taxi services. You can make you choice as to which kind of vehicle you would prefer to travel by. You have the freedom to choose which taxi will suit you best. We have very comfortable taxis which provide you maximum comfort. The taxis are air-conditioned and the ride to your destination will be very relaxing. We make sure to make your journey hassle free. If you have a large family and you would like to travel as a unit, we provide a mini bus. The mini bus is also very comfortable and can easily accommodate up to 7 people. To add to the mini bus’ comfort, it is air-conditioned too. As you exit from the airport lounge, your driver will be waiting for you with your name on a placard. When you meet the driver he will assist you with your luggage.

We proved fair rates compared to the other services available. For the prompt and comfortable services offered to you the rates are very competitive. Having a great reputation in Cyprus, we have the best rates. Our taxi services are dedicated to giving you an experience free of any tension and worry. The drives are very friendly, helpful, obliging and always ready to assist you in case you need any guidance. For the high quality service provided by the Cyprus Airport Transfers, the rates are very reasonable. You will have no regrets taking our service as you will be getting your money’s worth and more. Other taxi services may charge you a lesser rate but will not provide you with the personal service that we offer. After all, a pleasant experience on the first day of your stay in Cyprus is important to making the rest of the stay memorable.

On your arrival at the Cyprus airport you can look out for taxi service. We ply throughout Cyprus and our drives’ professional services will make your ride an experience to remember. It will not be easy to forget the courtesy and pleasantness with which they will treat you. Do have a wonderful stay at Cyprus!

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