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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Sightseeing & Culture’

People feel holidays are ”non-negotiable”

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Demand for air travel in June increased at the slowest rate since 2003People are continuing to take holidays this summer, despite the credit crunch, because they feel that holidays are "non-negotiable", one industry expert has suggested.

Tom Hall, travel editor of the Lonely Plant series of destination guide books, said that the "savvy traveller … can still travel cheaply".

He added: "People are increasingly aware that if you want real value when you are in your destination you need to get outside of the euro zone and that can mean mid-haul or long-haul.

"I think people are aware that there is real value available there."

According to a report by the International Air Travel Association (IATA), world passenger numbers were up by 3.8 per cent in June compared to a year ago.

However, this was the slowest growth in air travel demand since the SARS crisis in 2003.

"With consumer and business confidence falling and sky-high oil prices, the situation will get a lot worse," said Giovanni Bisignani, director general and chief executive of IATA.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
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Go to Mount Sinai from Sharm al-Sheikh

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Walk up the mountain to watch an incredible sunriseMount Sinai, where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments, is just a three-hour drive from Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt.

Moses is mentioned to have been here once in the Qu”ran, while the Bible says he has been here twice (the first time meeting his wife Zippora and receiving his mission, the second time leading the Israelites to the Promised Land and receiving the Ten Commandments).

Mount Sinai is also the location of the Burning Bush, the Monks” Garden and the Ossuary (Monastery of St. Catherine), a Greek Orthodox monastery founded in the 6th century, and one of the longest-running monasteries in the world.

Walking up this mountain is an unforgettable experience – visitors can decide whether to do so early in the morning, around midday, or late at night.

The last option is the most recommended – and the most popular amongst tourists – because the sun rising over Sinai is a fantastic view that will never be forgotten.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
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2.6 million visitors to Vietnam this year

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There than been a ten per cent increase in visitors since last year More than 2.6 million international travellers have visited Vietnam in the first seven months of this year, it has been announced.

Official statistics show that this is a 10.6 per cent rise year-on-year, local news agency VNA reported.

Foreign tourists to the country mainly came from Thailand, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, China, France, Singapore and Malaysia.

According to Lonely Planet, most visitors to Vietnam are enthralled by the beauty of the country.

For instance, the Red River Delta in the north, the Mekong Delta in the south and almost the entire coastal strip are a patchwork of brilliant green rice paddies tended by women in conical hats.

There are some spectacular beaches along the coast, the travel guide says, while inland there are soaring mountains, some of which are cloaked by dense, misty forests.

For those who prefer urban settings, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are popular destinations.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
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Ferry travel a good idea for kids

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Ferry travel is less restricting It is a good idea to travel with children on a ferry when going on a holiday, one industry expert has suggested.

Although air and ferry travel are both exciting for children, "the bonus of travelling by ferry is that it is a lot less restricting", Lucy Ace, managing director of Take the Family said.

She added: "You can walk around stretching your legs and getting rid of some of that built up energy.

"On some routes you can take cabins or join in with onboard entertainment, all of which help to make the whole experience much less stressful."

Last year, Shipping Times revealed that there was an Easter holiday boom for ferry travel from Dover Ferry Port, as more than 235,000 passengers passed through the Port of Dover over the four days of the Easter holiday weekend in 2007.

This was seven per cent more than the 2006 holiday weekend, according to figures released by Dover Harbour Board.

Family – Theme Parks – Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.
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Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

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The museum has more than 5,000 Islamic objects on display Situated in the historical heart of Sharjah on the Majarrah waterfront, the Museum of Islamic Civilization houses more than five thousand exquisite Islamic artefacts from all over the Muslim world.

The Islamic Faith Gallery has on display precious Qur”an and other religious manuscripts as well as architectural models and an interesting series of historical photographs of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mekkah al-Mukarramah.

On exhibit in the Science and Innovation Gallery are the remarkable achievements of scientists from across the Muslim world and their ground-breaking contributions to disciplines as diverse as astronomy, medicine, geography, natural sciences and architecture.

Meanwhile, the entire first floor of the museum is devoted to Islamic Art.

On display here are paintings which date from the early Islamic period, leading all the way to modern times.

Enjoy works from all over the Muslim world and learn about the artistic achievements of its calligraphers and artisans.

The museum is open from 8:00 to 20:00, Sundays to Thursdays.

On Friday, it is open from 16:00 to 20:00.

Tickets cost 5Dhs (70p) for adults, while a family ticket is 10Dhs (£1.40).

There is no admission charge for children.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
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Globe trotters unite: a journey with a purpose.

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Our ‘Perfect Holiday’ Contest entries have been rolling in! A few of you got very creative with your responses, crafting globe trotting itineraries with inventive themes. Here are some of our favourites thus far:

1. ‘Southern Music Odyssey’, by Greg Davies

A road trip with a difference—i.e. not your usual ‘Route 66’ or ‘Coast to Coast’ American Dream. Due to my late grandfather’s musical obsession that he passed onto me, my dream holiday would be to drive the southern United States, visiting and enjoying some of the famous sights and sounds of Country music—the Grand Ol’ Opry, Memphis, Tupelo, Austin, Nashville—all in an old convertible…staying at old-style motels along the way and enjoying southern hospitality and good ol’ time music, the way it’s meant to be enjoyed!

2. ‘A Taste for Travel’, by Lydia Houghton

I’d have lobster in Cancun, cocktails in New York, A balti in Bombay, A Guinness in County Cork, coq au vin in Paris, a pizza in fair Rome, a chop suey in Beijing, and Swedish meatballs in Stockholm.

It would be such a treat to take a break from all the cooking, but the only problem is… my tummy might need tucking!

3. ‘Natural World Wonders’, by Chris Woodroofe

My Perfect Holiday would be a tour around all of the natural world wonders: Serengeti Migration, Galápagos Islands, Grand Canyon, Iguazu Falls, Amazon Rainforest, Ngorongoro Crater, Great Barrier Reef, Bora Bora Cappadocia and Victoria Falls. All I would need would be a backpack, a diary, and a camera…this would be my perfect holiday—very simple, but very rewarding, as the natural world wonders are being destroyed…

That’s all for now!

The official shortlist will be posted on the isango! website very soon. Be sure to vote!

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Museums of Morocco

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Museums in Morocco are doubly appealing Museums in Morocco are doubly appealing: not only will you admire the collections on display, but you will also be stunned by the ancient palaces that house them and the richly decorated exhibition rooms that are works of art themselves.

Do not miss the Dar Batha of Fez, installed in a magnificent Arabo-Andalusian palace – make sure you visit the beautiful room dedicated to literature and books.

In Rabat, the Oudaia museum presents several rare pieces that trace the history of Morocco from prehistoric times to the Islamic era, while in Marrakech, the museum located in the heart of the medina, you will see several illuminated copies of the Koran, illustrating the riches of Arab calligraphy.

This museum also exhibits ceramics, jewellery and rare coins.

And in Meknes, the Jamai palace is an architectural marvel that houses the Dar Jamai museum where you will discover magnificent examples of Moroccan arts and crafts.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
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Ramadan in Dubai

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During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat during the dayFrom September 2nd until October 1st, Dubai, like other Islamic cities and nations, observes the religious tradition of Ramadan.

For one entire lunar month (30 days), all consumption of food and drink is prohibited between dawn and dusk.

Fllowers of Islam eat only during the hours of darkness, and the Iftar meal at dusk is quite a feast, even if you are not fasting.

Visitors to Dubai are advised to observe these restrictions, as the locals consider it highly disrespectful and offensive to break these rules in public.

At the end of the month, when the new moon is spotted, the city sheds its sombre mood and celebrates madly for three days.

The end of Ramadan is dependent not on the astronomical beginning of the new month but on the sighting of the moon, so the dates may vary slightly from estimates, and may be announced with less than 24 hours” notice.

Dubai – A true modern metropolis Dubai boasts a fine range of tourist facilities including the refined Burj al Arab hotel.
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Fashion festival in Sydney

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The festival is a great way to discover new trendsThe first ever Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival takes place from August 13th to 17th.

Organised by the same team as Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, the festival is a great chance to catch upcoming trends from top designers.

Fashionistas can catch a glimpse of the spring and summer collections from Australia”s biggest fashion names including Alex Perry, Charlie Brown, David Lawrence, Kirrily Johnston, Nicola Finetti and Lisa Ho, as well as Sydney”s most fashionable retailers like David Jones and General Pants Co.

Other events include celebrity appearances, styling workshops, fashion films and exhibitions.

In the evening, don your trendiest outfit and join well-heeled crowds at festival parties in bars around the city.

Of course, only the most fabulous crowds head to the festival”s own bar, constructed in Martin Place especially for the event.

Events may be free or ticketed – find out more from the festival”s website.

Sydney – Take a cruise of Sydney Harbour or relax on the white sands on Manly Beach.
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Art Museum in Sharjah

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The museum has both permanent and temporary exhibitsVisitors to the United Arab Emirates should make sure that they get their fill of culture at the Sharjah Art Museum, which has a number of permanent collections on display as well as periodic art exhibitions by local and international artists.

It is located in Al Shuwaiheyn, behind the bazaar, close to Al Boorj Avenue and the waterfront.

The permanent collections of the museum are from the collection of HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, the ruler of Sharjah.

Meanwhile, the library is well-equipped with books and periodicals and materials in electronic format.

Closed on Mondays, the museum is open to the public from 9:00 to 13:00, and again from 17:00 to 20:00.

On Fridays it is open only in the evening (17:00 to 20:00), while Wednesday afternoons it is ladies-only.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
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