Antarctica, the coldest area on the planet, is the least explored and least understood. Thus, tourism is still developing in this region, which is mainly looked upon as a site for science and conservation. There are about five thousand people living in Antarctica during summers and one thousand during the winters, with most of them being climatologists, glaciologists and ecologists.
Reaching the southernmost tip of the Earth is challenging because of the harsh climate and extreme weather conditions. However, Antarctica has lately been experiencing a steady trickle of tourists who brave lengthy flights and stormy seas to reach this region that boasts of true wildernesses. Only those with an adventurous spirit take these tours to Antarctica in order to enjoy and explore the unique wildlife and those awe-inspiring icebergs in the pristine landscapes.
Being in Antarctica is a life-changing experience as it is a unique sensation to be on a vast continent with no proper human habitation and surrounded by ice, mountains, rocks and wildlife. While there could be countless reasons to visit Antarctica, let us a look at the most compelling ones that will motivate you to visit this remote and relatively untouched part of Earth.
Extreme conditions and extraordinary landscapes
Antarctica, as the coldest, driest, and windiest place on the planet, is indeed extreme, and coming here is sure to leave you with some unforgettable memories. You can feel the complete sense of aloneness here, which can be exciting as well as challenging. Antarctica is well known for its unspoiled natural beauty and whether it is the snowy peaks of Mount Parry or the pyramid of snow and ice rising as Mount William, you will immediately feel an ethereal connection with nature and the harsh conditions here.
It is an extraordinary experience to see the ice floes that make a staggering sight and allow you to take in the vast scale of Antarctica. As you approach the continent, you will remain mesmerized by the huge icebergs and gaze down to take in those sheer sides plunging deep below the water. Keep your camera ready to capture the variety and beauty of the huge hanging glaciers and icebergs. Just listen to the cracking and popping sounds made by the creeping ice all around you.
Plenty of wildlife
With such a range of wildlife that has adapted well to extreme conditions, animal spotting is a major draw. The chances are good that, amidst the backdrop of towering icebergs and glaciers, you’ll spot seals, whales and various seabirds that thrive in this icy paradise.
Penguins are always associated with Antarctica, and these remarkable birds are quite intelligent and well-adapted to the cold climate of Antarctic regions. With their dapper appearance from a very distinctive black and white plumage, it is beautiful sight to watch them in the wild.
It is an incredibly exciting experience to spot your first whale, and in Antarctica, you can watch these marine mammals for hours, especially in February and March. This is the time when whales migrate to Antarctica to feed, and one is likely to spot Humpbacks in the sea, breaching, tail slapping and popping out of the water. If your trip takes you towards the dramatic Schollaert Channel and Paradise Bay, those are great areas to spot whales. Some other species to look out for include black-and-white orcas, the bulbous-headed sperm whales and the enormous blue whale, which is the biggest creature ever to live on the planet.
Your journey in Antarctica will most likely begin in Patagonia, and as you acclimatize to your Antarctic expedition, you are in for the most enthralling experience. Spend the days hiking and trekking along the southern side as you explore Tierra del Fuego, its forested islands and fjords, and Ushuaia, under the endless Patagonian skies and vast landscape. Take a ride on the steam-hauled train, Tren del Fin del Mundo, and enjoy delicious meals at toasty cafés and steakhouses.
Follow the greatest explorers
When in Antarctica, do not miss the chance to follow the footsteps of some of the greatest explorers of the early 20th-century expeditions, such as Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton, Edmund Hillary and Roald Amundsen. Just imagine how they must have felt centuries ago, knowing they are among the first few to step here with no surety of returning home. The Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration boasts of daring missions and major expeditions that were not without tragedy. Those outlandish journeys demonstrate the sheer strength of the human spirit and are a true inspiration.
Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights, are looked upon as the world’s greatest wonders, and tourists come from afar to be in Antarctica to witness the spectacular display. When compared to the Northern counterpart, Aurora Borealis, the Southern lights are much more elusive because of fewer viewing spots due to less accessible land mass. However, the Southern Lights are extremely impressive because of the breathtaking color palette of bright greens and blues as well as purples, oranges and pinks. If you’re lucky enough to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle, those memories will remain with you for a lifetime.
It’s vital, on such a trip, to carry a really good camera in order to capture the endless experiences in this majestic region. You will surely get unparalleled opportunities here in surreal landscapes dotted with unique wildlife. The reflections of the bizarrely shaped icebergs in the glassy water, the contrast of wildlife against the pristine backdrop and wind-sculpted ice floes are not to be missed. Capture the play of light on ice or record the birds skimming the waves or shoot the ice calving off a glacier – there are photographic opportunities everywhere you look.
Antarctica provides the ultimate adventure for its visitors, with its frozen raw wilderness and extreme conditions that cannot be matched. Tourists feel challenged and motivated by the extraordinary environment and of course, feel a sense of accomplishment once they make a deep connection with the icy continent.
Italy is a beautiful country with a rich culture, history, and cuisine. It is also a popular destination for travelers who want to explore its diverse regions and attractions.
One of the best ways to travel around Italy is by bus, as it offers a convenient, affordable, and eco-friendly option.
However, bus travel in Italy can also be challenging, especially for first-time visitors who are not familiar with the system.
Why Choose Bus Travel in Italy
Bus travel in Italy has many advantages over other ways of getting around the country, like trains, cars, or planes.
Some of the benefits of bus travel in Italy are:
- It is cheaper. Bus tickets in Italy are generally much cheaper than train or plane tickets, especially if you book your bus tickets in advance or use discount codes. For example, you can travel from Rome to Florence by bus for as little as 2 euros, while a train ticket can cost up to 10 euros.
- It is more flexible. Bus travel in Italy allows you to choose from a wide range of destinations, routes, and schedules. You can find buses that connect major cities, as well as smaller towns and villages that are not easily accessible by train or car. You can also find buses that run at different times of the day and night, which can suit your travel preferences and needs.
- It is more eco-friendly. Bus travel in Italy can help you reduce your carbon footprint, as buses emit fewer greenhouse gases than trains, cars, or planes. According to many studies, buses are the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation in Europe. You can reduce your carbon footprint by 77% if you ride a bus instead of a plane.
However, as it has several benefits, it also has drawbacks, like being a lot slower than other ways of getting around.
Types of buses in Italy
There are two main types of buses in Italy: regional buses and inter-city buses. There are also international buses, but they won’t be listed here.
Each type of bus has its own characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.
Here is a brief overview of each type of bus:
Regional buses are buses that operate within a specific region or province of Italy. Typically, local or public businesses like ATAC in Rome, ATM in Milan, or ATAF (Autolinee Toscane) in Florence run them.
Regional buses are the cheapest and most convenient way to travel around a city or a nearby area within a region, as they have frequent and extensive services. However, regional buses are also slow, since they have to stop at many stations and have limited or no amenities.
What should you use it for? Regional buses are ideal for short-distance trips, such as visiting a museum, a park, or a monument.
Inter-city buses are buses that connect different cities or regions of Italy. Private or third-party companies, like Flixbus, Baltour, or Marino, usually run them.
Inter-city buses are the best way to travel between major cities or attractions, as they have fast and direct services.
They are also more comfortable and reliable than regional buses, as they have fewer or no stops, travel on highways or expressways, and have different amenities.
What should you use it for? Inter-city buses are ideal for trips between regions, like visiting Rome from Milan.
What to do while traveling by bus
Since this mode of transportation is slower, you need some activities to do when traveling by bus in Italy, but I’m pretty sure you won’t get bored! You should do the following things:
Enjoy the scenery.
Italy is an incredible scenic country, and traveling by bus can offer you a unique and diverse view of the country, as you can see its cities, towns, villages, mountains, hills, lakes, rivers, and coasts.
You should look out the window and admire the beauty and variety of the Italian landscape, and learn more about its history, culture, and geography.
The post All You Need to Know About Traveling by Bus in Italy appeared first on Wandering Earl.
Welcome to Hong Kong, a vibrant city that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity, offering an abundance of fascinating attractions for travellers to explore. No matter how long you’re here for, there is plenty to see and do on your own, and in the company of others you may be on your travels with.
This comprehensive guide will take you on a virtual tour of the best and most beautiful places you can easily visit in Hong Kong. From Disneyland to Lamma Island, prepare to be captivated by the rich cultural heritage, breathtaking skyline, and stunning landscapes that await you in this bustling metropolis.
So, read on to find out the must visit spots in Hong Kong – it really is a travelers paradise!
Victoria Peak: Witness the city from new heights
Your breath will be taken away as you ascend to the summit of Victoria Peak, the highest point in Hong Kong. Offering a panoramic view of the city’s iconic skyline, this vantage point is a must-visit attraction. You can take a ride on the historic Peak Tram, which has been operating since 1888, and soak in the stunning vistas as you reach the top. Don’t forget your camera: this is the perfect spot to capture that postcard-worthy shot of Hong Kong to send to your loved ones back home.
Hong Kong Disneyland: Experience the magic
If you didn’t know, Hong Kong is one out of six destinations in the world to have their own Disney resort, and is the first resort in Asia outside of Japan. Located on Penny’s Bay, Lantau island, this theme park promises endless fun for visitors of all ages. From classic Disney characters, famous rides, and captivating shows for as little as HK$100, it is not surprising that millions of visitors line up to enter this attraction every year from all over the world. The resort is available all year round and you can purchase tickets online. There are always special offers available.
Tian Tan Buddha: Appreciate nature
Escape the bustling city and discover a place of tranquillity at the Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha. Located on Lantau Island, this majestic bronze statue stands at an impressive height of 112 feet, making it one of the world’s largest outdoor seated Buddha statues. Climb the 268 steps to reach the grand statue and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and seascape. Thousands of visitors spend time reflecting and finding inner peace in this serene and spiritual setting.
Temple Street Night Market: embrace the vibrant nightlife
The perfect place to experience the energy and liveliness of Hong Kong’s nightlife is Temple Street Night Market, a bustling open-air bazaar that comes alive as the sun sets. Explore the maze of stalls selling everything from clothing and accessories to electronics and souvenirs and indulge in local street food delicacies such as stinky tofu and fish balls while enjoying lively street performances by fortune tellers and opera singers. The fun begins from 8:00PM so ensure to be there on time!
Lamma Island: Unwind in nature’s paradise
If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat while in Hong Kong, visit the urban jungle and venture to Lamma Island, a hideaway characterised by its pristine beaches and lush hiking trails. The island offers charming fishing villages, quaint shops, and delightful seafood restaurants. There are seven top hiking routes and each one rewards you with breathtaking coastal views and tranquil landscapes you won’t see anywhere else.
Wong Tai Sin Temple: Discover spiritual harmony
Delve into the rich cultural tapestry of Hong Kong at Wong Tai Sin Temple, a revered religious site that attracts locals and visitors alike. Dedicated to the Taoist deity Wong Tai Sin, this temple exudes an air of serenity and harmony. There are so many intricate architectural details to appreciate here and it is a common practice for tourists to burn incense for good fortune, and have your fortune told by a knowledgeable fortune teller. The temple’s vibrant colours and gardens create a captivating ambience that will leave a lasting impression on you to remember forever.
Hong Kong Museum of History: Learn about the past
Hong Kong is rich in history, and there is no better place to learn about it than at the Museum of History itself. This is an incredible place in which to learn about the city’s past, evolving as it did from a humble fishing village to a global metropolis. The museum offers interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia displays that showcase the rich heritage and cultural diversity of Hong Kong, for free! There is no ticket price to gain entry. It is open between 10am to 6pm most days, but is closed on Tuesdays.
Ocean Park: Dive into marine wonders
Experience the ocean’s wonders at Ocean Park, a world-class marine-themed park that combines entertainment, education, and conservation. Home to a wide range of sea life, thrilling rides, and captivating shows, this park offers an incredible and memorable experience for visitors of all ages. Interact with dolphins, witness the grace of giant pandas, and embark on a thrilling journey through the ocean’s depths. From the adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to the mesmerising underwater tunnel, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Symphony of Lights: A dazzling spectacle
As night falls, prepare to be dazzled by the Symphony of Lights, a synchronised multimedia show that illuminates Hong Kong’s iconic skyline. This breathtaking spectacle involves more than 40 buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour, creating a symphony of music, lights, and laser beams. Find a vantage point along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade or hop on a harbour cruise to witness this mesmerising display that has well and truly earned its place in the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest permanent light and sound show.
Which Will You Visit First?
So, there you have it. Hong Kong offers a diverse range of captivating attractions that cater to every traveller’s taste. From soaring skyscrapers that are best seen via the heights of a private jet to tranquil temples and bustling markets, this city has it all. Whether you’re seeking cultural immersion, thrilling adventures, or simply a place to unwind, Hong Kong’s best and most beautiful places are waiting to be explored.
So pack your bags, embrace the city’s vibrant energy, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the wonders of Hong Kong.
The post Discover Hong Kong: Captivating and Accessible Must-See Spots appeared first on Wandering Earl.