Italy Travel Guide

Italy can be ranked as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, so there is an abundance of information available for anyone who wants to travel to Italy. Italy travel guides can be broadly classified into two categories–the first category includes those guides which contain all the relevant information about various tourist spots in the country, and the second category includes those travel guides which give information about a particular region or city.

A number of tour and travel operators, private publishers, and hotel and resort owners often bring out such travel guides. But it is always best to refer to the official web site and publications of the tourism board of Italy, as they provide authentic information.

In some of the private travel guides, there might be deliberate attempt to promote certain hotels, restaurants, resorts, shops, etc. This could actually mislead a tourist, especially one who is traveling to the country for the first time.

Italy seems to have endless number of tourist spots. Visiting all of them may not be possible for a tourist, even during the course of a long vacation. So it is always better to go through a good travel guide related to Italy, select the places you want to visit and get your reservations well in advance. Most of the Italy travel guides also provide information about hotels in various regions, along with a list of their rentals.

Several online travel guides provide free information about Italy’s popular places. However, it is always better to verify the information provided by non-governmental web sites. This could be done by using online travel and tourism guides provided by the Italian government and several city administrations. While traveling within Italy, a travel guide with maps of various Italian cities could always be a prized possession.

Your Quick and Easy Guide to the Top Must-See Sights of Phuket,Thailand

The island of Phuket is filled with various attractions, that it could be a daunting task to choose from. So, here’s a Phuket travel guide depicting the top five must-see destinations in this city.

The Big Buddha

The Big Buddha or Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha of Phuket is located at Chalong Bay and sits atop one of the highest points on the island. It can be seen from most places in South Phuket. The statue itself sits at 45 meters high. It was constructed using approximately 135 tons of Burmese white marble, which shines in the sun, making it a natural symbol of hope. The lofty site offers the best 360-degree views of the island and travelers may enjoy sweeping vistas of Phuket Town, Kata and Karon beaches, as well as Chalong Bay.

Wat Chalong

Wat Chalong Temple in Chalong Bay is the largest and most important temple in Phuket Island. It is also the most visited, as many locals and Thai tourists come to pray and pay respects to several revered monks who were the founders of Wat Chalong. The Grand Pagoda is said to contain a bone splinter from the Lord Buddha himself. The walls of the pagoda are adorned with murals depicting the story of the Buddha’s life.

Phuket Town Night Market

If you are a shopper, but want to get out of the overpriced shopping centers, you must visit the Night Market in Phuket Town. There are many vendors here selling their own unique collection of wares. Shoppers can expect to find a variety items that make for perfect souvenirs and gifts. As with most night markets, haggling is common and expected. So, don’t be shy to negotiate for a bargain price.

Phang Nga Bay

This scenic bay is located off the mainland peninsula of southern Thailand. It is famous, not only for its distinctive islands and cliffs, but also because it appeared on two James Bond films, “The Man with the Golden Gun” in 1974, and “Tomorrow Never Dies” in 1997. Known for its majestic limestone rock formations, most visitors explore the area on a one-day tour via kayaking, but some larger islands have accommodation available in nearby Thailand resorts.

Bangla Road (Soi Bangla)

This road located at Patong Beach is what made the beach famous. Soi Bangla is a colorful spectacle that must be seen in person, as no words can adequately capture its energy. Lining both sides of the main road are numerous bars and clubs. There is several side roads called Soi, which leads to more entertainment complexes.

Apart from bars and clubs, the popular Patong Beach also boasts a growing number of boutiques, resorts, and hotels including the romantic Patong Paragon Resort and Spa. Among the destinations in this Phuket travel guide, Patong lets travelers get the best of both worlds, with its unspoiled beaches, superb restaurants, and thriving nightlife.

Kochi Travel Guide – Enjoy the Backwaters

Kochi is also known as Cochin and is one of the cosmopolitan cities of Kerala and is considered as the financial capital of the state. Kochi has a prominent place in the Indian history from the times when people here started trading in spices with people of other countries. The influence of the trading partners like Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese led to the blend of various cultures at this place.

Kochi has a tropical climate that does not have great variations. It has moderate summers and cool winters with light showers in between. The place could be visited any time of the year except monsoon season. Kochi could be said as a cluster of islands and main land all connected by bridges and ferries. It comprises of Ernakulam mainland, Willingdon Island, Peninsula of Mattencherry and Fort Kochi, Bolgatty Island, Allarpadom Island, Vypin Island, Aluva, Thrikakara Town, Thripunithura and Maradu.

The festivals like Christmas and Cochin Carnivals are conducted in winter season and so visiting the place in winters would be really good. The Cochin International Airport is not only the largest airport in Kerala but also one of the major gateways to India. Kochi is well connected by train with other Indian cities and there are two major railway stations here namely Ernakulam Town Station and Ernakulam Junction Station.

The Kerala Road State Transport Corporation runs bus services to neighboring cities and states and there are 3 types of buses, super fast, express and Garuda Hi-Tech. NH 66 connects Kochi with Mumbai through Mangalore, Goa and extends up to Thiruvananthapuram and NH 544 connects Kochi with Palakkad, Coimbatore, Salem and Bangalore and NH 49 connects it with Rameswaram through Madurai and Munnar. There is also direct ferry service between Kochi and Lakshadweep. The auto rickshaws, taxis and cabs are used for local transportation. The ferries connect Kochi with other islands like Fort Kochi, Vypeen and Willingdon Island.

Some of the interesting places worth visiting is, Fort Kochi Beach where you can see the Chinese Fishing Nets, Hill Palace Museum, Santacruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, David Hall, Bastion Bungalow, Dutch Palace, Jew Street and Paradesi Synagogue, Princess Street, Chendamangalam Palace Fort, Pallipuram Fort, Holy Koonan Cross Church and Pierce Leslie Bungalow. Apart from them, there are some parks, museums and beaches.

Onam festival, Cochin Carnival, Fireworks festival and Shiva Temple festival are all conducted at various times of the year and being at Cochin in one of those times would enchant you. Especially Cochin Carnival and Christmas are celebrated together and there will be a wonderful array of colorful rallies and competitions conducted during those times.

Fresh seafood is popular in Kochi and also freshwater fish is caught from the backwaters. Along with this prawns, squids and shrimps are enjoyed. The tasty dishes of Kochi like meen molagitta curry and kurukku kalan are served in the Kochi restaurants. When you are at Kochi you can stay either in Fort Cochin or Ernakulam city. Many premium hotels are located in Willingdon Island also. Look at a good Kochi travel guide to find out the best Kochi hotels and Kochi restaurants.