kyrgyzstanKyrgyzstan is often called the Switzerland of Central Asia. In some sense this epithet is more deserved than in others. It is quite off the mark when it comes to the level of income, but very justifiable when it comes to the beauty of the mountainous landscape.

Compared with the dry and hot plains of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan it is quite refreshing to go into the high mountains of Kyrgystan. Kyrgyzstan may not have a long settled history, but it has all the natural beauty to make up for that. Furthermore the poeple are very friendly and helpful. This makes traveling in Kyrgyzstan relatively easy.

Compared with its neighbours, Kyrgyzstan might lack in cultural heritage, but the natural beauty can be overwhelming. In Soviet times much of the country was closed to visitors because of its strategic importance, closeness to China and the uranium mines in the Tian Shan mountains. Now it is the most of open of the Central Asian states.

Bishkek the capital is a green and friendly city. It is the travel hub and the best starting place to explore the country. You can visit the Ala Archa Gorge as an easy day trip from there. Osh and Naryn are further away.

Bishkek is a classic modern Soviet-style city with marble buildings and boulevards that seem too large for its population of around 700,000. Among the high rise apartment blocks typical of Soviet times, you’ll find Central Asia creeping in again. Farmer markets (bazaars) are springing up everywhere and money changing seems to be one of the main industry.

Apart from the distinctly communist-style museums and the general open atmosphere, there is not much to keep you in Bishkek, but you will spend quite a bit of time there anyway in all probability, as it is the main travel hub for Kyrgyzstan and the best place to get information or make bookings.



czech.htmlIn 1989, after the Velvet Revolution ended the communist regime that ruled former Czechoslovakia, millions of travellers from the west started coming in droves to what is now the Czech Republic, especially its capital Prague. And with good reason. This Central European country really has a lot to boast about, and Prague is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the whole world. The country’s ancient tradition of brewing beer (Budweiser was originally a Czech beer) makes your stay in the country an even more enjoyable one.

The Czech Republic is situated approximately in the geographical center of Europe and has an area of 78,866 square km. It is a landlocked country 326 km from the Baltic and 322 km from the Adriatic. It shares borders with Germany (810 km), Poland (762 km), Austria (466 km) and Slovakia (265 km).

The highest point of elevation is the peak of Mt. Snezka (1,602 m above sea level) and the lowest point of elevation is near Hrensko where the River Labe leaves Czech territory (117 m above sea level).



tongaThe archipelago of “The Friendly Islands” was united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. 30 years later it became a constitutional monarchy and a British protectorate in 1900. Tonga acquired its independence in 1970 and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.

Located in the South Pacific Ocean, you will find the islands of Tonga about two-thir

ds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. Tonga’s climate is tropical, modified by trade winds.

The summer season reaches out from december to may, the cool season from may to december.

Most of the small islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base.

two thirds of the population of Tonga live on the island of Tongatapu . This is where the airport is, so you are sure to begin your trip here (unless you come by boat).

Tongatapu is the largest island in the Kingdom of Tonga. It is home to two thirds of its people. A roughly triangular shaped island measures about 34 km across from west to east. Most of the island is less than 17 meters above sea level. The capital Nukualofa, is a slow paced city of about 30,000 inhabitants.

The archeological site of Haamonga is very impressive and should not be missed. Mua is a good place from where to see it.

The island is an area of raised reef limestone on a deep base of volcanic sedimentary rock. The low northern cost is a reef platform, in places up to 200 meters in width. The high windward side of the eastern coast is known as “lilu” has a narrow reef ledge varying in height from 6 to 46 meters. The highest point of 65 meters lays between the airport village of Fu’amotu and Nakolo.

The south and east coasts face very deep water. See the blowholes at Houma. Here waves crash against the reef and through blowholes create spectacular sights. From south east coast the island of “Eua is visible. Tongatapu has no rivers are streams. Tongatapu’s drinking water supply come from underground, called the water lens. Rainwater falling on the islands permutes and floats on top of the heavier sea water. This water is pumped up for the town supply. Rainwater collected in tanks is an alternative source of drinking water for many a Tongan home.



Suriname Suriname is a small country in South America that borders on French Guiana, Guyana and Brazil.

Suriname got its independance from the Netherlands in 1975. The first 25 years were not one big success. A military coup by Desi Bouterse, some corruption affairs, etc. And although the country looks quite steady now it has not improved the living standards of the inhabitants over the last 25 years.

The capital of Paramaribo is an easy going place. There are a few sights, dating back to colonial times, there are a few nice markets and some good nightlife.

Grand etang forest reserve has some interesting wildlife and mangrove swamp tours.

The south of the country is hard to reach and is only for the really adventurous.




Italian fashion is here as well


all the western hotel chains are here : Sofitel, Novotel, Hilton and Best Western


the Mao’s monument is the biggest meeting point for the ChengduersChengdu

the future is ours (?)


the only guy i’ve seen wearing the maoist green-beret


Chengdu city center


ironic : in the opposite side of the square there is a KFC and a McDonald’s


not big as i expected but very nice socialist artwork


the great Mao Ze Dong statue


workers rebuilding all the streets next to the Mao’s statue


the red flag

No Money – How to travel?

“How to save money for a trips?”

One of the greatest myths out there is that you should be rich to travel. With these straightforward however groundbreaking hacks I’ll demonstrate to you proper methodologies to go without cash!

We should rehash that.

You don’t should be rich to travel.

Actually, a restricted spending plan is a test that regularly comes about in funnier head out experiences and stories to tell. After all the best things in life are free… or possibly shoddy!

Just remember , If you want to take a trip  and worries about travel budget is, it’s best to have a plan in place!

Travel Bus travel is an affordable way to travel from one city to another. While taking a bus from one destination to another usually involves runs between major cities, buses normally operate on a schedule so that you can plan a travel itinerary. Taking a larger bus line may offer travelers more amenities; however, riding a bus from one city to another can sometimes offer travelers more options than traveling by rail. If you will be taking a long bus trip, get as much information as you can before booking a seat.

  • Consider the cost savings of traveling by bus. If your travel destination is fewer than 500 miles away, you could pay 30 to 40 percent less for a bus ticket than to travel to the same city by air.
  • Decide if you want to travel with a discount bus service. You may be able to get a low cost fare for as little as $1 plus booking fee, but you have to book your seat online well in advance. Since there are only a couple of $1 seats available on each bus, you are probably going to have to pay more. Go to the website for more information about cheap travel to and from major cities.
  • Find out about the route the bus will be taking, including the number of stops the bus will be making along the way. Although some buses stop several times between the departure city and destination location, other bus lines only make one or two stops during the entire trip.
  • Inquire about any layovers. Depending on the route, there may be at least one, or perhaps more layovers. A layover might last for only five minutes, but some can last for an hour or more.
  • Ask if there is a bathroom on board.

If you decide to travel by bus, keep in mind that major bus lines frequently pool some of their routes with regional bus operators that share the same travel route. Get this information in advance so that you know what other carriers operate on each route.



a small “Rio”


a unique scenario of rocks and water


Cannaregio : the main street


side canals : venetian architecture and pastel colors


another small Campo with a statue


nice scorcio of canal with bridge


canals are everywhere and it’s easy to get lost


a typical Campo


walking from the station to Cannaregio


left view of the Canal Grande


churches and buon gusto are offered to the tou


the station as seen from the station’s bridge


crowds of tourist from all over the world


front of the station : a large pedestrian promenade with scenic view on
Canal Grande, churches, and renaissence architecture


arriving at Venice’s Santa Lucia train station


Bosnia Herzegovina

Best known for the Balkan conflict of the 90s, Bosnia has moved on and has a great deal to offer travellers. Beautiful countryside, a thriving arts scene, sports opportunity, and fresh open space. A beautiful gem, ignored by too many.






Forget the ’90s and the pictures of Sarajevo under siege, anything here has been carefully rebuilt and this city is back as one of the must-see of the Balkans, offering a unique ,mix of christian and muslim architecture, food, art, and design, as well as being surrounded by a beautiful scenario of mountains, rivers, and small alpine lakes


singaporeSingapore is an island city located at the southernmost tip of the Malaysian Peninsula in South East Asia. It is well-known for being one of the richest, most well organised, efficient countries in the world with a very high standard of living and an excellent skyline by the water. Singapore is an island with “1000 shopping malls” or so they say. Despite the hot climate, it is a tropical paradise for most tourists. This great diversity of lifestyles, cultures and religions thrives within the framework of a regulated society. Singapore’s “FINE” city reputation is well-earned, and in fact, many will admire at once the clean, modern metropolis. Surrounded by artificially ‘ordered’ parks, its tall housing projects are populated by more than 80% of the population – whose smiling native charms often belie underlying tensions of the way the island is progressing after 30 years of development.

Highlights of Singapore include some of the ethnic parts of town: Arab street, Chinatown, Colonial District, Orchard road and Little India.

South of Singapore are a few beautiful islands that are well worth visiting. The most visited is Sentosa island. It is a playground for people of all ages. See the Sentosa island section for more information.

A common misconception is that chewing gum is strictly not allowed into Singapore and that you will be arrested for that ”crime”. However, THAT IS COMPLETELY WRONG! The law states that chewing gum cannot be sold in Singapore, but it is PERFECTLY OKAY for you to bring in chewing gum for your own personal consumption. But if you improperly dispose of the gum, just as you would litter any other thing, you might be fined, BUT the authorities rarely enforce this ruling. The signs are there to act as a deterrent and the authorities do not enforce the rules strictly at all.

Please note that, like all countries in the region, visitors are not exempt from strict laws pertaining to drug possession and trafficking. The death penalty will be prescribed if you are caught with more than a specific weight of narcotics.

Singapore, the diamond-shaped island off the southern tip of Malaysia, is an unlikely success story. Once a simple fishing village, it was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles, an official of the British East India Company, who decided it was the perfect location as a trading station. Since then it has become one of the world’s most prosperous cities, known as the Lion City.

Singapore City is by far the largest and most significant island alongside 63 others that make up Singapore state. Here, especially at the mouth of the Singapore River, Asian tradition meets modern technology – gleaming skyscrapers tower over traditional architecture, while squat Chinese and Hindu temples stud the city. A curious blend of ancient and modern, the city is home to an ethnic mix of Chinese, Malaysians and Indians, as well as ex-pats from all over the world, in a predominantly English-speaking society. These different races live harmoniously thanks to religious tolerance, increased prosperity, stringent no-nonsense laws and a constant balmy equatorial heat.

Since the island became an independent Republic in 1965, it has enjoyed a vigorous and successful free trade policy, as introduced by its then Prime Minister (now Minister Mentor) Lee Kuan Yew. This has led to an unprecedented rise in the standard of living (most city dwellers own their own homes) and exponential economic growth, due mainly to the export industry. Its healthy economy was dented between 2001 and 2003 during the global recession and slump in the technology sector, and it suffered a heavy loss in tourist numbers after the terrorist attacks of September 11. There was a further drop in the number of visitors to the region during the SARS outbreak at the end of 2003. A subsequent recovery, however, has seen unemployment fall from 6% in 2002 to 3.4% in 2004.



azerbaijanRepublic of Azerbaijan is an independent country located in Transcaucasia. Politically, Azerbaijan is considered part of Eastern Europe and is integrating into European organizations and infrastructure. Georgraphically, Azerbaijan is located in SouthWest Asia and only borders Europe through Big Caucasus mountain range.

Republic of Azerbaijan covers only the northern part of the historical region of Azerbaijan, which also includes the Iranian provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, and Ardabil, located to the south of Araxes River. In XIXth century, Russian empire conquered northern parts of Azerbaijan and Araxes River became a border between two parts of historical Azerbaijan, usually called by Azeris as NORTH and SOUTH Azerbaijan. People in both parts of historical Azerbaijan speak the same Azeri Turkic dialect and share Shi’a version of Islam. They’re generally known as Azers or Azeri Turks.

Republic of Azerbaijan has an area of 33,440 square miles (86,600 sq km) and is bordered by Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, Iran to the south, and the Caspian Sea to the east. The capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan is Baku, the largest industrial center located on Caspian Sea shores, with a population of about 2 million.

Azerbaijan is one of the oldest spots of civilization, a country with a rich and ancient history. The discovery of AZYKH cave and GOBUSTAN, the earliest habitation of man to be found in the world, and a number of habitations of the ancient stone age prove that Azerbaijan enters the zone of anthropoids to reveal the birthplace of mankind.

The first known state, established in 11th century B.C. in southern part of Azerbaijan was MANNAE. Later Mannae became part of another ancient Azerbaijani state, MEDES (Mada) and during the rule of Cyrus the Great (THE MEDE) became along with Parthia part of Great Persian empire in 6th – 4th centuries B.C. Since those times and until XIXth century, Azerbaijan shared most of its history with what is now Iran.

During the invasion of Alexander the Great in 4th century B.C., Azerbaijan was ruled by Atropates. Upon the arrival of Alexander, Atropates became his satrap, and hence preserved his semi-autonomous rule of the territory of Azerbaijan. It’s widely accepted that etymology of the name “Azerbaijan” is derived from ATROPATES, which in Persian interpretation became Aturpatakan, and later upon Arab conquest, got its Arabic pronounciation of Azerbaijan.

Another, less authoritative, theory traces the origin of the name “Azerbaijan” to ancient Persian word “Ather” (“The Fire”), hence Azerbaijan, “the Land of Fires”. This version is supported by the fact that inhabitants of historical Azerbaijan practiced Zoroastrianism in ancient times, and there are several Zoroastrian temples preserved up until nowadays, and fueled by plentiful supplies of natural oil.

North Azerbaijan was in ancient times dominated by various tribes, including Scythians, Sachs, Massaghets, and invading Khazars. These tribes were of indigenous Caucasian and Turkic origins. Scythian ruler of North Azerbaijan, Queen Tomyris is known to have beheaded Cyrus the Great to revenge the killing of her son, after Cyrus’ army invaded north of Araxes river and was defeated in a battle. Closer to 4th century B.C., the tribes of North Azerbaijan merged into an ancient state known as Albania (Aghvan, Aluank in Armenian sources). To avoid confusion with modern country of Albania, historians refer to this ancient state as Caucasian Albania.

So starting from 4th century B.C., Azerbaijani history was dominated by two ancient states: Atropatena in the South and Caucasian Albania in the North. Initially Zoroastrian religion was practiced in both parts of Azerbaijan and was a state religion of Caucasian Albania. In 4th century A.D., King Urmayr of Caucasian Albania accepted Christianity in Diophysite teaching, similar to Byzantine Greeks and Georgians. Acceptance of Christianity by all three main Caucasus peoples, brought to close relations and intermarriages between them. At about the same time, in the beginning of 5th century A.D., Armenian monk St. Mesrob Mashdots introduced alphabets for Armenian, Georgian and Alban peoples.

It shall be noted here, that Armenians accepted a Monophysite doctrine of Christian religion, which distinguished them from Georgians and Albans, and distinguishes them from the rest of Christians up to date. Moreover, Armenian language belongs to Indo-European family of languages, while Georgian and ancient Alban language belong to indigenous Ibero-Caucasian ethno-linguistic group. This note is necessary, as Armenian historians often attempt to portray Caucasian Albans as Armenians and Caucasian Albanian inscriptions and churches as Armenian, in order to justify their territorial claims to modern Azerbaijan and its historical monuments.

In the beginning of 8th century A.D., Azerbaijan was conquered by Arabs and became part of Arab Caliphate as a province of ARRAN. Islam became the leading religion in Azerbaijan creating new traditions and culture in most of mainland Azerbaijan. Small group of Caucasian Albans inhabiting Artsakh (Karabakh) did not convert to Islam, and remained Christian, which resulted in their isolation from the rest of Islamicized Caucasian Albans. This group of people, under heavy influence of Armenian church, was gradually converted to Armenian Church and ultimately became what is now known as Karabakh Armenians. In middle ages, during Persian and Turkic rules, and until the establishment of Muslim Azeri Khanate in Shusha, Albans of Karabakh were ruled by noble Albanian Mihranids, which were Christian.

Armenianization of Caucasian Albans in Karabakh continued through centuries and culminated in 1836, when by the order of Russian Czar, patriarchate of Albanian church was dissolved and subdued to Gregorian Armenian Apostolic Church. From this point on, the association of Karabakh inhabitants with ancient Albanian culture was effectively erased, and their origin and language became attributed to Armenians.

Muslim population of Azerbaijan continued integrating into new culture and religion brought by Arabs and later enforced by resettlement of Turkic tribes. Islamization and Turkification of Azerbaijan erased the last cultural and religious borders between inhabitants of North and South Azerbaijan, and the process of establishment of Azeris (or Azeri Turks) in modern meaning started. In middle ages, between 12th and 15th centuries several successive Turkic dynasties ruled both North and South Azerbaijan, including QARAQOYUNLU, AGQOYUNLU, SAFAVI, and QAJARS. The latter two, subdued all of Iran and their kingdoms were known to modern historical science as medieval Persia. Although the mother tongue of these dynasties was Turkic, they practiced Persian as literary and state language. The exception was Shah Ismail Safavi, the founder of Safavi state, who used Turkic as a state language.

Heroism of such popular leaders as JAVANSHIR and Baback has been turned into a school of patriotism, embodiment of courage and unification of people. Life and activity of MOUHAMMED JAHAN PAHLAVAN, QIZIL ARSLAN, UZUN HASSAN, SHAH ISMAIL KHATAI and other statesmen developed love of Motherland and statehood in people, and have been turned to one of the major goals of our life.

Azerbaijani people distinguish among other peoples with its specific image in the world culture. Cultural and literaty specimen of this people created for centuties are tanned with love of life, feelings of freedom and independence. Gran works of art of our people such as ‘KITABI DEDE-GORGUD’, ‘KEROGLU’, coryphaeus who have left indelible traces in the history of the world civilization such as NIZAMI GENJEVI, EFSALADDIN KHEGANI, KHETIB TEBRIZI, IMAMEDDIN NESIMI, GATRAN TEBRIZI, MOUHAMMED FOUZULI whose creative activities were devoted to praising world ideas of truth and justice, served to establish human ideals. Art lovers are still admired by the works of SEFIEDDIN OURMAVI, EJEMI NAKHCHIVANI, SULTAN MOUHAMMED TEBRIZI, who gave pearls to the treasure of world culture. Our people have full right to be proud of the contribution given to the world science. The names of our thinkers NESREDDIN TOUSI, ABOUL-HASSAN BEHMENYAR, MIRZE FETELI AKHOUNDOFF, ABASGOULI AGHA BAKIKHANOFF and others are wellknown to world science.

A rivalry between states to involve Azerbaijan into the sphere of their interests resulted in striking inner destabilization in 18th century. A number of independent state formations – Khanates appeared, the contradictions between Russia, Turkey and Iran deepened in the 18th – 19th century. Two Russo-Persian wars followed, one in 1804-1813 and the second in 1826-1828. The first was ended by the Treaty of GULISTAN (1813), by which Russia obtained the azeri khanates of GARABAGH, GENJE, SHEKI, ILISOU, SHIRVAN, GOUBA, DERBENT, BAKU, and TALISH, as well as western Georgia (Imeretia and Abkhazia) and Daghestan. The second war, in which Russia was again victorious, was ended by the Treaty of Turkmanchai (1828), by which Persia ceded the two large azeri khanates of NAKHCHIVAN and IREVAN (now Armenia). The TURKMENCHAY Treaty of 1828 between Russia and Iran separated Azerbaijan and its people: the northern part of Azerbaijan was conquered by Russia, its southern part became a part of the Iranian state.

The 20th century entered the history of the Azerbaijan people as the period of radical changes in socio-economic, political and cultural life. A range of upstream and downstream industrial branches were intensively developing in Azerbaijan. Baku turned into the world center of oil extraction and refinery yielding more than half of the worlds and 95% of Russia’s oil extraction total. The cultural live enlivened. Various branches of science were developing, newspapers and magazines started to be published. Formation of political societies, organizations and perties for dessimination of progressive, democratic ideas contributed to the process of becoming and developing a national identity and fueled the growth of the liberation movement of the February, 1917: The fall of the tsarist monarchy in Russia created favorable conditions for the development of national movements in its border lands. May 28, 1918: Azerbaijan rehabilitated its state structure – the Independent Azerbaijan Republic was established. having Existed for 23 months, it collapsed.

Troops of the 11th Red Army came to Baku. In December, 1922 Azerbaijan became a pert of the USSR and a socialist republic was formed with the attributes of the state – Constitution, flag, national anthem, state emblem. In 1991 state independance of Azerbaijan was restored, The Constitutional Act of State Independence was adopted. Establishment of the Independent Azerbaijan republic is an important historical event of our life. It is true that the way to independence as not easy for us and we have undergone severe tests. As a result of millitary agression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, occupation of 20% of our territory by Armenian invaders more than one million of our citizens were obliged to leave their native homes and turned into refugees and displaced people. Sabotage of internal and extenal forces against our statehood, disintegration of former economic relations, social and economic difficulties of the transition period and other problems have complicated our way to independence. nevertheless our people did not lose confidence, will and determination in our statehood, but on the contrary, the belief of our people became more strengthened.

As a result of purposeful policy achievements gained for recent years in the country are evident. The war with Armenia that has been going on since 1989, has already been stoped in mid 1997, we have achieved a cease-fire. We have ut an end once and for all to the subversive activities of armed groups within the country, political disorder has been blocked up. The republic of Azerbaijan enjoys relative political stability now. This creates firm foundation to implement radical changes in different spheres of the life of our country. The first Constitution was adopted through nationwide referendum. the Constitutions ensures the independence of the State of azerbaijan, its sovereignty, territorial integrity, the civil society in the scope of the main law. The conditions to use and to extend the Azerbaijani language in all spheres as the State language were set up, and prospective were opened to mature it and to take its deserved place among the languages of the globe. Our nation is setting up the life principles based on supremacy of law, taking care of its history, protecting and developing its national and moral values and Azerbaijan will follow the same target in future.

Azerbaijan expiriences the period of great economic changes and reforms. the transfer to market relations and integration to the world economic system constitute main trends of our policy. the macroeconomy has been stabilized in the country. the economic egress of late 80’s has been overcome and the progress in some branches has become visibly achieved. The current economic reforms have had a qualitative new step. Fundamental changes are taking place in the economy. The market relations and entities are being formed to meet the requirements of new structure. Some branches of the industry, trade, transport, public utility services have been privatized, bank and fiscal systems, finansial institutions have been reformed, the implementation of joint projects with major foreign state and private companies and the like are good examples of progress in Azerbaijan’s economy.

Azerbaijan is well known as an independent State worldwide and has a unique image. As soon as the independence has been achieved our country becomes a member of The United Nations Organization, The organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, The Islamic Conference Organization, The Commonwealth of independent States, The Community of Turkich States, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, The International Monetary Fund, The World Bank for Reconstruction and Development and creates a mutually beneficial collaboration with Inter-Parliamentary Union, European Council, European Community, European Parliament, NATO and other international organizations.

Today the most sensitive problem of our country is the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and fair call of Azerbaijan to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh problem is supported by the countries worldwide, international and regional organizations. We are convinced that this problem will be justly and peacfully solved very soon and territorial integrity of our country will be restored. We have declared once and again that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan must be settled peacefully. We are against the war. We are in favor of peace. Our utmost desire is to establish peace in azerbaijan, throughout he Caucasian region and worldwide. Azerbaijan is a peace-loving State is willing to live in peace in the atmosphere of mutually beneficial cooperation and understanding with all countries and nations, especially with its neighbors.