Contents

Come join us on a trip through Southern Thailand to the Straits of Malacca. Your Mercedes is waiting.

Night in Satun - Adventures in Southern Thailand

Night in Satun - Adventures in Southern ThailandMy Mercedes is waiting. The sun beams diffusely down through the moisture laden air causing beads of sweat to drip continuously on my already drenched t-shirt. I am going to Satun and the Mercedes is a classic well kept 1962 model. In fact there is a whole fleet of Mercedes waiting to take tourist to Satun from Hai Jai in Southern Thailand. They are all black with an exaggerated curved body indicative of automobiles of the late 50s. And believe it or not, they still retain the comfort that Mercedes is famous for. The year is 1998 and I am going to the Andaman Sea in the Straits of Malacca. There I will plant myself for two weeks on one of the many somewhat deserted islands that dot this reclusive part of the world. A world inhabited by pirates and honeymooners in the Koh Tarutao National Park system in the very south of Southern Thailand. Which island I am going to, I dont know, but I am not the only one. Sharing my taxi ride is a young couple in love from Germany and a family from Thailand, husband and wife with their 5 year old son.It takes about twenty minutes for the taxi driver to stuff everyones belongings into the trunk. I have made substantial purchases of deliciously fresh dried fruits and filled my water container with pomegranate juice from one of the made for tourist vendors surrounding the taxi. We squeeze into tightly together; the family and myself in the rear of the taxi and the couple from Germany in the front and prepare for a long and fascinating journey. Are you comfortable the driver asks in broken English. I answer like an excited kid, Lets get this rocket rolling. My feelings were of excitement and anticipation and I dont know why I said such a strange thing. No one else said anything and I felt as if my words were still echoing in the silence minutes later. But no matter, here I am in the middle of the world, on an adventure that relatively few have gone before. The journey takes 3 hours of driving through exotic and undeveloped country side; incidentally through a warm and friendly Islamic side of Thailand. At one point we passed two foreigners on bicycles pedaling in racing uniforms. Later they caught up to us in some remote village on the way as we were stopping for refreshment. They came up next to our taxi and said with a heavy European accent hello? I answered, Wow! I cant believe this! What are you doing way out here in the middle of nowhere on bicycles?The young man in his twenties answered, We are traveling around the world. We are on our way to Indonesia. The other couple traveling in the taxi with me immediately took notice and a very long and interesting conversation ensues between all of us. It turns out that the bicyclists are a married couple and the last county they pedaled through was Myanmar. After Indonesia, they planned to cycle the islands of Hawaii and then to Mainland USA.To this day I still have dreams of that encounter and the miraculous and dangerous journey they were taking. I have never heard of them since and have no idea what became of them. Before we know it, the taxi driver is honking his horn for us to return and we are saying our goodbyes to this marvelous couple. We pile into the taxi for the last leg of our journey. Looking out the window we pass fields of coconut palms, women balancing wood or foods in baskets on their heads wearing colorful loose clothing down to their feet. The homes we pass by are often made of palm frawns or a patchwork of wood and debris. And in the fields are men and women, young and old with their ox and children tilling vegetables in the same way at their ancestors have done for thousands of years. Finally we reach Satun. I dont know what to expect. The town is about two blocks long; a fishing village whose main street leads right to the ocean. There fishing boats made of old rotting lumber wait to take us to one of the many islands we will now select in the many makeshift tourist offices that line the street. Each old rickety tourist office has pictures of the islands they offer and provide for a fee, the means to get their. And if you are uninformed, you will pay in advance for you accommodations. Something better to do when you arrive on the island. Occasionally an owner of one of these offices tries to get us inside by enticing us with words like beautiful, exotic, cheap We all walk down the main avenue looking and asking questions until each of us select our travel destination destiny.I study all the pictures from all the offices of all the islands carefully and I choose Langkawi only 5 kilometers away from the southern tip of Tarutao Island. I pay the equivalent of approximately $7 for a round trip boat ticket and I am then led to one of the boats. The boat can fit about 4 people and sits low to the water. There is single engine propeller that is barely hangs attached to the rear of the craft. I wait about 15 minutes before we begin our three hour journey through rough and dangerous seas to the somewhat deserted and exotic island of Langkawi... My days on the island with boa constrictors, pirates, a lost tribe of Islamic fishermen, my isolated beach cottage right on my own private beach, the couple isolated on the other side of the island studying esoteric Buddhism, the small exotic caf serving daily fresh fish from the sea, the many tourist from Europe that came and went, lightening in the sky on a clear day and the marvelous skin diving in clear deep tropical sears are topics I will discuss in my next article. Stay turned.

Tennessee Ski Vacations

Tennessee Ski Vacations

With an elevation of 3301 feet, and a vertical drop of 600 feet, Ober Gatlinburg features eight trails: two beginner trails, four intermediate trails, and two advanced trails. There are three lifts, including two quad lifts, one double lift, and one surface lift. The Season runs from the middle of December through early March, and night skiing is allowed on all trails except the Grizzly trail.Rentals are available for both ski equipment and snowboarding equipment. Private and group lessons for skiing and snowboarding are also available through the Smokey Mountain Snow Sport School. You can also easily find food at the many snack-bars, food carts, the caf, the restaurant, or in the lounge.You must not miss the longest chair lift ride in the south! You will see awesome views of the Great Smoky Mountains. You will also get a birds eye view of some of the slopes, and you can have your picture taken on top of the mountain. If you dont ski, dont worry! You can ride back down the mountain on the chair lift as well. Dont forget the Tramway. The tramway departs from downtown Gatlinburg and takes you to the ski resort and the amusement park. Even if you dont ski, you can still explore the thrill of flying down a mountain at a high speed or a slow speed if you choose. This is possible with the Alpine Slide. The slide is approximately 1800 feet long, and takes you down a winding wooded slope. You have total control over your speed with the use of a braking device on each sled. Other attractions at the amusement park include the Black Bear Habitat, a bungee jump, a water race, go karts, indoor ice skating, kiddy land, an arcade, miniature golf, a Spider Web Velcro Wall Jump, water rides and a shooting range.No matter what type of fun or adventure you are seeking, there is something to satisfy everyone in the family at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and Amusement Park. This is definitely a trip worth taking, especially if you have younger kids or Senior Citizens traveling with you.

The Beach Of Bibione Meets The Wine With September Fest

The Beach Of Bibione Meets The Wine With September Fest

From different years the Venetian seaside resort Bibione puts the warmth of September's sun near the wine's taste which comes from its biological farming.Thought this end season's month is far, the Venetian golden beach already developed the next calendar of September Fest 2008, big wines' and grapes' festival.Residents and tourists that know Bibione from some years consider September Fest the most important summer season's event.Wednesday the 3th and Thursday the 4th of September all people with the entry ticket will taste the best DOC wines (wines whose origin and production is government controlled) of the Venetian area Lison Pramaggiore.Lison Pramaggiore is a wine area near the historic town Portogruaro and few kilometres far from the famous Venice and from the beaches of Bibione, Caorle and Jesolo.The vineyards' and wines' quality of this zone allowed the birth of Lison Pramaggiore DOC Wine Road in 1986.From its vineyards the festival's organizers stock up every year on 100 hectolitres of red and white DOC wine to give out free to all guests.Wine will be served with typical tasty dishes from Bibione and Venetian area: Montasio cheese, squids, sardine, polenta and desserts.Besides being a festival for all wine lovers, September Fest offers also concerts and animation teams for adults and children.The wine's rediscovering is attracting more and more public: oenological wine fairs and festivals are increasing as well as the demand of Italian wines.This passion created a new tourism's typology: wine tourism.Holiday in renowned wine's area and tours on delightful wine roads, where tourists can relax in natural landscapes and taste typical food products.It's not difficult to understand the importance of September Fest for the tour operator of Bibione: wine is playing a significant part in tourist area.This is the reason why some tour operators in the Venetian seaside resort associate their business with the wine festival, trying to attract guests also in the end season.Some owners of hotel, real-estate agencies and apartments in Bibione developed already offers for the next September Fest period.Beside package tours and discounts, there's a particular offer: the free entry ticket to the wine festival.This is launched by the real-estate agency CasaMare in Bibione.The agency owners will give the free entry ticket to all guests that will spend their holiday in a residence, hotel, villa or apartment in Bibione provided by CasaMare.In this way tourists can enjoy the warmth and the peace of September with lower fares and at the same time taste good wine and food free.This kind of offer open a new road in the tourist situation: the combination with different elements like accommodation and typical food.CasaMare is moving in this way, offering new incentives to guests, that can enjoy their holiday in buildings like tourist villages with swimming pool or apartments in Bibione near the beach, tour to the next famous Venetian and Friulian cities and entry free to the September Fest 2008, wine and grapes festival.

Making Your Hawaii Vacation Rental Reservations

Making Your Hawaii Vacation Rental Reservations

Are you looking to book a stay at a Hawaii vacation rental? If you are, you may be in the process of making your vacation reservations. When it comes to doing so, you will find that you have a number of different options. A few of your options are below.One of the easiest ways to go about booking a Hawaii trip is by using the services of a professional travel agent. Travel agents are nice options to have, as they do most of the work for you. Depending on the travel agent in question, your agent may research popular Hawaii activities, attractions, and vacation rentals. This can save you a considerable amount of time.Although many vacationers prefer to use the services of professional travel agents, there are many more who dont. Truthfully, no one, but yourself can plan the vacation of your dreams. While using the services of a travel agent can save you time, you may also find yourself spending large chunks of time on the phone or in meetings with your travel agent reviewing their finding and all of your options.If you are looking to plan your own Hawaii trip, you will still find that you have a number of different options. One of those options involves making each of your travel arrangements individually. In terms of your Hawaiian vacation rental, you can book your reservations directly through the vacation rental owner. For many vacationers, dealing directly with the all vacation rental owners provides them with a certain level of comfort.Although dealing directly with all vacation rental owners is an approach that is more than doable, it is one that you may find time consuming. A large number of vacation homeowners create online websites for their rental properties, but it can be difficult to find many of these websites. You may also find yourself presented with only one or two rental properties. While you may luck out and find a great Hawaiian vacation rental right away, you never know. It is important to remember that Hawaii is filled with beautiful, private, and affordable vacation rentals.If you are interested in examining a large number of Hawaiian vacation rentals, including vacation homes, condos, villas, and cottages, you will want to examine online travel websites. Online travel websites are websites that enable you to search, browse, examine, and book your vacation reservations. When searching for an online travel website to do business with, there are a number of points that you will want to take into consideration. For instance, you may want to do business with those that specialize solely in Hawaiian vacations and those that let you book multiple reservations, such as those for airlines and vacation rentals.As for booking your next Hawaii vacation with a travel website that deals specifically with "Hawaiian vacations" and vacation rentals, you will find that there are a number of benefits to doing so. One of those benefits is more tailored results. When an individual or a company focuses on a particular vacation destination, like Hawaii, they are able to give that destination their full attention. As a traveler, this means that you should have access to some of the best "Hawaiian vacation rentals" , as well as all other travel arrangements.Speaking of other Hawaii vacation travel arrangements, you may want to look into booking your vacation in the form of a vacation package. Vacation packages are often designed to save you both time and money. With that in mind, if you decide not to purchase a vacation package or if they arent available through your preferred online travel website, you will still want to make all of your reservations at the same time. This may help to ensure that your vacation goes as planned. For instance, it is easier to verify that your Hawaiian vacation rental and airline reservations are all made for the same date.Online, you can find a number of online travel websites to help you book your next Hawaii vacation. You will want to examine these online travel websites to find the one that can provide you with the best results, which should include a long list of beautiful Hawaiian vacation rentals. To get you started in your search, you should visit HawaiianBeachRentals.com.

Tips For A Great Family Vacation

The biggest mistake you can make when planning a family vacation is not involving the entire family. You probably think that when it comes to vacations, parents know best. But you might be surprised to realize that children, even young ones, can provide valuable input. Children are as exposed to advertising as the rest of us and they have their own ideas about what the family vacation should entail, so listen to them. Theres no right formula for a successful family vacation. In fact, one size does not fit all when it comes to spending quality time with your family. Your family vacation doesnt have to be two weeks long, or taken during summer months, or spent at the more popular tourist destinations. Busy working parents cant always coordinate this amount of time away from work, and believe it or not, children often get bored when traveling this long. Thinking outside the box when planning your family vacation can lead to some interesting and memorable times. Instead of one long vacation, break your time off up into smaller chunks and plan multiple vacations throughout the year. Traveling off-season means lower prices, less crowds and a different perspective on the destination. For example, Florida is a great place to visit during October, and it wouldnt be difficult to add a day or two onto the 3-day Columbus Day week-end. If you dont want to miss school, plan a family vacation to Colorado during the summer months instead of during the height of ski season. Or, spend spring break exploring local attractions and other areas of interest right in your own state. Next time youre planning a family vacation, let you children voice their opinions and allow them to research the ideas they present. The Internet makes this easy, and youll all have a better time as a result.

Visit The Kennedy Space Center During Your Orlando Vacation

If youre bringing your family to Orlando you will no doubt visit Disney World and the other theme parks in the area, but why limit yourself to theme parks, when you can also visit the fascinating and educative Kennedy Space Center located at historic Cape Canaveral? Here is a brief guide to some of the attractions currently on offer at the "Kennedy Space Center" .Meet an AstronautThe center has arranged for various astronauts to meet visitors and talk about their missions in space. Astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programs are scheduled to take part throughout the year.Simulated Shuttle LaunchIf you want to get an idea of what an astronaut feels during liftoff, then the Space Centers launch simulator is the best way to do it. The room vibrates and roars and when the engines shutdown participants get to view the earth, as astronauts see it when they reach their orbit.Early Space HistoryThis is a walk through exhibit showing the background of todays space program. One of the highlights is the actual control panel which was used to guide the astronauts of the Mercury and Gemini space programs. Mercury and Gemini capsules are also on display.Viking Mars MissionIn 1976 a U.S. unmanned craft landed on Mars and took the first pictures of the red planets surface. This exhibit takes you on that journey and visitors also can see and touch a piece of Mars as well (in the form of meteorite that fell to earth many years ago).IMAX 3D TheaterWith the help of giant screens, five stories high, you are taken on an awesome journey into space. The films contain dramatic footage taken by astronauts during their space missions and you get a feeling that you are right there with them.Saturn 5 CenterThe Saturn 5 was the huge rocket that took astronauts to the moon and back in the early 1970s. Featuring an actual 363-foot, 6.2 million pound Saturn V moon rocket, this exhibit takes you on a trip to the moon with a recreation of the first Apollo mission to the moon. There is also a hands-on exhibit.LC 39 Observation GantryThis is a 60 foot tower which will give you a great view of the space shuttle launch pads. There is also an on-the-ground exhibition which includes films of the Shuttle program, showing the actual process used to launch a Shuttle into space.Space Center Guided TourThis is a bus ride all around the Kennedy Space Center. It stops at the important places and the bus tours depart each day (except Christmas Day and certain launch days) beginning at 9:30 a.m., and leave continuously throughout the day, with the last bus leaving approximately four hours before closing.The Space ShopAre you fascinated by space memorabilia? Then this is the place for you. The Centers gift shop has more than 8,000 space-related items that make perfect souvenirs or additions to your serious space collection.This is only just a small part of what you can see at the Kennedy Space Center, so if you want to treat your kids to an out of this world experience be sure to add it to your list of must-see places when you make your next Florida Vacation.

Summary

Come join us on a trip through Southern Thailand to the Straits of Malacca. Your Mercedes is waiting.