…or some also spell it as Macao. Officially, this autonomous territory is called the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. The great advantage of its autonomousness is that we do not need a visa to enter the country (and stay there during next 30 days).
About Hong Kong
When I was preparing for this post, I suspected that Hong Kong has an outstanding position in the world economics. Although I didn’t think that this position is so high: Hong Kong possesses the highest Financial Development Index score and in 2016 has crowned the World Competitiveness Yearbook leaving Switzerland is on the 2nd place, Germany on the 12th and Russia is on the 44th. This, probably, explains the high prices in this megapolis. Oh, how high they are! Hong Kong even beats New York at some points, not talking about Berlin. Nevertheless, cheer up those who travel on a budget, there is also a good news: in the bars area they have happy hour all around and in Hong Kong you can eat in the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant.
For me, it was El Nido, which left most beautiful memories from our Philippines trip. Here is my list of the “most”s and “best”s about El Nido Palawan.
Located off the northwest corner of the Panay Island, the small island Boracay won the best island in the world award in 2012 and since then the popularity of this island grows exponentially. We were lured by its great white beaches and spent three nights on the island.
We had only nine full days for our Philippine trip but we managed to visit three big cities: Manila, Cebu and Angeles (which does not really count as we were there only late at night) and enjoyed two islands: Boracay and Palawan. I will start my Philippine blog entry series with some tips and tricks about the three metropolises we have been to.
Iran… A trip over Silvester to Iran. Why not? Let’s start by dispelling some popular myths.
– Unsafe? (this question was asked by 95% of my friends)
– Not true, according to a risk map Iran is even safer than my homeland. Don’t mix Iran with its neighbour country similar in sound – Iraq. Besides, according to our own feelings, Iran is safe enough, safe as any other country: it means, you should watch your belongings and not yawn around. Though, traffic is hectic.
– Not so interesting…
– Nonsence! Iran is a part of former ancient Persia, culture that is more than 3000 years old. Persians and Iranians definitely have a lot to reveal. Frankly speaking, we were surprised and fascinated…
– I can’t go there, I have to wear hidjab the whole time…
– Partly true, but don’t confuse hijab (a scarf that leaves a lot of hair open) and chador (a mantle covering your whole body and a head). Chador is required only when you want to the mosques where the service is ongoing.
– I don’t speak Farsi and they don’t speak English. This will be extremely difficult to explain what you want!
– They speak bad English, indeed. But Iranians are very hospitable, healpful and customer oriented. Couple English words, a lot of signs and active gesticulation – you will find your way through Iran.
– We are dating and not married. I heard that iranians will look strangely at us when we ask for a double suite.
– Perhaps, they have second thoughts in their heads, but no one has said something against our request to stay in one room overnight.
-They don’t celebrate Silvester as they do it in Europe!
-True. They have a New year party in March. But even in the end of December you can find some fireworks and garlands to create suitable mood. A possibility to start a firework on a rooftop of one of the traditional houses is priceless.
Rich culture, fascinating mosques and historical places, pleasant temperatures, absence of tourist crowds (and touristic prices as a result), delicious food, hospitable and welcoming people, very acceptable prices (especially in the low-season), good transport connections between the cities, purity of goods and products … All this makes Iran a very attractive and not yet widely discovered travel destination.
…to be continued in more detail.