Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, is a superb piece of architecture. This city was built in perfect Nine Squares and wide roads were designed to intersect each segment. The segments were also linked internally by small roads. The city is a perfect example of how well the architectural concept was developed at that time. The old city, which is sometimes refered to as the Walled City, is uniformly painted in pink color and thus earned its nickname.

Hawa Mahal, the Wind Palace of Jaipur, India
Hawa Mahal, the Wind Palace

The city attracts a lots of tourists as it has many historic monuments that have architectural value, such as Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Matar, City Palace, the Water Palace, and many more.

Hawa Mahal, the Wind Palace of Jaipur, India
Hawa Mahal, the Wind Palace

The Amber Fort in Jaipur, India, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Amber Fort from a distance

Jaipur: The Pink City of India

Jaipur: The Pink City of India

Jaipur: The Pink City of India

The Water Palace in Jaipur, India
The Water Palace

Jaipur is also famous for its arts and crafts, specially the blue pottery, Bandhej work, and Sanganeri print linen. All in all Jaipur is a must see place.   October to March is the best suitable time for visiting this lovely city.

Published in India

Manali is a hill station, a paradise on earth located in Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of 6400 ft (approx) above sea level. The hill station is near to the Rohtang Pass which has been a trade route in the olden days and even today. It is one of the route to reach Ladakh, another destination which is very amazing.

Manali is located on the banks of river Beas and the best time to visit it is from March to July, as after that the weather can play devil at times. You can visualize lots of landslides in the later months. The winters are from November to January and during that time you can find lots of snow here. Snow can be seen on the mountains year-round, even in the summer. The Sollang Valley and Rohtang Pass are the best option during the summer.

The beautiful Manali Valley in northern India
The beautiful Manali Valley

Well I shall mention why I love this place because its not only wonderful to sit in the lap of nature and have amazing views of mountains and valley but you can also enjoy adventure sports like paragliding, skiing, river rafting and various other adventure trips. Its best to have at least 4-5 days free when visiting Manali. Here you can see lots of tourists but especially Indian tourists, as this is one of the favorites among local travelers.

Paragliding in the mountains around the Manali Valley in northern India should be on every travelers' bucket list
Paragliding in the mountains...AWESOME!

Getting ready for rafting in the mountains around the Manali Valley in northern India
Getting ready for rafting

Just enjoy the pics and let me know for any further information regarding Manali, one of my all-time favorites!

View of Manali in northern India
View of Manali

Yak for riding around the Manali Valley in northern India
Yak ride anyone?

Orchid Guest Farm, nestled among the apple orchards
Our stay @ Orchid Guest Farm...great place among the apple orchards

View from the balcony of our room at Orchid Guest Farm in Manali, India
View from the balcony of our room

Above the clouds in Manali, India
The feeling of being above the clouds is priceless

River Beas in Manali, India
River Beas and my family

Above the clouds in Manali, India
Feels like heaven on earth

Above the clouds in Manali, India
Views made perfect by nature

The Green rating is high for this city as the steps taken by government are really appreciable here. Electricity generation is done here by a mere alteration in the river route and new construction is banned here.

SUMMARY OF MANALI, HIMACHAL PRADESH
Overall Rating:   4     1-2=Ignore 2-3=Can go 3.5-4.5=Must go 4.5-5=Dream destination
Comfort Rating:   4     1-2=Poor 2-3=Basic 3.5-4.5=Comfort 4.5-5=Luxury
To Do Activities:   4     1-2=Nothing 2-4=Interesting 4.5-5=Must do
Transport Options:   2     1-2=Single approach 2-4=Multiple 4.5-5=Well connected
Economic Rating:   3.5     1-2=Cheap 2-3=Economic 3.5-4=Midclass 4.5-5=Expensive
Cultural Rating:   3.5     1-2=Adverse to strangers 2-4=Comfortable 4.5-5=Mixed culture
Language Rating:   3.5     1-2=Local 2-4=Understand English 4.5-5=English very common
Safety Rating:   4     1-2=Not safe 2-4=Safe 4.5-5=Very safe
Unique Rating:   3.5     1-2=Nothing unique 2-4=Unique activities 4.5-5=Very unique
Green Rating:   4.5     1-2=Adverse to nature 2-4=Close to nature 4.5-5=Nature only

  This article and photographs belong to us. Do not reproduce them without our prior consent.

  For a comfortable stay in Jaipur stay at Hotel Savi Regency, tested and approved by The HoliDaze founder Derek Freal.

Published in India

We had a day in Hanoi before departing for Halong Bay, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. Ha Long Bay is a center of a larger zone which includes Bái Tử Long bay to the northeast, and Cát Bà islands to the southwest. A community of around 1,600 people live on Hạ Long Bay in four fishing villages: Cửa Vạn, Ba Hang, Cống Tàu and Vông Viêng in Hùng Thắng commune, Hạ Long city. They live on floating houses and are sustained through fishing and marine aquaculture

The Halong Ginger at Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Ginger welcoming committee
The Halong Ginger at Halong Bay, Vietnam
Dinner aboard the Halong Ginger

We spent 24 hours on the Halong Ginger cruising around the bay stopping off at some of the main sites, this was an experience never to be forgotten. The service on board was exceptional, the food was delicious, and its hard to express in words just how wonderful this part of the trip was. Our evening meal was a barbeque on the deck, obviously it goes with out saying that the food was wonderful. However it was the setting that made this meal perhaps the most special of our honeymoon. It's hard to describe just how incredible it was to be sitting on deck, on a wonderful evening as dusk descended watching the islands go by, it really was the perfect romantic setting and one we'll both never forget.

Cruising Halong Bay, Vietnam
Cruising Halong Bay, Vietnam

It's hard to describe just how wonderful Halong Bay is, here are a few more photos which will give you an idea, to be honest the only way to really understand is to experience it for yourself:

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Share your Halong Bay experience below!

Published in Vietnam

So as the title mentioned, here are some photos from Amsterdam. That's in the Netherlands. It's on your bucket list. And now the photos:

View over the Rokin street and Amstel River

View over the Rokin street and Amstel River in Amsterdam, Netherlands

A street cafe at Amsterdam's university quarter

A street cafe at Amsterdam's university quarter, Netherlands

Bicycles parked at a narrow street

Bicycles parked at a narrow street in Amsterdam, Netherlands

A Dutch "coffee" shop

'A Dutch coffee shop in Amsterdam, Netherlands' class=rt-image

Cute design of a traditional house

Cute design of a traditional house in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Vintage drawbridge over a canal

Vintage drawbridge over a canal in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Chinesse restaurants

Chinesse restaurants in Amsterdam, Netherlands

A steak house

A steak house in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Worn out streetlight

Worn out streetlight in Amsterdam, Netherlands

One of Amsterdams "grachten" canals

One of Amsterdams

Boat party at Amsterdam's Gay Pride Parade

Boat party at Amsterdam's Gay Pride Parade

Google joining Amsterdam's Gay Pride Parade

Google joining Amsterdam's Gay Pride Parade

  HoliDaze Guide   Amsterdam's Top Offbeat Activities

Published in Netherlands

Street art (sometimes called graffiti art) is a very unique and interesting form of modern artistic expression. The vivid colors and neverending creativity of their artists have a tendency to impress both locals and tourists alike.

Like most major metropolises Toronto boasts its own collection of street art, including the aptly named "Graffiti Alley," which runs parallel to Queen street on the southern side.

  To check out the wall art for yourself, start at Queen and Spadina and head west, walking down every alley you pass. There is also a healthy amount of street art scattered a few blocks north of there, throughout the Kensington Market.

Which one is your favorite? Share your comments below!

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti artist hard at work in Kensington Market, Toronto, Canada
Graffiti artist hard at work in Kensington Market, Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada
Street art found in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada

Wow. That was definitely the most photos I have ever posted in one article. Hope y'all enjoyed them!

What is your favorite street art city?

Published in Canada

A picturesque paradise. The Beach. (Yes, that movie was filmed here.) Welcome to Koh Phi Phi. Located in the Andaman Sea between Phuket and Krabi, the Phi Phi Islands are a very popular tourist destination in Thailand.

More than 1,000 people visit Koh Phi Phi ever single day.

Below is a photo gallery of our journey from Phuket to the Phi Phi Islands and our time there:

Departing Phuket Island's harbor on a ferryboat
Departing Phuket Island's harbor on a ferryboat

A long tail boat near Phi Phi Island's shore
A long tail boat near Phi Phi Island's shore

Impressive sailboat visiting Phi Phi Don
Impressive sailboat visiting Phi Phi Don

Phi Phi Island's harbor
Phi Phi Island's harbor

Green waters at Phi Phi Ley Island
Green waters at Phi Phi Ley Island

There's heavy traffic around
There's heavy traffic around

Somebody boarded the boat
Somebody boarded the boat

A boat around
A boat around

Phi Phis Islands beachside
Phi Phis Islands beachside

Published in Thailand

On a recent trip to Stockholm, my friend Joahnna and I decided to explore the city the effortless, yet informative way - by boarding the Historical Canal Tour.

We went to the visitors center at the airport to claim our Stockholm Cards that we ordered online. With it, tourists get to use public transportation and go to major museums and attractions for free. It's really worth it! While the Arlanda Express is a really efficient and cheap way to get from the Arlanda airport to Stockholm Central Station, where our hotel was conveniently located, we wanted to make use of our Stockholm Cards and use free public transportation.

So, we got on a bus to Malsta and switched to a train to Stockholm Central. After checking in to the hotel and eating lunch, we trekked to Stadshusbron, where the Historical Canal Tour departs from.

Stockholm Historical Canal Tour
When you see this flag and this tower, you know you're in the right place.

The weather was alternating between light rain and cloudy, which made made for slightly dramatic shots. If it gets too chilly, there are flannel blankets to keep passengers warm.

Stockholm Historical Canal Tour

Stockholm Historical Canal Tour

I wish I could tell you amazing facts about these awesome buildings but I'd had zero sleep, and though interesting, I forgot all the things the audio guide narrated. Weirdly, I only remember Swedish House Mafia, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and ABBA being mentioned.

Stockholm Historical Canal Tour
Oh, and one of the buildings we passed by used to be a prison and has been turned into a hotel! Cool, huh.

Stockholm Historical Canal Tour
Boats and buildings

Stockholm Historical Canal Tour
Look at the amazing architecture

Stockholm Historical Canal Tour

Stockholm Historical Canal Tour

Stockholm Historical Canal Tour

The views were just amazing. I really enjoyed the 50-minute tour, it was as relaxing as it was informative. Bonus: you'll even see a few kayaks!

Stockholm Historical Canal Tour   Official Web Site
  Price: SEK 160 for adults, or free with the Stockholm Card.
Departs from Stadshusbron.

  First appeared on No Stopovers.

Published in Sweden

Kerala is literally a paradise set in green! And the Kerala backwaters is one of its unique attractions. National Geographic Traveler has tagged the Kerala backwaters as one of the top 50 Must-Visit Tourist Destinations in the World.

  What Are The Kerala Backwaters?

The Kerala backwaters consist of a chain of brackish (a mix of saltwater and fresh) lagoons and lakes lying almost parallel to the western coast of the state. These backwaters stretch from one end of Kerala to the other. You can enjoy the vivid yet varied glimpses of Kerala culture while experiencing its pristine backwaters. Come with me as I take you on a photo journey exploring the Kerala backwaters  

Look how green the Kerala backwaters are

Taking a relaxing boat ride through the Kerala backwaters

Houseboats in the Kerala backwaters of India

  Where is Kerala?

Kerala is located in the tropical southwest of the tip of the India. It is a popular tourist destination famous for its beautiful beaches and lush green plant life, and definitely comes higlhy recommended. Because it is located far south away from the Taj Mahal and many other tourist destinations, Kerala tour packages are an easy and convenient way to make sure that you find time for Kerala in your India trip.

Traditional Kerala boat

Happened upon a boat race in the Kerala backwaters

p align="center">Children on a boat in the Kerala backwaters

At the end of the day, this is the sunset you have to look forward to in the Kerala backwaters

The beautiful sunset from Kerala Backwaters lures you back. Each one is different..and you can never get enough. Hope you enjoyed my photo tour exploring Kerala Backwaters. And please do share your experience if you had taken a trip through these backwaters...Love to hear from you.

Published in India

My first year of trips back and forth to the Phils to be with my [then] girlfriend I always stayed at Mango's Resort in Subic Bay. I did this for two reasons: 1) my friend Tom is the owner and I always get a discount on my room; and 2) my ex is the boss of the morn/early afternoon shift.

For you however, I would recommend (depending on the length of your stay) either a hostel or a furnished apartment. A hostel will run you less than $10/night but an apartment will only set you back $200-$250 a month, tops. But because of what I mentioned before, I am afraid I am not able to give my usual nice listing with pics/reviews. Except for Mango's, of course.

Mango's Resort at Subic Bay, Olongapo, Philippines

Mango's Resort at Subic Bay, Olongapo, Philippines

Mango's Resort at Subic Bay

Mango's is a small establishment with only three guest rooms which are located directly over the restaurant/bar portion of the resort. The lower floor is popular with the locals (both native and ex-military) and they hold pool tournaments twice a week. But the best part is the food is fantastic and the drinks are cheap!

There is also an attached disco at the front of the resort, Rock Lobster. At eleven/midnight when the kitchen and bar closes, you are forced to get your drinks from the disco if you want to keep the night going. It's not a bad little disco, but it is small. There are several better ones within just a couple blocks.

Mango's Resort at Subic Bay, Olongapo, Philippines

Mango's Resort at Subic Bay, Olongapo, Philippines

The rooms themselves are very well done. They come with a kitchen area including mini fridge (which does come stocked with beer, soda, and water), closet, safe, and as you can see from the picture, a small living room with coffee table, extra chairs, a desk, and a large television.

View from Mango's Resort at Subic Bay, Olongapo, Philippines

View from Mango's Resort at Subic Bay, Olongapo, Philippines

View from Mango's Resort at Subic Bay, Olongapo, Philippines

Out back is a balcony that runs the whole width of the building and can be accessed via sliding doors in each guest room. There are tables and chairs there too, which make it a great li'l place to look out onto the bay or smoke a couple bowls and relax.

Jared's Thoughts On Mango's: "If you're looking for a quaint bar and hotel this is the place for you- limited rooms so book early. Since there are not scores of guests the wonderful staff spends all its time making sure you have a great stay."

Mango's Resort @ Subic Bay Official Web Site

[ UPDATE ]   As of my last trip back in 2014, my old friend Tom has partially retired and sold several of his properties, including Mango's. While the name remains the same, the attached Rock Lobster disco has been turned into a more adult-themed "Bunny Ranch" and several new suites have been built. There is also a new beachside bar.

Published in Philippines

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