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Yangshou: Living The Experience Of Traditional China

If you love Ancient Chinese culture from movies, Yangshou is the place to make those dreams a reality.

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     Located in the province of Guangxi, about 65km from Guilin lies the small town of Yangshuo. For the past few years, Yangshuo is slowly starting to get noticed by a lot of travelers and ex-pats alike, mostly due to its beautiful, scenic landscapes consisting of mountain peaks and countrysides, as well as its distinct and well-preserved cultural traditions and practices.

     These highlights bring Yangshuo into the spotlights of every traveler as well as on their lenses and social media feeds. One look at those breath-taking and surreal photos. Would make any wanderlust want to grab their camera and book the nearest flight to China.

     The well-preserved way of life of most of Yangshuo’s ethnic group is also a major attraction particularly those who wanted to experience a unique way of living, which includes some ancient practices. Seeing and experiencing these cultures also give slight on how different these ethnic groups are compared to how we generally view or see or expect or know about China.

Attractions

      The major natural material that can be found in Yangshuo is the limestone, in which most of its infrastructures are made of. The mountains in Yangshuo are rich in Limestones, forming most of its surreal landscapes from these natural minerals.

     Yangshuo is also the cradle of two of the famous rivers in China, the Li River, and the Yulong River. Since ancient times, these rivers serve as the lifestream of the locals living in Yangshuo, being the major line of transportation and business engagements, as well as a source of food and living. Nowadays, these rivers also serve as a tourist destination to a lot of visitors, therefore giving the locals another form of business in the form of river cruises.

     Another one of the famous attraction in Yangshuo is Chuanshan Park, that is considered as one of the most beautiful sceneries in Li River. Some of the must-visit sites in Chuanshan park is the Pagoda hill where tourist can see the seven-story Longevity pagoda; the Cockfighting Hill that looks like two fighting cocks ready to battle; and the famous Two Moons of Li river: the Moon cave that looks like the moon floating in the sky and the Water-Moon cave of Elephant Hill that looks like the moon floating in water.

     Another must-visit place in Yangshuo is the ancient town of Daxu. It is a place that seems like it came right out of history books, showcasing the lives during the Ming Dynasty. The well-preserved houses and workshops, as well as traditional skills of bamboo weaving and shoemaking,  are one of the major attractions in Daxu.

Best time to visit:

     Since river cruises and hiking are the major activities in Yangshuo, tourist is often advised to plan their visits during days that have warm and good weather, since river cruises are forbidden during heavy rains for safety reasons. Aside from rainy weather, it is also not advisable to go on a boat ride during the wintertime due to the cold winds that might cause freezing.

     The best time to visit Yangshuo is during the season of Spring or Autumn, as the temperature is very favorable and mild, as well as comfortable for such a long boat ride and hiking. The days between May to October are considered the best time to do a photography shoot since the daytimes are longer and the temperatures are warmer as well. Waking up early in the morning is also a great time to capture the famous Yangshuo sunrise, as well as capturing the warm sunset in the late afternoon.


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Destinations

What Americans Should Know about Europe’s Travel Restrictions

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In July, the European Union finally reopened its borders to travelers from several countries. The US, however, was not included in the said list. If you plan to take a trip to Europe during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, here are several things you should know.

Who is allowed to visit Europe?

There are just 14 countries currently permitted to enter the 27 EU member states plus the Schengen-linked countries of Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland.
They are the following:
· Algeria
· Australia
· Canada
· Georgia
· Japan
· Montenegro
· Morocco
· New Zealand
· Rwanda
· Serbia
· South Korea
· Thailand
· Tunisia
· Uruguay

For purposes of COVID-19 travel, citizens from these countries are allowed to enter Europe as well:

· Andorra
· Monaco
· San Marino
· Vatican
Unless they qualify for several exemptions, Americans cannot enter Europe at present.

Why are Americans not currently permitted to visit Europe?

One of the main criteria mandated by the European Council is that permitted visitors must originate from countries that do not have a total number of COVID-19 cases higher than the EU average of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 individuals. The country of origin should also have a decreasing trend of COVID-19 transmission—a pattern that is examined every couple of weeks. Currently, America’s ever-increasing number of cases does not fit the given requirement.

Are there certain exceptions to the current EU travel ban?

On-going restrictions do not cover long-term residents and their immediate family members. Individuals who need to travel to Europe due to a vital function or reason are also exempted.
Exempted travelers include the following:
· Humanitarian and health workers
· Students
· Diplomats
· Seasonal Workers

Is there any chance that the decision to ban Americans from entering Europe be modified or revoked?

The current list of permitted countries is examined and reviewed every couple of weeks. If the US’s COVID-19 trend improves—if the cases decrease and reach the total number asserted by the EU, Americans may eventually be permitted to travel to Europe. Similarly, all countries presently included in the said list get reviewed in that manner and can be eradicated from the list when the COVID-19 cases in those nations go above the specified number stressed.

To know more about the different travel guidelines and restrictions outlined by the EU, visit the European Council Recommendation.

If Europe is currently off-limits, where then can I go?

Americans can travel to several countries at present. These places include:

· Countries in the Caribbean

· Select states in Mexico

· Kenya

· Albania

· Turkey

Most countries that permit entrance to US citizens; however, issue strict health protocols, including 14-day quarantine, COVID-19 testing, compulsory insurance premiums, and decreased travel capabilities.

Equally, the US government asserts that travelers returning from several restricted locations (like several European Schengen nations, Iran, and China) are merely permitted to land in 15 airports to undergo US-imposed safety measures. Visit the website of the State Department for more information regarding various country-specific guidelines.

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Destinations

The Ultimate Guide to Traveling When You Have No Money

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Travelling does not always have to require you too much cash. You can still discover the world without having to wait for your retirement years to do so. In fact, a few hundred dollars is enough to purchase a ticket to some of the cheapest vacation spots all over the world. You just need to use your creativity and discover cheap—or even free—deals that may take you to your dream destination.

An Overseas Job

One of the most obvious ways to get a free ticket to another overseas location is to apply for a job there. You can look into different international websites or companies and check out job openings that you are qualified for. If you get accepted, they’ll pay for your ticket, provide free accommodations, and give you the chance to relocate with all expenses paid!

Teach English

Another job that you can do abroad is to teach English. As we all know, English is the international language. It is used across the globe for international transactions and communication. Once you reach your intended destination, start offering your services online, or apply to different ESL (English as a Second Language) schools. All you need is an excellent grasp of the English language since most ESL academies require their teachers to be fluent, natural English speakers.

Do WWOOF

WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. In exchange for free board and lodging, the program permits you to work on a farm. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet other people, experience another culture, and learn about your assigned place. You have to pay for your transportation, however. Once you reach the place, everything else is covered.

Sharing Economy

Learn about the place you want to visit. Pinpoint the cheapest modes of transportation, the most affordable lodging houses or hostels, and the backpacker hubs in the area. Check out various sharing economy sites online to find others who intend to tour the same country you want to visit and bypass the expensive travel systems. Everything is far cheaper when it is shared.

Use Student and Other Discount Slips

Social Networks

A big network of colleagues and friends has its huge benefits. If you have friends around the world, ask them if they can let you stay at their house when you visit—or even make you stay with them for minimal rent. You can start from there and may also find other opportunities once you get to know the area. Ask them for job referrals, too.

Takeaway

Indeed, you don’t need money to travel the world—or you may just need a bit to start your journey. Creativity takes you to places you’ve never been to. You just have to push yourself a bit. An overseas job is your best bet, but you can also ask friends to help—at least, for some cheap deals that you can get.

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Destinations

Travel During The COVID-19 Pandemic

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Traveling during the height of COVID-19 transmission can be increasingly fatal, especially when you don’t follow the proper protocols mandated to keep you safe. Without the benefit of a tried-and-tested vaccine, it is best to stay indoors for

the time being.

Nevertheless, if you have a pressing reason to go somewhere else, be sure to follow the guidelines given by your government. You can be infected with COVID-19. You may or may not experience its symptoms, but if you are an active carrier of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the said disease, you can also spread it to others during the 14-day period after you get infected.

Avoid traveling if you have been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19 during the last 14 days. Do not take a trip if you are sick or have underlying ailments like hypertension, heart disease, asthma, or diabetes.

Before Your Trip

Before you take your trip, consider the following:

Are there COVID-19 cases at your intended destination?

COVID-19 is extremely transmittable. Places with an active local transmission must be avoided at all costs. You can get infected with the disease and even carry the virus with you when you return from your trip.

Are you living with someone who is at risk of getting infected with COVID-19?

Children, the elderly, and those who have underlying ailments are highly vulnerable. If you contract the disease during your trip, you can quickly spread the virus to your companions when you return home.

Are you at risk of contracting COVID-19?

If you have a weak or compromised immune system, you are highly susceptible to COVID-19. Similarly, if you have certain chronic ailments, you are also vulnerable to the disease.

Does your planned destination have travel restrictions or requirements?

Most national and local governments have current guidelines for travelers, including the necessity of wearing face shields and face masks, 14-day quarantine protocols, and itinerary disclosures. Check the government website of your intended destination and fulfill the entry requirements provided there.

During Your Trip

When you travel, make sure that you follow these guidelines:

  • Wear a face mask—and even a face shield—especially when going to public places.
  • Avoid crowded places and follow the social distancing rule.
  • Close contact with others must be avoided—at least 6 feet apart is the safe distance between you and another person.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer or alcohol with you. Use it after touching anything that is exposed to everyone else.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Bring your own food—and do not eat in public places where people can suddenly cough, sneeze, or even speak near you.

Takeaway

Taking a trip during this pandemic can be extremely difficult and hazardous to your health. Staying safe must be your primary concern. Non-essential travel must be postponed because remaining indoors will ultimately keep you away from the rapid spread of COVID-19. However, if you need to travel, make sure that you strictly follow the guidelines mentioned above so that you do not contract the disease and infect others when you return home.

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