The Forbidden City

I’ve always wanted to travel to China. The Chinese culture is so vast and beautiful. Their attention to detail is one of the most attractive things about their culture’s art and style. I’d love to go to the musuem within the Forbidden City and see the jewels of the royal family!

Here is a video of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.

Turning Japanese

Jennifer Reichelt

Tokyo is the capital city of Japan and houses 13.35 million people. The thing that sets the city apart from the rest of the world is that it mixes ultramodern and traditional Japanese culture – also because it is situated on an island that looks like a dragon. You’ll find top-to-bottom neon-lit skyscrapers next to temples and cherry trees.

While traveling to Japan  itself is an adventure for the non-Japanese speaker and for people who love to people-watch, there are some amazing things to do while you visit. Here is a list of things to see, places to visit, and activities to do in Tokyo:

Meiji Shinto Shrine.
Known for its vast surrounding forests and opulent gate, the Shinto shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.

Tokyo SkyTree.
Even though this may be one of the most touristy things to do in Tokyo, it is definitely well worth it! You get a jaw-dropping view of the vast city of Tokyo from all angles.

Imperial Palace of Tokyo.
The palace is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan and includes plenty of large parks in the surrounding areas, as well as a museum of the Imperial Family history.

Harajuku.
Harajuku is a district in Shibuya, Tokyo, that is known as the center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. There are so many things to do in Harajuku, including shopping and dining from many independent boutiques and cafes. A great place for people watching!

Tokyo DisneySea.
This park is located at the Tokyo Disney resort in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, which is just outside of Tokyo city. The park opened in 2001 and attracts about 15 million visitors per year. It is the fourth most visited theme park in the world. The park hit 10 million visitors within 300 days of opening!

The Great Buddha.
Located in Kamakura, Tokyo, The Great Buddha is a must-see if you’re traveling to Tokyo. The Buddha stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple and is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in all of Japan. The statue was cast in 1252 and is still standing!

Tokyo is a great place to get some culture-shock as many people like to call it, but it’s also a wonderful spot to explore and go on plenty of adventures.

Travel to Guatemala

Jennifer Reichelt

Fall is a great time to visit the South American country of Guatemala. The dining scene in Antigua, the capital of Guatemala, is constantly changing. Antigua is a 16th-century colonial city which serves as a perfect base for exploring the entire country of Guatemala.

Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage site with great dining. What more can a girl ask for?

Try Angeline, a full fine dining experience in Guatemala.

A few other main attractions to get you excited:

– Pacaya Volcano. You can climb it and see a pool of lava!
– Boat around on Lake Atitlán.
– Check out the villages in the mountain for some real culture.
– Visit the ancient Mayan city of Tikal.

The colder months are best to visit Guatemala because November to April is their dry season! You’ll constantly be greeted by blue skies, warm weather, and smiling faces.

Iceland: The Land of Fire & Ice

Jennifer Reichelt City Deputy

Iceland is one of the only places on the earth that is not completely engulfed by a metropolis or major pollution. Iceland stays true to it’s roots by preserving the natural beauty that remains.

There are many different geographical regions of Iceland that offers slightly different aspects of culture and landscape. The entire island features a rugged landscape, stunning nature views, and creative people.

A little about Iceland; It houses the largest glacier in Europe and part of the world’s most active volcanoes. Long summer days can reach up to 24 hours of sunshine as short winter days can only show a few hours of sunlight. Iceland is actually one of the youngest masses of land not he planet as it was formed around 25 million years ago.

Iceland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe, as it was the last to be settled by emigrants from Scandinavia and Britain.

Even though Iceland is the country of extreme contrasts, it is a safe place to visit. The crime rate is extremely low, however, natural hazard precautions need to be taken!

Here is a place I am very excited to visit: the Geothermal Pools in Reykjavik!

Introducing Ecuador

Jennifer Reichelt

Ecuador boasts the best of South American culture, beauty, and people. Ecuador is an adventurous country full of ancient forests, wildlife, scenery, and the Andes Mountains.

Ecuador also has plenty of cultural cities such as Quito or Cuenca, where there are various markets, native and handmade items, beautiful beaches and colonial towns.

What I’ve heard from others is that the best part of Ecuador are the Ecuadorians. They prove to be kindhearted, proud, and generous, also excited to have visitors show intrigue in their beautiful country.

The best city to visit is Cuenca. Cuenca is an absolutely beautiful, laid-back, colonial city that has great weather and cleaner streets than Quito.

Cuenca’s historic center is a Unesco World Heritage Site. The city is the center for many native crafts such as ceramics, jewelry,and the Panama hat.

The interesting thing about Ecuador is that three cultures have left their mark on the city of Cuenca, ending with the settlement of the Spanish in the early 1500s. The Inca had a city called Tomebamba, which the Spanish overtook and used pieces to build their own city. The first civilization to settle in Cuenca was the Canari people who had a city called Quanpondelig.

Travel to Bali: The best of where to stay, play, and eat

Jennifer Reichelt

It’s a miracle that all of the tourism that Bali has seen hasn’t ruined the natural beauty of the island. It’s essence is still very much intact and natural as can be. With Bali being such small island and the crowds quite large, there are still place to go to enjoy a very serene and quiet moment alone.

Bali’s first-timers always have the same confusion: they think it’s going to be overcrowded, dangerous, over-developed, and dirty. These accusations aren’t irrational as most tourist hotspots do dwindle down to this respect after years and years of serving tourists.

But Bali is different. You can see the volcanoes in the morning sunrise with perfect, crisp clarity without any smog and there are monkeys swinging from tree to tree,, and beautiful rice patty farms framing the small roads. Bali is full of life, including those of it’s human inhabitants which aren’t so bad either. Balinese people are extremely welcoming and open, as well as very spiritual and inspirational.

A few places not to miss:

In Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak – South Bali boasts diverse shopping for those of all backgrounds and beautiful choices for accommodations, as well as world-class restaurants. Potato Head Beach Club is a must do, as well as coconut cocktails at Motel Mexicola.

In Greater Canggu – More noted as ‘North Kuta”, locals insist that this ex-pact heavy place is still called Canggu. Vegan Pad Thai and Gren Ginger Noodle House is one not to miss, as well as the luxury villas at RedDoor Bali.

In Bukit Peninsula, Nusa Dua, and Jimbaran Bay – Ulu Watu, the beautiful beach and the surf-shacks of Bingin. Dreamland and Pandang padang are beautiful sots for clear water swimming.

Bali has so much to offer for every type of tourist or expat. The small island offers a plethora of vibes and waves to catch, food to try, and places to sit back and enjoy yourself.