Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a picturesque maritime town with a rich history dating back to the early 1600’s. Tons of restaurants, shops and easy access to the beaches, Boston and Portland make it a popular tourist destination.
8 SOUTHERN THAILAND FOLK TALES
It all started a few years ago in a discussion with our English Major Students. We were talking about regional differences; how perceptions of people differ. I explained how people in the north of England view the folks from London and the south, and vice-versa. “It’s the same here in Thailand” one bright student chimed, “the folks in Bangkok and the north think everyone down here in the south are stupid, ignorant and to be viewed with extreme suspicion. But we have a very rich cultural heritage” she went on to explain. “We have history and stories that have been passed from father to son, from mother to daughter, for centuries.”
Marco Island has been referred to as the Gateway to the Everglades and Florida’s 10,000 Islands. This tropical paradise has a climate that offers balmy breezes and sunny skies, with waters generally pleasant year-round.
Tucked away at the bottom of the Australian Continent between the natural bay of Port Phillip and the Great Dividing Range is the city of Melbourne.
Once the financial center of China during the Qing Dynasty and honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the ancient city of Pingyao, located in Shanxi province is a throw back to another century, actually many centuries.
Conveniently located near the southern end of Liaoning Province, only an hours flight between Beijing and Seoul and slightly longer from Shanghai and Tokyo, Dalian is a well positioned up and coming tier two city in Northeast China.
As a leading port city and the financial center of North East China, Dalian is trying to live up to it’s nickname of the “Hong Kong of the North” and “the Romantic City”. Known internationally for it’s seafood and as a summer tourist destination, Dalian has a lot to offer the influx of visitors from Japan, Korea, Russia and all over Europe. Located between the Yellow Sea to the east and the Bohai Sea to the West, Dalian’s long expansive beaches in Jinshitan (a.k.a. Golden Pebble beach) as well as numerous smaller beaches scattered among the picturesque coastline, have a lot to offer the adventuresome traveler. Numerous golf courses, amusement parks, zoos, hiking trails and inner city parks provide an abundance of outdoor recreational options.
During a frightfully cold January Dongbei winter and feeling the need for frolicking in the sun and surf, I fell for the hype and found myself heading to the south of China and the resort town of Sanya, a.k.a. the “Hawaii of China”.
Located on the Southern tip of Hainan province, Sanya does share the same parallel as Hawaii, has palm trees and features warm tropical weather year round. However, having visited Hawaii on several occasions including 5 of 7 main islands, I can say that’s where the comparison stops.
A destination for China’s emerging tourist class and frost-bitten Russians migrating south for the winter, Sanya definitely has a beach scene, but it won’t be confused for South Beach or Waikiki.
Older mid-tier resorts, catering to budget conscious domestic tourists and aforementioned Russian clientele, can be found along Sanya Bay Beach lining the Sanya Harbor waterfront. Newer and certainly upscale international 5 Star resorts with several golf options can be found 25 km away along Yalong Bay.
In spite of its rather infamous beginnings as a British Penal Colony, Sydney has grown into an international force to be reckoned with. With 4.6 million inhabitants Sydney is the largest city (population wise) in all of Australia and has a reputation for being the country’s cultural heart and soul.