Be A Good Guest In A Homestay

Learn about the Culture of the Place

Culture can be a very important aspect of a person’s life, especially in Asian countries. So, let’s say, for instance, you are booking cheap flights, take some more time and read up about their culture too. This will help you gel well with your hosts and make you seem less foreign.

Be at Your Best Behaviour

Remember that when you are lodging at a homestay, you are using someone’s home. Before you start your stay, ask them if they have any specific rules you need to follow. This way, you will not be disturbing them while enjoying your vacation. Also, be warm toward them so that they don’t have a skewed idea of the country you are representing.

Treat it Like a Homestay

Most often people forget the basic difference between a homestay and a hotel stay. At hotels, staff members will be at your beck and call. They will assist you with anything you want. But when you are staying at someone’s home, they might not have the manpower to do so. Try and help out as much as you can. If it’s not too much of a work, keep your room and bathroom as clean as possible. Additionally, try cleaning up after you have finished your meals.

Care for their Home

People often host guests to earn some extra cash on the side but that doesn’t mean, it’s not difficult to give up a portion of their house to strangers. Which is why, as guests, it becomes your duty to take care of their furniture and infrastructure. Don’t damage the property and try to treat it like your own home. Remember that someone has built it with as much love and care as you built your own.

Burmese Bamboo

Contrary to e.g. precious stones and jade, which are not renewable, thus finite and teak wood (that to renew till it becomes commercially valuable takes between 20 and 30 years) and bamboo (that to renew till it becomes commercially valuable takes only 3 years) are infinite.

As a member of the sub-family Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae or Gramineae, bamboo is a perennial flowering evergreen that is said to be originated some million years ago in what is nowadays China from where it started to conquer practically the entire world and developed into more than 1.400 ground and above-ground growing species in 115 genera.

Should someone ever ask whether you know the fastest growing plant on this planet you can rightfully answer, “Yes, I know that is bamboo.”

Out of the in Burma recorded total of 97 bamboo species, 15 belong to the species ‘Dendrocalamus’ (the local names of the top-three of them are Hmyin, Wapyu and Wabo-myet-san-gye) and 11 to the species ‘Gigantochloa’. These bamboos are also some of the 10 most economical species and are members of the group of so-called ‘Giant Bamboo or Timber Bamboo’. They grow under favourable soil and climate conditions within one growing season of some 4 months (rainy season) from ground/shooting level to their full height of about 33 ft/10 m with a culm (also called pole or stalk) diameter of 12 inch/30 cm. At this speed you can literally see the bamboo grow; no joke. Although the first harvest is possible after 1 year, the best harvesting time is after 3 years when the culms are fully hardened.

There is no natural resource that is renewing itself faster and no plant that is more versatile, stronger and at the same time flexible than bamboo. Burma’s Bamboo forests cover about 4.000 sq mi/10.500 sq km) of its land mass, which makes Burma – after China, Indonesia and India – the country with the world’s 4th largest area of valuable wild bamboo forest. Additionally to the already existing bamboo forests large areas of idle land could be transformed into environmentally friendly and balanced bamboo plantations.

Bamboo is a very easy to grow and undemanding, environmentally sustaining plant that easily adapts to different or changing soil and climate conditions. This, in turn, has the potential of turning raw bamboo and moreover bamboo article into products that will significantly contribute to the county’s export income once the Burmese bamboo (and Rattan) industry is capable of producing top-quality bamboo article. This will put the country in a position to successfully compete in the global market with other bamboo and bamboo products exporting countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand and India. Globally, bamboo and bamboo article are a multi-billion USD business and for Burma is a large chunk of it up for grasps.

Bamboo is put to many uses. It is a formidable alternative to wood and used to build complete houses, a large array of furniture, household article and utensils, to make paper and textile fibre and, last but not least, its shoots are a delicacy in many (predominantly Asian) countries and its manifold medicinal properties are highly appreciated in traditional medicine.

With increasing popularity of bamboo and bamboo products in the west the global demand for bamboo and high-quality bamboo articles is rapidly increasing what offers Burma the great opportunity to translate its richness in the natural resource bamboo relatively quick into urgently needed hard cash on national, regional and local level. It opens windows especially for SME’s in the Bamboo industry what includes local private bamboo forest owners.

Main bamboo article in the global bamboo and bamboo product trade are apart from 1st class top-quality culms, for instance, bamboo flooring, bamboo walling, bamboo plywood, bamboo charcoal (to be used as fuel and/or filter), bamboo pulp and paper-based articles, bamboo furniture, bamboo woven products, as food article, preserved bamboo shoots and as ingredients for traditional medicine (homoeopathy) liquid extracts and dried and pulverised parts of several different bamboo species. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Panda bears just can’t get enough of delicious bamboo leaves and tender twigs.

Star Hotels In Scotland

The difficulty facing anyone looking for 5 star accommodations in Scotland is choosing from a host of wonderful locations. For the city traveller there is a good choice of 5 star hotels in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Glasgow’s One Devonshire Gardens is discreetly located in the city’s quiet West End – where luxurious bedrooms filled with stylish antiques and the best of furnishings ensure a wonderful setting for a romantic getaway. In Edinburgh there are many luxury hotels including The Edinburgh Sheraton sitting statesman like in front of Edinburgh Castle and offering every 5 star convenience including a gourmet dining experience. At the other end of the city is The Glasshouse, a contemporary luxury hotel with a fantastic roof garden offering spectacular vistas out over the city and across to the Kingdom of Fife and the Highlands.

Away from the city there are many luxury hotels offering a 5 star experience. In the Grampian region, famed for whisky distilleries and salmon fishing, guests can enjoy every luxury at the Marcliffe Hotel just a few miles from Aberdeen city centre. Fishing trips, distillery tours and escorted visits to the many local castles including Balmoral can be arranged by the hotel’s concierge.

If your dream is to stay in a Scottish Castle then consider Inverlochy Castle which sits proudly on the loch side with a backdrop of mountains behind. An impressive Scottish 5 star hotel, it was a firm favourite with the young Queen Victoria.

Perhaps the pinnacle of 5 star luxury is to be found in the international golf and spa resorts that can be found throughout Scotland. On the west coast you will find Turnberry Golf & Spa Resort and on the east coast there is The Old Course Golf Hotel & Spa overlooking the famous Old Course of St Andrews. In central Scotland there is Gleneagles, the ultimate golf and spa resort and the gateway to the Scottish Highlands.

What defines the 5 star experience is open to discussion. There are essentials such as the quality of the rooms, the furnishings and luxury accessories such as robes, slippers and toiletries. There are those unique aspects of stunning views, wonderful gourmet dining combined with impressive service in a magical setting. Add the rich cultural experience of Scotland’s historic cities and impressive landscapes and you have a memorable 5 star hotel experience.

Monuments of Alexandria in Egypt

The Library of Alexandria

Considered as one of the largest reading institutions in the world, the Library of Alexandria hosts more than 8 million books. Constructed in 2002, the Library of Alexandria welcomes several travelers who tour Egypt daily.

The Library of Alexandria is actually the modern version of the ancient library of Alexandria that we established by the Ptolemies in the 3rd century BC that was damaged afterwards during the 1st century AD. The library hosts four museums for antiquities, the history of science, ancient manuscripts, and one museum dedicated to the former Egyptian president, Anwar El Sadat. While in Alexandria tourists who visit Egypt should always pay the library a visit.

The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa

The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa is in fact the largest and most mysterious Greco-Roman necropolis in Egypt. Discovered by coincidence in 1900, the tombs hosts hundreds of tombs that are featured by the interesting blend between the Roman and the ancient Egyptian arts and architecture. Travelers who spend their vacations in Egypt should never miss the chance to explore the secrets of this ancient burial site.

The Qaitbey Fort

One of the most remarkable landmarks of the city of Alexandria, the Qaitbey Fort is one of the items that are commonly included in all travel packages to Egypt. Constructed in the 15th century by the Mamluk Sultan Qaitbey, the fort is one of the best examples of military constructions during the Islamic period in Egypt. The fort is in a fine-preserved state. This makes the visit quite enjoyable for tourists and Egyptians.

The Roman Amphitheatre

The Roman Amphitheatre is the only example of its type in Egypt. Constructed around the 7th century AD, the theatre or odium to be more precise was discovered in 1959 by mere chance. The complex consists of 13 rows of marble seating that is able to accommodate more than 800 spectators.

There is also a small yet remarkable open-air museum and the Villa of the Birds that date back to the Roman period and it is popular for its wonderful mosaics art. Travelers who tour Egypt should always take the chance while in Alexandria and visit the Roman Amphitheatre.

The Mosque of Abu El Abbas El Mursi

The mosque is one of the largest and most popular mosques of Alexandria. It was constructed in 1775 over the place where one of the most important Imams of Alexandria, Abu El Abbas El Mursi, was buried. Featured with its marvelous facade, four ornamented domes, Mashrabeya screens and arts, and its distinctive minarets. Alexandria has some of the most notable Islamic monuments in that travelers who tour Egypt would love to explore.

Hotels in Goa Near Baga Beach

Acron Waterfront Resort

Acron Waterfront Resort is a quaint boutique hotel located around 1000 meters from Baga beach. The hotel is close to Anjuna, Marjam, Calangute and Candolim beaches and several nightlife and dining spots. The rooms are spacious, clean and well furnished with modern amenities like air conditioner, wi-fi and heater. The highlight of this hotel near baga beach is the friendly and helpful staff who try their best to create the perfect vacation for their guests. The in-house restaurant serves Goan and Continental dishes in a cozy ambiance. Guests can get a relaxing massage at the full service spa or take a dip in the swimming pool within the hotel premises. If you are looking for hotels in Goa with a relaxed vibe and friendly staff, Acron Waterfront Resort is your best bet.

Hotel Bonanza

Hotel Bonanza is located just 5 minutes from Baga beach and is rated one of the best budget hotels in Goa. The hotel offers spacious rooms with comfortable bedding and clean linen. The best part about Hotel Bonanza is its proximity to several dining, shopping and nightlife spots. Hotel Bonanza is managed by Dean and Praveena, a friendly couple who will make sure your stay at the hotel is pleasant and comfortable.The in-house restaurant serves a range of Goan and Continental dishes at very affordable rates. The masala omelet is highly recommended. Try to book the rooms in the rear of the building as they have better views and are quieter. Hotel Bonanza is highly recommended for travellers looking for a budget hotel in Goa near Baga beach.

16 Degrees North

This is a beautiful 3 star hotel located on riverside street, a short walk away from Baga beach. This is a quaint boutique hotel that offers spacious and clean rooms overlooking the Baga river. This is an excellent hotel for travellers looking for some peace and quiet. Despite its budget status, the hotel offers several amenities including a sky lounge and rooftop swimming pool. 16 Degrees North offers the perfect combination of delicious food, friendly staff, live music at the restaurant and comfortable beds for a peaceful sleep. The staff at the hotel is extremely friendly and know how to create the home away from home experience.

Oklahoma Panhandle

No Man’s Land

The Oklahoma Panhandle once belonged to Texas. In fact, so did parts of what became New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

When the pared-down version of Texas we know today petitioned to become a state, being a slave state, it could not include any area north of the 36th parallel.

To the east was Indian Territory-the main body of present-day Oklahoma. New Mexico Territory to the west of the panhandle was formed in 1850. The Kansas Territory was formed in 1854, and including part of that, The Territory of Colorado was formed in 1861.

This left an area of land called the “Public Land Strip,” also called “The Neutral Strip.” It was considered “neutral” because it was part of neither a slave nor free state.

Cimarron Territory

In the years following the Civil War, cattlemen established settlements in the area. The strip provided good grazing ground, and was not far west of the Chisholm Trail that cattlemen used to drive cattle from Texas, north to the railheads in Kansas.

Settlers surveyed the land themselves, and named it the Cimarron Territory, and in the 1880s, almost became part of the state of Kansas. Congress approved this move, but the proposal was not signed off on by President Grover Cleveland.

Settlers also tried to form the State of Cimarron, but Congress, at that time, considered the area too small to justify being its own state, even though it was larger than both Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

Oklahoma Territory

In 1890, the strip became part of the newly formed Oklahoma Territory. “No Man’s Land” became Seventh County, soon after re-named Beaver County with Beaver City as the county seat. When the Oklahoma Territory joined the union in 1907 as the State of Oklahoma, Beaver County was divided into Beaver, Texas, and Cimarron counties.

The Dust Bowl

The Panhandle was the area of the state hardest hit by the Dust Bowl conditions during the Great Depression decade of the 1930s.

During the decades prior, farming of land that had once been grazing land for cattle and buffalo created conditions that allowed for the Aeolian process-wind erosion of the landscape.

Farming methods, perhaps more than in other parts of the state, used deep plowing of virgin topsoil. When drought conditions occurred, the wind erosion kicked up tremendous dust storms.

Bank failures and foreclosures led to many farmers and other residents in Oklahoma and the surrounding states to migrate to California looking for opportunities to escape the severe drought conditions. Farmers became crop pickers, overtaking jobs once primarily taken by immigrants from Mexico.

Not everyone left the Oklahoma Panhandle and surrounding areas during the Great Depression. Some who stayed and endured the conditions showed incredible grit, strength, and determination.

The Oklahoma Panhandle Today

Today, many of the people who live in the Panhandle are survivors of the Depression, or the children of those survivors. Theirs is a rich culture of cowboys, farmers, and ranchers. Guymon is the Panhandle’s largest city with a population of 11,442 in the 2010 census, and is the home of Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

Today, tourists can visit the No Man’s Land Museum located in Goodwell. Tourists can also explore Oklahoma’s highest peak, Black Mesa, in the northwest corner of the Panhandle, see massive sand dunes at Beaver Dunes State Park, and visit the Optima National Wildlife Refuge in Texas County.

Benefits of Traveling by Charter Bus

Eliminate Stress

It may be stressful to drive to new places on your own. You may come across crazy drivers that always try to cut you off. Therefore, it’s hard to keep many cars together, blowing horns in traffic jams. In this scenario, you are more prone to accidents.

On the other hand, if you hire a charter bus, you will travel with an expert driver who has a better idea of the roads. So, your mind is at ease throughout your journey. Therefore, you can relax and enjoy your trip. After all, you don’t want to go through all the stress when going on a tour with a group. Your purpose is to have fun. So, hiring a bus is a good idea.

Higher Safety Rating

Compared to traveling alone, you may not be at a higher risk of accident when going with a group on a vehicle. The fact of the matter is that the drivers of chartered buses know the latest safety procedures, so they try their level best to follow the traffic rules and stay on the safe side.

Save Money

The cost of traveling by a charter bus is a lot less than traveling alone. The math is simple. The total cost divided among all of the passengers, so per head cost is significantly low. As a matter of fact, you will pay several times less with this method. The money you save can be spent on other things that you love to do. Therefore, this option is cost effective.

Enjoy the ride

Since there is an expert driver behind the wheel, it will be easier for you to enjoy the sites. Moreover, you will be able to get a chance to socialize with others instead of focusing on a lot of unimportant things. Actually, traveling with others can be a lot fun. You will meet with new people, develop stronger relationships and even connect with some old friends.

Book Transportation for Events

Allow More for the Headcount

Ideally, you should have the final headcount prior to booking event transportation. However, when planning events, there are several factors that can influence whether you can give the exact headcount way ahead of time. It would be easier to give a solid attendance estimate beforehand if the event is a company outing, whereas the RSVP deadline of a wedding would have to wait until two weeks prior to the event to come up with the final headcount. No matter what the situation, it is more practical to overestimate the headcount and make the necessary revisions when the numbers are confirmed. In the end, you want to be sure that all guests have a seat on the bus.

Verify the Company’s Capacity

Certainly the number of vehicles required will depend on the number of guests. For this reason, it is crucial to think about the fleet size of the transportation company. This way, you will know if they are capable of providing the right number of vehicles.

When booking for an event that requires 50 buses, be sure that the operator you decide on can supply all that. Also find out if they can provide alternate or extra vehicles in case they are needed. Larger fleets have a plan for emergencies, such as unexpected rise in attendance and maintenance problems that smaller fleets cannot cope with. You can feel more at ease with a large fleet, knowing they have a contingency plan if any last minute problems come up.

Recognize Guest Needs

It is important to be familiar with your attendees and know if any of them will need special accommodations. For instance, when a guest cannot go up the stairs, the transportation company should provide ADA-compliant vehicles.

Make Clear the Schedule

When you decide on a transportation provider, make sure they are aware of your group’s schedule. Some groups just need to schedule their pick-up, drop-off time. Others with multi-location events need a customized approach. As an example, a corporate meeting runs on a fixed agenda, while a pub-crawl has a more flexible schedule.

Knowing the need that the event focuses on lets the transportation company determine the number of drivers required and eventually, helps them in supplying the best transportation solution.