Japanese Man No Longer Living in Airport

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Travel News

Sleeping in an airport, for a night, before a flight is common among travelers who are attempting to save a few dollars on hotel costs. Websites like The Guide to Sleeping in Airports have been developed around the concept. An interesting story out of Mexico City ran recently about this phenomenon.
sleeping-mexico-city-airport.jpg Mexico City Airport ® 00ucci

Over the past few months, a Japanese man has taken it to a new level by moving into Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport. As of the new year, Mr. Nohara has finally found a new residence–in an apartment. Amazing that someone could fly under the radar for such a long period of time.
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gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.

 

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Is India Safe to Visit?

December 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Travel News

The Indian government has invited top travel writers to visit local tourist locations, including the sites of the recent terrorist attacks, to witness the measures taken to provide safety for tourists.

The attacks against tourist hotels in Mumbai have taken a toll on Indian tourism. India has been plagued by terrorist bombing over the past few years, but the international attention focused on the most recent assault will likely pose a greater challenge for Indian tourism.
taj-mahal-picture.jpg Taj Mahal, India © Gennaro Salamone

During the summer, editors from Enduring Wanderlust witnessed increased safety measures in Delhi. This security was mainly around the city’s train stations and the business district. Though these steps were welcomed, it was clear that more was needed to protect residents and travelers. Several of the metal detectors weren’t working properly and few bags were manually checked by attendants. With the recent attacks, it’s vital that the travel writers who visit India provide a detailed report on the new measures taken by the government.

Read about the recycled rock garden of Chandigarh, India or about the increase in women traveling solo and its safety ramifications.
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gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.

 

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3 Perfect Places to Befriend a Buddhist Monk

December 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

1. Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is an enchanting town in Southeast Asia. It has numerous Buddhist Temples (Wats) that are filled with novices and monks practicing their faith. For the traveler, Luang Prabang provides an unmatched opportunity to converse with the novices (individuals who are studying in preparation for full ordination) of the temples. Each day novices study a variety of subjects including language courses. English has become increasingly popular among novices who will either become fully ordained monks or return to Lao society.

The easiest way to build a conversation with novices or monks is to spend a significant amount of time on the grounds of one of the many temples. In most cases you can approach one of its residence and ask a few questions about Buddhism to open a dialogue. After a few minutes, you will be immersed in a discussion about a variety of topics ranging from faith to your homeland.

Luang Prabang has seen a significant growth in tourism over the past few years. Be thoughtful in your approach with the temples and its residence. Remember that this is their place of worship and their home.
luang-prabang-monks.jpg Luang Prabang, Laos © Gennaro Salamone

2. Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya, India
Bodh Gaya, India is where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment. There are few places on earth that match the peacefulness of its Mahabodhi Temple, which was built at the Bodhi tree where the Buddha sat under around 530 BCE. Visitors to hectic India will be particularly relaxed sitting among countless Buddhist monks who make journeys to India to pay respect to the Buddha and to collect falling leaves from the famous Bodhi tree.

If you’re lucky, you may be meditating next to the singing Thai monk who visits the temple regularly. He happens to have an affinity for tying Western music to Buddhist philosophy. You will likely hear: “keep smilin’, keep shinin’.” Knowin’ you can always count of me, for sure” or “let it be, let it be. Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.” The great philosopher will also help you deal with India’s stifling heat with his little bottle of Thai Ang Ki, which cools your skin when added to a sprinkling of water.
bodhi-tree-buddha.jpg Mahabodhi Temple © Gennaro Salamone

3. Vang Vieng, Laos
If you can remove yourself from the crowds of young backpackers who are rock climbing, tubing down the river, and watching Friends re-runs in the restaurants of the city, Vang Vieng offers an opportunity to learn a lot about the life of Buddhist monks. You can wake up at the crack of dawn to donate food stuffs to the lines of novices along the main street of the town collecting for their temples’ lunch. Later, it’s possible to attend prayer sessions at the local wats. At one temple, the monks invited us to partake in the prayer ritual along with subtle lessons in etiquette.

There were fewer novices and monks who spoke English than at Luang Prabang, but an equal number of smiling faces ready to greet travelers who are interesting in Lao culture or Buddhist teaching. If you’re seeking detailed explanations about Buddhism consider asking for the monk, at the main residency, who teaches English to novices.

Read about rock climbing in Laos or the six steps to a luck Chinese New Year.
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gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.

 

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Scuba Diving Certification in Affordable Paradise

December 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Destinations, Features

The Bay Islands of Honduras offer an unmatched opportunity to receive an open water certification for scuba diving. The crystal clear waters are a dwelling place to a multitude of wildlife including whale sharks, sea horses, and dolphins. The certification courses on Utila are the most inexpensive in the Caribbean running from $220-280 for several days of instruction, low-end hotel room, and two free dives (in most cases). Courses are also available for a bit more at the higher-end island called Roatan.
roatan-scuba-diving.jpg.jpgScuba Diving in Roatan, Bay Islands © Marc AuMarc

Two of the popular dive centers on the islands are the Utila Dive Center which is connected with the Mango Inn and Deep Blue Utila which runs their own hotel.

Utila’s atmosphere is laid-back with lots of world travelers who arrived for serious diving or who are looking to match a little diving with a lot of nightlife. Roatan is more expensive and has a community of travelers who are keen on taking in the some rays between scuba diving sessions.

Read about San Marcos (an inexpensive Guatemalan lake town) or the top snowboarding locations in the world.
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.

 

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The Best Pizza in NYC

December 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Features, Food

1. Di Fara Pizza

Domenico De Marco is the master of pizza-making. Di Fara Pizza thrives based on the mouthwatering flavor of each bite of his fresh pies. The unorganized, long lines are a worthwhile penance to bask in the joy that comes when Mr. De Marco uses a scissor to chop fresh basil onto your searing pie. For the ultimate ecstasy, order a pie with porcini mushrooms. Do note that take-out is the best option.

2. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is perfect for travelers arriving to New York City for the first time. Just take a stroll, from Manhattan to Brooklyn, across the historic Brooklyn Bridge and you’ll be moments away from waiting in line for one of the best coal-oven pies in the world. Grimaldi’s has fresh ingredients and a level of consistency that is unrivaled. Be prepared to sit in close proximity to your fellow pizza lovers.
grimaldis-pizza-nyc.jpg Grimaldi’s © Eric Konon

3. Totonno’s Pizzeria

This Coney Island institution has fans lining up to partake in a ritual of devouring its coal-oven masterpieces. The decor is simple, but the taste of Totonno’s pies is divine. Don’t be surprised to see a group of teenagers polish of a pie–each. Do note that the pizzeria closes once the fresh dough runs out for that night.

4. Famous Joe’s Pizza

This award-winning institution is one of the few exceptional pizzerias to offer slices. Though the decor and seating aren’t inviting, the mozzarella oozes off the thin-slices of this crowd-pleaser. This is the perfect place for an individual dropping in for a couple of slices or the backpacker who wants a quick bite of NYC’s best without denting their wallet.

5. John’s Pizzeria

The carved-wooden booths of this institution house hundreds of loyal, passionate clients who order pies at this no-slice haven. Long lines develop before lunch and dinner to taste John’s scrumptious, thin-crusted pies. One of several coal-fired pizzerias on the list, John’s customers always leave satiated.

6. Lombardi’s Pizza
lombardis-pizza-nyc.jpg Lombardi’s © Robyn Lee

Lombardi’s was the first pizzeria in the United States. The original establishment opened its doors in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi. Today, Lombardi’s continues to make exceptional pies for its eagerly awaiting patrons. This cash only establishment creates the perfect crispy crust to go along with the aura of its history.

7. Una Pizza Napolitana *Closed

The most unique choice on the list is this Anthony Mangieri pizzeria modeled after the local Italian-style with wood-fired, brick oven pizza. With a limited menu of four pies, Una Pizza Napolitana relies upon fresh ingredients such as mozzarella di bufalo and San Marzano tomatoes to keep its customers returning.

8. Ottimo Restaurant

Ottimo is the perfect place for a group of friends who want to select from a variety of Italian fare. After the meal, those who didn’t try the Neapolitan-style pizza with fresh buffalo mozzarella will be wondering if they made the best choice. Unlike most of places on the list, Ottimo has a restaurant ambiance with sufficient and comfortable seating.

Read about the best chocolate in NYC , the hundreds of free things to do in NYC , or some of the best authentic foods around the world based on our reader feedback.
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gennaroeditor.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

 

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Do I need a money belt?

December 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Travel Gear

Money belts provide for a peace of mind when traveling to developing countries or big cities across the globe. It allows travelers to safely place their credit cards and cash under their clothing so that pick-pockets are unsuccessful in grabbing them in the middle of busy transportation hubs or tourist destinations.

Another tip is to spread your money and credit cards to several pockets so that a successful pick-pocket only takes a small portion of your travel currency.

Consider the Rick Steves Money Belt for the superior quality of its fabric.

money-belt.jpg

Purchase: Money Belt

Editor’s note: This article contains an affiliate link.
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.

 

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Québec Winter Carnival

December 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Destinations

Quebec City can be bitterly cold during the winter season. That being said, Quebec is also a beautiful location with plenty to do during this time of year including the Quebec Winter Carnival. The festivities running from January 30, 2009 to February 15, 2009 include evening parades, sleigh or dogsled rides, outdoor cinema, regulary scheduled concerts, and a variety of unique snow sculptures.

Consider attending the opening or closing ceremonies held at the stunning Ice Palace. In the past, the palace has been built with 9,000 tons of snow that were compacted into massive bricks.
quebec-winter-festival.jpgQuebec City © Gennaro Salamone

Read about passport cards for a quicker border crossing into Canada.
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gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.

 

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Green Adventures in Belize

December 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Destinations

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National Geographic recently named Belize one of its eco-successes. Belize is a lovely Central American location where English and Spanish are widely-spoken. Whether you want adventurous spelunking or fun in the sun it’s on the menu in Belize.

Regardless of your interests, it would be wise to consider The Mesoamerican Reef which was described by National Geographic as an underwater Serengeti . To learn more about the steps that are being taking to keep Belize a green destination review the Friends of Nature website.
placencia-belize.jpgPlacencia, Belize © Gennaro Salamone
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.

 

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Zurich Named Best Place to Live

December 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Travel News

Zurich, Switzerland was named the best place to live in Europe by Forbes. The list ranks the ten best places to live based on a few quality of life factors. The following countries held the top spots:

1. Zurich, Switzerland
2. Vienna, Austria (Tie)
2. Geneva, Switzerland (Tie)
4. Dusseldorf, Germany
5. Munich Germany (Tie)
5. Frankfurt, Germany (Tie)
7. Bern, Switzerland
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
9. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
10. Brussels, Belgium.
zurich-houses.jpgZurich © Gennaro Salamone

As you can see, the group of countries that dominate the list are part of one region in Europe. That said, it’s tough to argue about the quality of life in these cities. Zurich specifically has has a lot to offer the traveler. The immaculately clean city has historic churches, trendy restaurants, and a beautiful lake for boating or swimming (the locals love to take a dip in the chilly waters).
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gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

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Sketches Found on Back of Da Vinci Painting

December 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Travel News

Sketches were discovered on the back of Leonardo DaVinci’s “The Virgin and Child with St. Anne” at Paris’ The Louvre Museum. This stunning finding will provide excitement for the art curators along with Parisian businesses connected with the travel industry who are likely to benefit from the inlfux of travelers lining up to see the drawings .

No truth to the rumor than Dan Brown of The DaVinci Code fame was on hand for the discovery.
louvre-museum-paris.jpgLouvre Museum, Paris © Gennaro Salamone

Thinking about visiting Paris. Read about 8 great films for Parisian Travelers.
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.

 

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