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The Terracotta Army, which consists of thousands of unique, life-sized clay soldiers poised for battle, is arranged by rank with weapons and horses to protect the tomb of China’s first emperor. Ying Zheng assumed the throne in 246 BC and unified warring kingdoms by his thirteenth birthday. He took the name of Qin Shi Huang Di (First Emperor of Qin), standardised weights and measures, linked states by roads and canals and is thought to have built an early version of the Great Wall.
He reportedly ordered the construction of the mausoleum just after taking the throne, and it is thought that there are originally 8,000 figures, although the exact total may never be known. Over 700,000 workers were tasked with producing the figures for 11 years, and they are truly a spectacle to behold.
Located 1.5km from Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s tomb in Lintong, this is a site not to miss on your trip to China. Thought to protect the Emperor and accompany him into the afterlife, the army of individually decorated and designed life-size figures are steeped in history and well worth the journey to see them.
Xi’an is reachable by plane from Beijing in 2 hours, Shanghai in 3 and by high-speed train in 6-7 hours from both. You can join a guided tour, visit the museum or do it by yourself – independent travellers should note that it’s quieter in the afternoon, but that the last bus back to Xi’an downtown departs at 7pm.
Top Tips for Travelling to China
Although it may seem vast, mysterious and daunting, don’t let the idea of travelling to China overwhelm you.
Try to pick up a tiny bit of Mandarin before you go – buy a guidebook and learn online (the BBC website is very decent). Keep your translating apps handy if you have access to WiFi or a good data plan; always have a copy and a photo of the business card for where you’re staying and where you want to visit for taxis and bus conductors. If in doubt, greet Chinese people with a smile – it will go a long way, as will even the most basic attempts at Mandarin.
Pin down your itinerary – China is so vast that you would need months to scratch the surface if you spread yourself too thinly. Pick out your top region or even province and see it properly.
Take advantage of public transport – local transport infrastructure is good and comes with literally millions of friendly, foreigner-loving Chinese tourists who’d love to put you back on track if you lose your way. Give it a go; you can always switch back to taxis, but the locals really are keen to help out.
Keep your wits about you when buying – be prepared to haggle in shops and on the streets, and expect to get the starting price down to 10% of the first quoted figure. Don’t tip in taxis or restaurants, and ask for both English and Chinese menus to make sure you’re not being ripped off on the English menu.
Never follow a stranger, as the Chinese are generally shy and wouldn’t approach you first — this is particularly a scam in Shanghai.
Last but certainly not least, travel insurance for Asian is a must. As with all travelArticle Submission, insurance for Asia should include comprehensive medical and belongings cover and ensure you mention any pre-existing medical conditions to be fully covered.
The trains of Spain are effective, quick and generally shabby. Be that as it may, with a specific end goal to drive via prepare, you have to make an agenda, not underestimating everything.
There are various courses that are not served and the scope is likewise not effective at many spots. You can’t anticipate that everything will be modest and speedy dependably while chosen to go via prepare. Arranging includes looking and experiencing the whole timetables and distinctive courses of prepare in Spain. Diverse sites and gateways can take into account your necessities.
There is doubtlessly a great deal of times going via prepare will be less expensive in Spain when contrasted with the long separation go in some other nation. Actually, charges of prepare go in Spain are about a large portion of the cost of that in Germany or France. On occasion, prepare goes in Spain can likewise be to a great degree extravagant, particularly in the event that you are going for La Robla prepare visit. Extravagance bundles from Bilbao to Leon are additionally accessible.
Prepare go in Spain additionally takes almost no time, especially at the Madrid-Barcelona AVE and Madrid-Seville Road. Bury rail passes and Eurail additionally makes travel less expensive in Spain. There are vast quantities of rebates that are offered by these trains and the offices they offer are additionally superb however while taking it you should be extremely insightful.
The ticket booking office is likewise less demanding than that of booking the transport. There is just a single principle organization that takes into account distinctive administrations. You don’t need to continue searching for administrations. Trains are additionally encouraged by lavoratory offices dissimilar to that of transports.
You can simpler work by taking help of an intelligent guide that contains all the prepare courses in Spain, particularly that of rail Europe. Genuine euro offers modest rail goes in entire mainland. Genuine euro offers maps for the vast majority of the European prepare courses.
I came across a statistic the other day that shocked me: only about 10% of U.S. citizens have a passport. While I know that Americans are often criticized for ignorance about the rest of the world, I didn’t realize just how little we get out and about!
I know of very few things that can provide the genuine education and adventure that comes with international travel: the fascinating views, the unfamiliar smells, the undecipherable languages, the unidentifiable foods, the interesting people. It is almost a cliche to say that travel broadens one’s horizons, but sometimes cliches are as true as they are literal. Myopic, insular, narrow views cannot but be blasted by the wide vistas of the rest of the world “out there.”
I will not try and convince you, however, to dust off the suitcases and buy a ticket to somewhere. Instead, I would like to present to you my random list of things to know so that your international travel is the best it can be. It is my hope that in doing so I will tear down whatever walls of fear or inertia have been holding you back from experiencing more of the world.
1. Don’t travel like everyone else, suit your own style. What this means is that there are many different ways to travel. There are pre-packaged trips, organized tours, mainstream routes, structured adventures, luxury or rustic, city or country, etc. The first rule of travel is to thine own self be true. Don’t take someone else’s trip; take your own. Know yourself, what you like, what you must have in terms of accommodations, and make it fit YOU. A trip is like an extension of your personality; make sure it’s authentic.
There is so much to think about when preparing for a trip and Africa can be especially daunting as it is so unknown. This list will help make sure you remember everything as you prepare for your safari adventure.
Your passport should be valid for at least six months after the end date of your trip.
As most African countries require visas for most nationalities, it is a good idea to ensure you have one blank page for each country to be visited. So if the passport is getting full and you are planning a big overland journey, it might be a good time to renew.
Check with the embassy of the country (or countries) to be visited whether your nationality needs a visa. In sub-Saharan Africa, visas can easily be acquired on entry, but this is not true for all nationalities. Do not rely on your tour operator to know the rules for every nationality either – it is usually your responsibility to find out this information and, of course, apply in advance for those visas if necessary.
3. Travel Insurance
In Europe, many travellers forego travel insurance and take their chances. It is simply not worth it in Africa. The medical facilities available are usually not up to the standards in the West so having emergency evacuation cover is essential. Protection against petty theft, lost luggage and sham tour operators are also helpful.
4. Book flights, tours, accommodation
The general wisdom is that eight weeks prior to travel is the optimal time to book flights. There are plenty of online booking engines that can find cheap flights, but for a complicated itinerary there are still travel agents ready to assist.
A travel website that does not sell travel but enables travelers to save money on travel as long as they do their own bookings is now offering services to internet travelers. This service is a unique addition to travel options for all travelers comfortable with direct bookings using a new type of travel document called a TopTravelVoucher.
The operators of this service are addressing the issue of travel pricing which often includes a 10 to 25% mark-up to allow for the payment of travel agent commission to either wholesalers or retailers but when travelers buy directly from the provider (accommodations, tours or transportation) they can still pay the price inclusive of commission. To overcome the travel providers’ problems of showing multiple prices for the same products and services on their websites, they can now offer ‘fair fare prices’ by issuing TopTravelVouchers.
Travel Providers are given marketing and promotion in exchange for their own travel vouchers, equivalent to or more than, the commission that would be payable upon sale of their various travel packages and services, so they still incur the commission cost on sales but do not have to alienate their distribution chain of wholesalers and retailers by offering a retail, wholesale or ‘direct’ price on their website. This is done by the voucher operator who sells their vouchers to travelers at deep discounts to their redemption values to be used when making direct bookings, hence a travel agent who does not sell travel, only travel vouchers and therefore is not a travel agent.
If you’re vising German, in particular the area of Wetzlar or Weilburg (Hesse), a canoe tour on the Lahn river is great fun for the whole family! There are local businesses for renting canoes. They even do guided tours.
We recommend this one in Weilburg:
– Kanutouren / Kanuverleih Weilburg
– Aktivhotel Lindenhof
– Frankfurt Strasse 23, Weilburg
They offer various packages. In their basic package you rent the canoes and all the equipment, incl. pick-up of the canoes after the tour. Before the canoe tour they provide you with tips and guidance to make sure you know how to get along on the Lahn river. For a day tour the price is 17 Euro per person for this package. It starts in Loehnberg until Fuhrfurt, over Runkel.
You will get even more out of their Clubtour. This tour starts in the morning at 9:30 am at Frankfurter Strasse 23 in Weilburg. They give you a tour and overview about the canoes at the Weilburger Bootshaus. The canoe tour itself then takes 3 hours. Enjoy the great scenery along the Lahn river, historic castles, and more. There will be a short stop in between, where you can have a picnic and lunch. The tour then ends around 3 pm in Fuhrfurt. A bus will pick you up and return you to Weilburg. The team of the Aktivhof Linden is already waiting for you and will prepare a delicious BBQ with steaks, German sausages, and fresh seasonal salads. Drink a cold beer in their Biergarten and enjoy the rest of the day in a relaxing atmosphere. They also own an Irish pub, where you can enjoy live music on Fridays and Saturdays. You can even book canoe tours that span over multiple days!
This article has been written by Bettina Kraft. She likes to write Germany related travel articles on Live Like a German – a site for exploring Germany, to learn more about its culture/language, and to find great Germany holiday rentals [http://www.live-like-a-german.com/vacation_rentals] or vacation apartments when going on a Germany vacation. Bettina likes to help visitors from all over the world to experience Germany in a different, more personal way, and make it easy for them to do so by providing detailed travel tips and advise.