When you are booking a vacation rental property in a ski resort there is an indisputable magic to the phrase ski-in, ski-out. It conjures up images of a loving restored log cabin on the edge of an immaculately groomed piste, of watching fellow skiers carve elegant turns from your living room window, with the occasional spray of snow against the window pane. It suggests stepping out of your front door, clicking on your skis and gliding down the slopes to the lift. You may anticipate avoiding the crush of people waiting for a lukewarm and soggy pizza in the mountain restaurant by using your own chalet as a mountain restaurant. And, perhaps best of all, you may look forward to skiing back to your own front door at the end of the afternoon and forgetting about trudging along paths and the indignity of crowded shuttle buses.
The reality may be very different. Knowing the power of the term ski-in, ski-out, "vacation rental" providers are quick to use it to cover a myriad of different arrangements and a range of proximity to the slopes. Here are a few things to watch out for: 1. The ski-in ski-out home that is really hiking distance to the slopes. The economics of housing development on mountainsides mean that when an area is developed next to the slopes, only some of it is actually next to the slopes. There is almost certain to be a hinterland of properties that have access to the slopesvia pathways, steps, roadways etc. The pathways may be short, or they may not. Make sure you ask exactly how far a particular property is from the actual ski slope, and what the path is actually like: is it a level walkway or a series of dozens of icy steps? 2. The ski-in, ski-out home that is reached via an ungroomed trail through the woods. When these homes were originally built the developers cut a trail to them so that they could be sold as ski-in, ski-out. However these trails are very often too narrow for a snow-cat to use; furthermore, they are very likely private property and the lift company which grooms the slopes may have no responsibility for them. Only if the owners of properties served by that trail get together and make private arrangements for grooming will you find the trail in good enough condition for safe usage. 3. The ski-in, ski-out home that offers good ski-in, ski-out accessif youve chosen one of the 2 weeks of the year when the snow is down to that level. Many resorts that offer ski accommodation are down in the valley, and global warming has led to a raising of the snow line and a decline in the number of weeks that snow is on the ground at given elevations. 4. Finally, there is the nirvana: a ski-in, ski-out home that is what it says it is: situated right on slopes which are snow-covered throughout the season and groomed by the lift companys snowcats daily. This is what is often now referred to as true ski-in, ski-out. However, you may find that because this real estate is so scarce it is also very pricey, or alternatively it is developed with rather high-density and charmless accommodation. The Aspens in Whistler is a good example of this. The situation is perfect, right on the slopes, but the accommodation is mostly fairly spartan. The lesson here is simple. When you are booking ski-in, ski-out accommodation, make sure that you know exactly what you are getting. If you are booking a resort such as Whistler, where there are many gradations of ski-in, ski-out accommodation, consult one of the local property management companies like Holiday Whistler, and question them very closely on its exact location before you book your Whistler "ski accommodation" .
If you are planning a trip to Russia, you need to make an effort to prepare yourself. Practicing drinking vodka is a good start, but you will need to know some basic Russian terms.Basic Russian Terms for Your Trip To RussiaRussia is a unique and amazing country. Having lived there for a year, I can tell you it is like nothing you will experience in Europe or anywhere else. The culture is entirely different as is the language. The language, in particular, is the first hurdle you will face. The Russian language is based on the Cyrillic Alphabet. From the sound of individual letters to their combined essence, everything is different than what you are used to. If you try to wing it, you are going to be in for big trouble. To help you out, here are some basic words and phrases you should know. The first phrase I mastered while in Russia was ya ne gavaru puruski. This phonetic mess can be translated to I dont speak Russian. Trust me, you should learn this. I became so good at ripping it off that many people thought I actually spoke Russian, but was just being a jerk!Privyet is probably a familiar word. It means hello or hi and is common greeting. The phrase is pronounced easy at the beginning and hard at the end privYET. That being said, I mumble constantly and nobody seemed to object to just about any pronunciation. Tak is a word used to buy time or give the impression you are thinking deeply. A Russian will often pause and say taktaktak and then respond. It is the equivalent of hmmm in the English language. You can use it to sound intellectual or during negotiations over a purchase. Nuzhnik is one of those important phrases. It is an informal term used when trying to find a toilet. Keep in mind this is very informal, as in where is the can? I dont know why, but it just stuck in my mind. Obviously, there are a few zillion different phrases of Russian you will need at some point in your trip. At least now you can you say, Hi. I dont speak RussianhmmmI need to find the can!
You have quite a few different options as to where you stay in Bangkok. You just need to figure out what is best for you.Finding a place to stay in Bangkok is easy. Finding a place to stay that suits your needs can be a different story.This is geared primarily to the single man looking to have a bit of fun in Bangkok. And it is for the short term stay.If all you have is a few hours to a half day in Bangkok, I recommend that you just get a room near the Suvarnabhumi airport. If you dont know where you are going, getting from the airport to the main part of the city can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours depending on traffic. If you are just in Bangkok on a short layover, stay near the airport.If you have a day or two, you have many more options. It all depends on what you want to do.For the first timer, I would recommend staying near Patpong Road, Soi Nana, or Soi Cowboy. These are three of the main night venues for the single man on the prowl. They all have advantages and disadvantages.Patpong was the place to go during the Vietnam War and for quite a few years after. Now it is a tourist trap with a capital "T". But, for the first time visitor, it is still worth seeing. Just dont buy anything from the street vendors. Getting to Patpong at about 5 PM you can see how much work it is to set up this street market and how fast they get it going.Soi Nana or Soi 4 is home to the Nana Entertainment Plaza (NEP). This is a three story, horseshoe shaped, neon lit, den of debauchery. Lots of go-go bars and some beer bars on the first floor for your drinking pleasure. Be careful of the transvestite bar on the second floor. A few years back, this was a great place for the local expats, but with the Internet, this is now a tourist destination. Hang out at the Nana Hotel parking lot across the street at closing time for a sight you will not see anywhere else in the world.Soi Cowboy is still primarily for the expats. This is a small side street between Soi 21 and Soi 23 off of Sukhumvit Road. It is bar after bar after bar. Lots of hawkers and "hello' girls trying to get you inside. Most of the bars are go-go's and prices are lower than Patpong or Nana Plaza. Well worth a visit and a short cab ride from Soi 4.There are other areas to get your hotel but I try to find a hotel near an area I plan to hang out in. I usually get a hotel near Soi 4 and this gives me easy access to NEP and also to Soi Cowboy. There is also a three-story, beer bar complex on Soi 1 where I like to hang out. I try to avoid spending time in taxis on the Bangkok streets.If you are still undecided, get your hotel room on Sukhumvit between Sois 3 and 24 and you will be close to the action and short cab rides to anywhere else. You can walk to many of the shopping venues or catch the overhead train to get around.Find out what you plan to do in Bangkok and pick your hotel based on where you plan to party.
Ever dreamed of going on a Caribbean Cruise but dont know what to expect when you get there? Well, to start off, you have to know what the Caribbean is. Its a region of the Americas thats located in between North America and South America.When you think about the word Caribbean, youre probably thinking about beaches. But theres more to the Caribbean than just beaches. There are a number of things that you can do. You can go beachcombing, have a picnic and sail in San Juan, Puerto Rico, or go on powerboat adventures in Nassau, Bahamas. You will never run out of options as to what to do next. You have the entire place, the sun and the sea.The top destinations in the Caribbean are Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Aruba, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Cayman Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.Now what can you do at those top spots? In Montego Bay, Jamaica, you can go on a Catamaran Cruise for approximately 3 hours for as low as US$60 with Viator. You can also go see the Luminous Lagoon for 6 hours in Trelawny, Jamaica for US$37 per person. If you want to go sightseeing in the Dominican Republic, you can go and check out the Ocean World Adventure Park in Puerto Plata. Have you ever wondered how the Caribbean waters look underwater? Well, you can stop wondering and go on the Seaquarium Adventure in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.If youre the type who would rather go shopping than go on adventures, dont worry, you can still shop in the Caribbean. In St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, driver-guides will show you Magens Bay, St. John and the chain of British Virgin Islands from Mt. Top, the highest point on St. Thomas. After touring the mountains, you will be taken to downtown Charlotte Amalie, where you can be by yourself for lunch or browse the duty-free shops of the Old Danish town.There is so much more to do in the Caribbean, go on cruises, stay in the best hotels, go sightseeing, go on spa vacations, night clubbing and more. If you just got married, why not have your honeymoon in the Caribbean? Or if youve been married for quite a while now, why not have a second honeymoon?For more information on traveling to the Caribbean, visit your favorite online travel guide for an extensive Things-To-Do list for you to enjoy your vacation. Now go check out the Caribbean to experience them!
Early morning mist rises from the Hoan Kiem Lake while elders perform the slow movements of tai chi in green parks, streets become filled with mopeds and cyclo drivers (three-wheeled bicycle taxis) clamour for people attention.Although a city of historical importance considered to be the social and cultural centre of Vietnam, Hanoi is a far slower and less developed than Ho Chi Minh City. Luckily, this slow pace development has preserved the special vibe you will live in Hanoi, with old fascinating buildings, green views on treed boulevards and smiling local people. Especially the historic Old Quarter with its French style streets and arts and crafts bargains.Especially in this area there are many recently refurbished hotels that kept an eye to the traditional architecture and design. Modest but with an unique charming environment some Hanoi Hotels are located in historical or colonial buildings. Just to mention some that you can easily find and book directly online are the Pearls hotel for example, the Old street Hotel, Hanoi Queen Plaza, the Ritz Hotel, Joy Hotel, Return Hotel, Y Van Riverside Hotel or Hanoi Plaza hotel. Most of them face the quiet Hoan Kiem lake providing guests with beautiful views from terraces and windows. Quite unexpectedly for the standard they offer, the room rates in Hanoi Vietnamese Hotels are modest in general, ranging from 3,5 euros per person up to 15 euros per person.As a cultural centre, Hanoi has quite a lot to offer. In fact, during the year Hanoi guests many traditional events from water puppet shows, to music and religious festivals, dance performances and a lot more. Just to mention a couple of curious ones held in springtime, that will certainly worth a visit to Vietnam and Hanoi in particular, are the Whale Festival and the Elephant Race, both in March. The former is a fishermen festival typical of Quang Nam Village in Da Nang province, where people worship Whales and their gods asking for prosperity; the latter is more traditional in the countryside in Don Village or in forests near the Sevepoi River (Dac Lak). The race track is large enough for 10 elephants running on even ground near the forest for 1-2 km. At the signal, the mahouts command their elephants to go to the starting line and will start running excited by the sound of the drums, gongs, and cheering from the viewers. At the end of the race, the winning one wave to the viewers with its trunk and is offered sugarcane and banana leafs!