Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Take a trip to Turkey

Everyone seems to be heading to Turkey. Why Turkey? And why now? Turkey provides the ideal blend of relaxing beaches, unique culture, historical buildings and party atmosphere: everything you would want for the ultimate summer holiday. Turkey has wonderful countryside of unspoilt beauty and cultural treats as well as cosmopolitan resorts, crumbling ruins and natural wonders. Whether you’re wandering around bazaars, relaxing in a Turkish bath or enjoying the nightlife, you’ll find your own way to enjoy this varied country. Turkey provides us with a window in which to view the Middle East, with the on goings throughout the area, Turkey is a safer holiday option.

Did you know?
The famous Trojan War took place in Western Turkey; around the site where the Trojan horse rests today. Tradition in Turkey states that a stranger at one’s doorstep is considered "God’s guest" for at least three days. Wait, there’s more! Istanbul has the historical building of Sirkeci Train Station. This was the last stop of the Simplon-Orient Express – “kings of trains and train of kings" - between Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul) 1883 to 1977. Agatha Christie was one of the passengers of this famous train.

What’s the weather like in Turkey?
The coast of Turkey is temperate, warm, and humid in the summer. Eastern Turkey has short summers and bitterly cold winters. Central Anatolia is dry and hot in the summer, rainy and snowy in the winter. If you plan to visit beaches, June through to September is the best time to travel. Southeastern Turkey is very dry and extremely hot in the summer. If you already know which area in Turkey you are going you can read more specific weather information here.

What should I wear in Turkey?
The best way to see the Old City of Istanbul is on foot so the advice is comfy walking attire that can be removed easily when visiting any of the many mosques. Istanbul is very cosmopolitan and stylish city but if you don't want to stand out on the street, wear modest clothing. Short shorts or short skirts are not a great idea. Smart casual for daytime and evenings works really well.
In the evenings, Turkish women tend to dress up, but bare arms and plunging necklines are seldom seen as they're covered in public (even in the dining rooms of the grandest 5-star hotels) with lightweight evening scarves or shawls.The 4 and 5 star hotels can be extremely sophisticated and glamorous and you may want to pack a smarter outfit to fit right in.
Even in warm weather when you're wearing sleeveless tops, carry a lightweight shawl to put over your bare shoulders. This is great to cover up for modesty when visiting any mosques.
In the winter months it gets really cold (and it snows) so wrap up – take a coat, hat and gloves. In rural Turkey, women tend to dress much more modestly, dark coloured head scarves, long skirts or trekking trousers and long sleeved shirts will help you to blend in a little more.
The dress code is much more relaxed in the coastal resorts, because they exist predominantly for the tourist trade. However, you'll be far more welcome if you still bear in mind the Muslim customs. For instance, don't go topless, however comfortable you are with it – the Turkish are not. Shorts, T-shirts and swimwear are all perfectly fine for use in your resort. If you know you're going to stay put, then this is the only type of clothing you'll need.

What items should I shop for in Turkey?
The best items to shop for in Turkey are handwoven rugs and kilims, leather goods, silk, alabaster, copperware and brassware, ceramics, Iznik tiles, brass samovars, and meerschaum pipes. A smile and a polite no thank you to any over eager shop keepers is a great way of not feeling pressured. Prices in Turkey are generally significantly lower than in other EU countries And, at a time when the financial protection offered by package holidays is an important reassurance, the range of accommodation, tours and activities in tour operators’ brochures looks particularly attractive. 

Getting around in the Turkey Countryside
Turkey’s roads aren’t always well-maintained and speeding is common. Don’t expect indicators to always be used. It can be expensive to hire cars. But if you do want to drive, your best bet is to book through an agent such as Holiday Autos.

Ensure that all key aspects of your holiday are organised prior to departure to avoid any unwanted complications while abroad.
Skyscanner helps millions of users a month find the cheapest flights around the world by searching over 600 airlines – budget and scheduled – and 6000 routes.
Hotelopia is one of the world’s leading travel companies offering reduced-rate accommodation to holiday makers with 25,000 properties, in over 900 global destinations in the UK, Europe, America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Australia. They offer great value for money and service to all their customers, including instant hotel confirmation, a lowest price guarantee, fully inclusive quoted rates, with no additional credit card fees. 
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Monday, 8 September 2014

The magic ingredient for amazing skin

The magic ingredient to amazing skin

The magic ingredient for amazing skin

Beauty products will help keep your skin fresh but there is one magic ingredient which is often over looked. And that is water. Don't forget to drink enough water. In general you need 2 litres of water on a normal day. If you are somewhere warm and/or doing more activity than normal make sure you drink more than 2 litres. Water feeds your skin enabling it to produce more cells.

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4 of the Best Places to Visit in North East Asia

From the idyllic countryside of rural China to the sensory overload of Japanese cities, North East Asia offers a fantastic blend of contrasting and conflicting places for you to visit. This vast region is largely dominated by China and its much smaller neighbour Japan, and there is so much to be explored here. 

Despite belonging to the same continent, the cultures, laws, customs and costs of the countries comprising Northeast Asia can differ hugely. It’s best to fully research where you’re going before you set off on your discovery of the orient.

Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai

Shanghai, China 

While not as attraction dense as other major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai offers an exhilarating experience without the need for tourist traps. But the few sights it is home to are truly magnificent. Not to be missed is Yu Yuan Garden, a 400 year old classical garden located in Shanghai’s Old Town. Look past the throngs of tourists and allow yourself to be transported to 16th century China, taking in the beautiful architecture and wealth of history that surrounds you. Yuyuan Garden is the most lush, lavish and magnificent Chinese garden that is situated in the middle of the Old City area, very near to The Bund in Shanghai whose history dates back to the time period of 1559. 

This classical area is considered to be a source of great temptation for the visitors and people gather here in large numbers. Its fascinating halls, pavilions, rockeries, cloisters and ponds are some of the major attractions. The most alluring treasure and astonishing feature of the garden is the Jade Rock which is 10.8 feet high and contains 72 holes. 

The magic related to this rock is that if a stick is burned under it, all the holes will produce the smoke and the same happens if you put water. That’s why the site is truly bewitching and is admired a lot by the people.Apart from all such charming places of the garden, there is much more in this dazzling area. So plan a visit for the stunning Yuyuan garden of Shanghai. 

Hollywood films which have been set in Shanghai include: Transformers: Revenge of the fallen (2009), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) and Empire of the Sun (1987).

Tokyo, Japan 
A fascinating mix of old and new, Tokyo is a fast paced, thriving metropolis that still stands true to its rich heritage. Expect century-old tradition to be interspersed with startling modernity, and don’t be surprised if you get left behind on the rapidly moving trends. 

If you’re visiting in January, May or September, squeeze some sumo into your schedule with a visit to Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo’s National Sumo Hall. Hollywood films about Japan include House of Bamboo (1955), a film noir feature directed by Samuel Fuller about American gangsters setting up shop in Japan; Sayonara (1957), starring Marlon Brando and based on James Michener novel about American servicemen that falls for Japanese girls; You Only Live Twice (1967), a James Bond thriller with ninjas, sumo wrestlers and the ultimate Bond; Sean Connery.

Jeju-do, South Korea 

Beautiful Jeju Island is a world away from the hectic, concrete jungle that is mainland Korea. This lush, mountainous landscape is the destination of choice for Korean newlyweds and holidaymakers, and it’s not difficult to see why. Take a tour of the many waterfalls found here, making sure not to miss Jongbang Waterfall, believed to be the only one in Asia that falls directly into the sea. 

Guilin, China 

A rich abundance of historic treasures and natural beauty can be found in picturesque Guilin, an ancient city located on the west bank of the Li River. While many have complained that economic growth and overpricing have detracted from Guilin’s charms, it still retains much of what made it the most well-known tourist destination in China, including meandering blue rivers, dramatic mountain formations and rolling green rice fields.

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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Festivals in Japan, October

The autumn season is sensational in Japan. Mild temperatures combined with vivid colours make a landscape of splendour, especially as the leaves take on a rusty glow. Japan makes a great holiday destination in the month of October as the mild weather is perfect for getting out and about. As it happens, October is also host to a number of festivals in Japan, meaning you won’t be short of things to see and do during your stay.

Festivals in Japan, October 

Naha Festival, October 

Also known as the 41st Naha Great Tug of War, the Naha Festival is definitely worth a visit. Open to everyone, this is tug-of-war with a difference, because the rope is gigantic! In fact, the rope weighs more than 40 tons, and needs more than 15,000 people in order to pull it. You won’t need to spend any of your Japanese Yen for a memento though; a little piece of the rope is apparently enough to bring you good luck for the rest of the year. 

Kurama-no Hi Matsuri

The Kurama Fire Festival is one of the most unique festivals in Kyoto. Everyone from young children to adults gather together on a procession from the village houses to the Kuki-jinja shrine. Japanese taiko drums bang out powerful rhythms as young men hoist five-metre-high pine torches onto their shoulders. They then parade through the village streets, showering sparks everywhere. It's believed that being touched by a spark is a sign of good luck. This festival is likely to bring your holiday pics to life, providing you don’t keep your camera too close to the flames. 

Niihama Drum Festival

Located in the Ehime prefecture of Shikoku – one of the main four islands of Japan – the city of Niihama hosts a truly exciting event each October. The Niihama Drum Festival takes over all five districts of the city as hundreds of people take to the streets. You will see over 50 lavishly decorated drum floats, each carried by 150 men. Keep an eye out for the Kaki Kurabe event, where teams compete to see how long they can hold up their float.

No matter when you plan to visit Japan, you are most likely to find a quirky festival or celebration worthy of a few holiday snaps. Don’t forget, Japan is famous for electrical goods!

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Make your own skin exfoliant and moisturiser

Making your own skin exfoliant and moisturiser is a great way of cutting down the cost of your essentials. I use this recipe wherever I am.

Skin exfoliant and moisturiser ingredients:

Table salt
Olive Oil (original, not virgin)

skin exfoliant and moisturiser

Skin exfoliant and moisturiser method:

In a mug pour add in 4 table spoons of normal table salt. Then pour in olive oil (not virgin) and stir. You want to make sure the oil and salt have bonded so keep adding olive oil until there is no more white salt and you can pick the mixture up without it running through your fingers. When in the shower make sure your skin is damp and the pores have opened due to the warmth of the water. Rub the mixture in circular motions onto your skin firmly but not too hard. 

It's particularly great for those tough areas (elbows, knees and ankles) particularly when you wanting to do a spot of fake tanning. I use this on my face about once a week after a good facial steam. I use two fingers and gently massage the mixture in small circles.  Once rubbed in, wash the mixture off which will dissolve in the shower and your skin will feel silky smooth. I find I don't need to use a moisturiser after this as the olive oil is enough.

The olive oil and salt mixture may sound rather odd but it is something I either take with me on holiday or make wherever I am. If you're making it at home and taking it with you then use a decent plastic container (like a lock n lock) within a sealed sandwich bag to avoid any leakage.

How to remove acne scars

Scars left by acne skin have lost elasticity. Olive oil contains nutrients that help hydration. Mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil with four tablespoons of salt. Apply the mixture on your face and leave it 2 minutes then rinse with warm water. Do this every day for a week then 2 times or 3 times a week for significant results.

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