Why You Must Visit Sarajevo In 2018

The recent traumatic history of the city is well documented but what is hardly know is the welcoming, warm and amazingly cool exotic travel destination the city is. Sarajevo is surrounded on three of its sides by mountains and it is where the twin strains of ottoman and Hapsburg architecture come together. Trains and buses rumble past bazaars and mosques, and minarets take their place on the skyline together with the Catholic spires and Orthodox domes.

Below are reasons to make Sarajevo your next destination for exotic travel

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The captivating Old Bazaar

Suspended on the steep Miljacka valley slopes, Baščaršija, the city’s old Bazaar is a smoky, hectic and noisy locality that is unlike any exotic travel place in the Balkans.

The narrow alleys burst with antique Ottoman monuments, the sweet-smelling ćevabdžinica and several street-corner cafés, and a varied assortment of stalls each selling all types of goods, from sandals and slippers to copperware and coffee sets.

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The one place with the best cevapcici in the Balkans

The legendary staple in the region can be found here. The high calorie spiced minced meat is typically served with kajmak-(a slightly sour and thick cheese) or ajvar (red pepper spread which is first roasted) and somun- a doughy delicious flatbread. Ćevabdžinica Petica is known amongst the locals as the one place with the best of these morsels.

The coffee

Bosanska kafa is served on a thin metallic tray; this bubbling coffee is served from an attractive džezva (copper vessel) into small fildžan (tumblers). Sugar lumps can be added – the regular practice is to dip the sugar lump into coffee then taking a tiny nibble to help customize the taste.

The two world-class summer festivals

During July, the old town streets rock big time throughout the Baščaršija Nights. This is a month-long music gathering from folk, rock and classical to the theatre, ballet, comedy, and opera and it is free.

Augusts’ Sarajevo Film Festival is more prestigious and bigger adding to your exotic travel experience. The festival has grown ever since its start during the 1995 siege to turn into the greatest movie gathering of Eastern Europe.

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The most captivating architecture in the Balkans

Numerous elegant monuments all though Sarajevo are proof of the 4 centuries of dominion from the east. The most exquisite is the Gazi Husref Beg Mosque and above it towers the Sahat-kula- the striking seventeen-century clock with hours of prayer marked in Arabic numeral. Also, check out the Sebilj fountain.

In contrast, the buildings down the Ferhadija Street have an Austro-Hungarian orientation – as are much more along Obala Kulina bana- an elegant riverside fare found further south.

The most symbolic building in Sarajevo is the National Library. It was obliterated in 1992, this noble neo-Moorish construction reopened in 2014. Its renovation is the most obvious proof of Sarajevo’s renaissance.

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The most important Bosnian War exhibitions

Inevitably, Sarajevo is full of sights attributed to the siege. However, the most significant exhibition is Galerija 11/7/95. It stands as a proper memorial to the traumatic events that widely spread at Srebrenica on this eponymous day. The show is presented in a potent way, courtesy of interviews, audio-visual documents and black and white imagery.


Kally
Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

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Singapore Changi Airport Opens its 4th Terminal

One of the many things that I’m proud of being a Singaporean, is our World Class Award Winning – Changi Airport. I have the chance to visit the new Terminal 4 in August 2017. It is going to open on 31 October 2017 officially for operation.

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The new terminal is 225,000m2, which is the size of 27 football fields. It is half the physical size of Terminal 3 but able to handle 16 million passengers a year – about 70 per cent of Terminal 3’s handling capacity.

As Singapore is progressing into Smart Nation, most of the check in processes are going to be automated and self-help; leveraging on the use of technologies and digital innovation.

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After check in, I came into an area where there is an Immerse Wall showing a pane of high definition video of introducing some of Asia Countries with its unique representatives. I believe it does helps me to relax when there is a long queue for bags and body scan.

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In the Departure Hall, other than the usual duty free shops and restaurants, you feel very different from other terminals. Changi Airport Group has immerse Art and Peranakan Heritage culture as one of the focus architecture design in the new terminal. There is a Love Story Play that compose by Singapore own song-writer Dick Lee where you can sit back and enjoy while waiting to take off.

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As you continue to explore around, you get to see some artistic figures like The Travelling Family, an aluminium sculpture by Swiss artist, Kurt Lawrence Metzler and Petalclouds, a grand-scale kinetic sculpture. Quite a usual sight in an airport.

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The first airline that be taking off in Terminal 4 is Cathay Pacific. Others joining are Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, AirAsia, Cebu Pacific and Spring Airlines. Hence, the next flight, see you at Changi Airport Terminal 4.

I have quite an enjoyable open house, learning so much about the new terminal. Before I missed out, do watch out for the cleaning auto-bots. They are pretty awesome and adorable. Be sure to spend some time exploring the new terminal!

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Reference links:


IreneHi, I’m Irene. Born as a Sagittarius and living in the South of Singapore, I have been working in the Information Technology as a Business Product Manager for 8 years. Enjoying my scope that allows the challenge of learning new things every day as my role demands frequent business travels all over the globe. I have an adventurous bold soul that nothing can tie me down. When I am not sweating it out, I can be found chilling at a corner of any café, bury my head in a Sales Strategy or a Poem book, whatever my mood takes me. Besides being a yoga and gym enthusiast, my passion for travelling and planning travel itineraries show through friends who encourage me to share my travel experiences with others. Reach out to me @ irene@ladyredot.com for amazing impromptu ideas for your next trip abroad!

Best Vacation Destinations for Anthophiles

Originally, anthophiles refer to insects which frequent flowers or feed from them. These days, however, flower lovers everywhere has appropriated the term anthophile to mean a person who loves or appreciates flowers. For example, I’m a self-confessed anthophile. Since I don’t have much space for gardening in the city, I make do by displaying fresh cut flowers on my work desk, dining table and even on my bedside table.

It may seem a bit frivolous for others because flowers wilt anyway, so why keep purchasing them? But for me, it really is worth every cent. Plus, the lives of fresh cut flowers do not end on murky waters inside a vase. You can actually dry them out and craft them into potpourri or frame them into something artsy. Your only limit is your imagination!

Still, nothing beats living, breathing and thriving flowering plants. Fortunately, I do get to appreciate flowers in their natural habitat when I travel—wide, open spaces of pastel-coloured flowers in full bloom. Wherever I am, I always make it a point to visit flower farms or well-tended gardens and parks. So if buying hampers and fruit baskets from the best florist in Singapore is not enough to satisfy your anthophilous needs, perhaps going straight to the source may do the trick. Here are some of the prime vacation destinations you can visit and the best time to go there.

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Keukenhof in Lisse (The Netherlands)
(Unsplash | Owen Williams)

Tulips have become so in demand that it even caused the Tulip mania during the Dutch Golden Age that sent the prices for tulips skyrocketing. They have remained popular even up to this day. These elegant blooms are perfect for various occasions, including weddings and especially for Valentine’s Day. Every online florist in Singapore probably has Holland tulips in their inventory. To see these tulips in their place of origin, travel to the tulip fields in Holland to see millions of bulbs bloom in spring. The best time to visit Keukenhof is during the months of March to May.

Though I can’t visit those fields whenever I please, every time I miss Holland’s gorgeous tulip farms, I often order A Better Florist’s The Allison composed of multi-hued tulips. It just transports me to the countryside’s of Europe. Fortunately, you can also buy The Allison from Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Dubai due to their recent expansion. Seems like there are anthophiles everywhere as they’ve already gained quite a following after they’ve been touted as best flower delivery in Hong Kong, best florist in Hong Kong and one of the best florists in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The flower business is definitely blooming!

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Yanaka Cemetery, Ueno, Tokyo (Japan)
(Unsplash| kazuend)

If your version of satisfying your floral fix during a vacation is by ordering a luxurious bouquet from the best florist in Hong Kong in between shopping sprees and food trips, then you need to level up your anthophilous game. Why not ditch your annual Hong Kong trip and pick another Asian destination for an authentic floral fix at Japan’s sakura season! This is probably the most magical season in Japan. Even the best bouquet from the best florists in Singapore can’t quite capture the whimsy and scenic appeal of sakura. When springtime comes, tourists flock to the country to get a glimpse of the ephemeral beauty of Cherry Blossoms. For a brief time, Japan gets covered in a delicate tapestry of pink and white.

Yanaka Cemetery in Ueno may seem like a morbid choice, but trust me, if you want to witness the cherry blossoms in full bloom and in relative peace, then this is where you want to be. Nagoya Castle may have the more cinematic overall experience, but you can also expect droves of people bound to be there obstructing the view. The best time to witness the sakura season is late March to mid-April. You can also check online for a more accurate schedule.

 

Adventures in Hang Son Doong, the World’s Largest Cave

Considered as the largest cave world over, the three million-year-old cave is located in central Vietnam. The cave’s name translates as ‘Mountain River Cave’. The cave ceiling is spread 100 meters over our heads. Sun rays stream in through the serrated sides of the cliffs. The high-pitched calls of the macaque monkeys and the birds bounce off the limestone walls, resounding from the world past the skylight. The Hang Son Doong cave is situated in Vietnam’s Quang Binh province in the middle of the Phong Nha-Ke National park.

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In 1990, a local farmer, Ho Khanh, stumbled upon the cave. While in the jungle, he heard the gushing sounds of the underground river and saw clouds hanging above the large opening in the limestone. He reported his discovery to the British Caving Research Association but sadly, upon his return he got lost and could not find the cave. The cave remained lost for eighteen years, and in 2008 as he was hunting for food, Ho found the entrance to the cave again. A year later he returned with Howard and Deb Limbert both from the BCRA.

The Hang Son Doong covers an area of more than 5 kilometers (3 miles) and a height of two hundred meters. The main grotto is huge enough to accommodate a whole New York City housing block. The Hang Son Doong was for the first time opened to the public in 2013, with the Oxalis tour company offering limited 5-day expeditions. The use of only one Tour Company has helped protect the cave from huge developments. The tours run once a week from February to August yearly and only ten customers are allowed for each departure.

The Hang Son Doong has a unique eco-system with its own localized weather. Scattered in the dried pools are the unique limestone cave pearls and the biggest stalagmite ever stands eighty meters tall. The collapsed cave ceilings have formed openings called dolines, which allow plant life to grow in the cave.

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The journey into the Hang Son Doong involves a 2-day trek through thick jungle shrubbery and crossing rivers to arrive at the cave’s entrance. Night-time is spent camping within the cave and the close by Hang En cave. The Hang En has come to be recognized as the third largest cave world over. In order to get to the end of the cave, hikers climb, crawl, abseil and swim through the underground rivers, making this a remarkable adventure. Even with the physical strains, guests are well cared for; accompanied by 2 caving experts, two chefs, three local guides, 20 porters and two park rangers who ensure the expedition is exceptional and safe. Small tour groups ensure the cave is preserved as well.

The Quang Binh province has greatly benefited from the growing tourism after the discovery of the cave. Many locals turned to tourism after guests started arriving; this has contributed greatly to the provinces’ economic growth. Local entrepreneurs have established hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and eco-conservation companies to work together with the caving expeditions.

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In recent years, the Sun Group, a Vietnamese development firm has been forward with its intention to construct a cable car to the Hang Son Doong. In 2015, strong opposition from the UNESCO and other activist groups urged the Vietnamese government to briefly stop the construction permits. The cable car construction still looms and it remains unknown whether the approval will be allowed.

Some people are for the idea that tourism will keep benefiting the locals, while others express their concern regarding the destruction tourism will cause to the ecosystem due to the high numbers of guests it brings. Comparable projects like the Mount Fansipan and the Halong Bay have experienced major environmental due to tourism. It can only be anticipated that a responsible and sustainable decision is arrived at to help preserve the Hang Son Doong.


Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

How to Stay Safe as A Single Female Traveler In India

In India, attacks on tourists have recently been on the rise, leaving one question the level of safety of women touring alone in the country. This has led to women taking safety measures to avoid “Eve-teasing”; the name used in India referring to sexual harassment.

The problem has greatly been attributed to the easy access to illegal homebrews, an increase of porn on the internet and the increasing numbers of uneducated bachelors- who, having lost hope of settling down- relocate into towns and cities away from their families.

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I have put together a useful list of what to do and not do for women traveling alone in India. Women are further advised and reminded that they are not without help. Opportunists are always watching a woman’s behavior and not with the best of intentions. Please be reminded western women that they are not to carry themselves as they do back home. It was observed that both local and foreigner women are at risk of these horrific attacks. Most of the local educated women hardly go out after dark and are often brief when dealing with male strangers and even hotel staff who attempt to chat with them.

What to do or not do when traveling alone in India

To Do

  • Always make arrangements with your guesthouse or hotel for taxi transfers to rail and bus stations particularly after dark.
  • Make use of pre-paid cab counters at the airports and always take the smart and air-conditioned taxis.
  • Ensure your hotel room door has fast bolts on the inside. You can acquire rubber doorstop to help prevent intruders.
  • Avoid the streets after dark. Make use of a rickshaw or taxi to restaurants like the local women do.
  • When in Delhi, use the carriages for women only on the metro and only walk when you have to. This will keep you away from encountering the growing eve-teasing problem.
  • Even when you have not made a hotel reservation, act as though you do. As the taxi to drop you off a particular place then continue from there.

Not to Do

  • Wear any revealing or skimpy clothing. This can be anything from long see-through skirts, strappy tops, shorts or a cut-off pair of trousers. Putting a long tunic over a loose trouser is suggested.
  • Be too welcoming with hotel staff or men who engage you at tourist attraction sights. Instead, hold conversations with women only. While on trains, it is unusual to see any Indian woman chat with a strange man unless it is her husband.
  • Accept drinks from any stranger. The local women barely take drinks in public- even at the hotel bars- therefore be careful of men who invite you for drinks.
  • Facing staring Indian men. This is understood as an invitation. Therefore look away or turn your eyes down. This will indicate your lack of interest in any further interaction.
  • Take walks in the countryside alone. If you have to, have your mobile phone at hand with a speed-dial number ready to call for help. Use your mobile to make fake calls when you get an uncomfortable feeling.

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It pays to stay safe when you travel to another country especially when you are alone and this is your first time in a new destination. Bring back fond memories of your travels  by being cautious, alert and respectful.


Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

10 Unique Things To Do In Singapore That Some Singaporeans Might Never Have Been To

Singapore is a country rich in culture and traditions. There are many touristic sights that are informative and hold a healthy recount of the history of the Singaporean people.

These sites have been preserved over the years to keep the history alive.

The 10 things include:

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  1. NUS Baba House

This magnificently restored Peranakan family residence which is managed by the University of Singapore. This abode is a historical depiction of Peranakan era with an intricate architectural plan of the habitat and antic carvings. To visit, you need to book online and only 15 people are allowed at a time. The tour is free.

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  1. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

The museum has two floors. The first floor has the general innate record of the world, whereas the second floor focuses in particular on the rich history of Singapore. The exhibits on the first floor are set in a way to communicate the account of how natural world around us developed.
The second floor has exhibits and stories about pre-colonial and post-colonial history of Singapore’s loaded biodiversity.

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3. The Intan

The Intan is a private residential repository, which brings out the loaded society of the Peranakan account. The tour guides are cooperative and well-informed and will lead you through the entire museum, explaining the Peranakan lifestyle and antiques put on show.

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  1. The Helix Bridge

The helix bridge is an architectural work of genius found by the marina bay. A great location for having family snapshot sessions because of the spectacular view it offers. The lights at night are a spectacle and phenomenal to experience.

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  1. Reflections at Bukit Chandu

Reflections at Bukit Chandu, a museum depicting Japanese war in Singapore. Put on show are the arms and military gear that the Japanese army used. Admittance to this museum is free.

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  1. Coney Island Park

Coney Island offers flora and fauna and for those that have an admiration for natural world will be precisely at place. The Park offers bird surveillance opportunities, picnic sites, sporting ventures and serene snapshot spots. If you are only out to enjoy nature in its rawness, park benches are available at various scenic points for your convenience.

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  1. The Southern Ridges

The Southern Ridges present a beautiful nature-walk spot within a city. It is a 9 km stretch with several exists should you opt not to cover the complete stretch. The view of nature from above is refreshing. The vegetation is inviting and the bird calls are calming. If you love nature, this is a fantastic place for you.

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  1. Chinese and Japanese Gardens

The Chinese and Japanese gardens are a stunning and serene place. You get to spot striking pagoda and Chinese and Japanese conventional buildings. You will also find a Turtle museum, a lake full of turtles that children will enjoy. The repository is called Bonsai museum which showcases small Japanese trees.

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  1. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

This Wetland Reserve is quiet and calm. It’s an excellent place to stopover if you love nature. The migration time is from Sept to Mar, which will give you an immense experience.

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10. Haw Par Villa

The gardens are devoted to two brothers who produced Tiger Balm, and the grounds were designed to recount of the story of the Chinese Gods. There are thousands of Chinese fashion figurines and ancient scene sculptures to be seen here. Entry into Har Par villa is free.
Singaporean tourist attraction sites are numerous and diverse. Every one gets to experience something that they truly enjoy. The sites are family friendly and informative. Prehistoric sites have been kept in impeccable state to facilitate the passing on of the rich culture like the NUC Baba House. Nature walk sites and reserves are also available for the great outdoor, some of which are easily accessible from the city.

Your visit to Singapore will be rich and packed with tours to undertake. You can contact us @ askus@ladyredot.com for more information.


KallyKally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

The Perfect Way Of Bringing Out The Inner Adventurer In You

There are many ways in which you can take time off the busy work schedule and relax. There are various activities that are suitable for you no matter what time of the year it is. Do not let the cold weather and the heavy rains stop you from enjoying yourself. District 21 in Kuala Lumpur offers indoor activities that suit you at any time of the year.

The mall offers a variety of activities that are suitable for the entire family. Everyone will find something that they truly enjoy to engage in. safety measures have bee put in place to ensure you are secure and have a wonderful experience.

There are set procedures and guideline that are put in place to ensure the smooth transition of activities. Below are some activities that you can engage in while at the park.

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Power Station

The power station is a climbing wall, which comes outfitted with auto-belays for improved safety. The walls are involving and in order to climb further, you are needed to problem solve as an element of the challenge. Through out the mountaineering area, safety flooring has been put in place for maximum safety.

Roller glider

This indoor glider is a combination of the zip line and a coaster. The coaster is designed in a manner that the rider enjoys extra g-force of the coaster with gravity thrill of the zip line.

Pump Track

For a riding experience, pump track offers riders a choice of scooter, bike or a skateboard. The track has been planned to allow the rider an endless ride without using the pedals.

Low Ropes

The low ropes are specially designed for the younger visitors. Before participating in the low ropes, the visitors are required to dress up in the climbing harness and a helmet. Then they are connected to a belay system to ensure they will not disconnect from the safety cable during the ride.

Launch Pad

For a wonderful bouncing exercise, the launch pad- which is a large trampoline pad- allows you to jump, play or even practice shooting hoops.

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The Maze

Here you get to find your way out an upright mesh of tunnels, cages and other fun challenges some of which are 10m above the ground. The whole mesh of tunnels is completely enclosed therefore no harness is needed. There is also a smaller version labyrinth for children.

Free Fall

Here you will get to experience the thrills of true free fall simulated by the free fall machine. Th ride is quick but you are put down safely after the ride is over.

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Sky Trail

This trail has twenty-three elements of different complexity in a layered route. This allows you to choose your level of the test. The participants are secured to a belay which ensures they remain connected during the ride.

Tubby Ride

The tubby ride gives you a sliding experience ride like on a snow pool on an internal tube. This ride is a fantastic experience for families and children during the winter season. The ride’s surface is made such that it gives a similar sensation as on snow.

 

The park offers you various activities, which will give you an adrenaline rush experience which is both fun and suitable for the entire family. For a perfect choice of activities that will bring the family together, the park offers different rides and fun-filled activities.

For all under one roof fun activities, visit the park for a wonderful experience. There is something for everyone.
At-6, IOI City Mall | Level 1, IOI City MallPutrajaya 60520, Malaysia

+60 3-8328 8888


Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com