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Favourite Travel Experiences of the Month #35 – May 2014

The NJaH team are fond of May for many reasons – the Northern Hemisphere is in full flow and ready to kick into summer, our many friends in New Zealand are dusting off their snowboards ready for the snow season, but most importantly we are one month closer to the World Cup in Brazil! This month we feature some articles relevant to the month gone by, such as a nature-lover gallery to celebrate Earth Day, Airbnb’s success at the recent Webby Awards and the Invisible Men of Everest – a tribute and insight into the tough and all-to-often fatal work of the Nepali Sherpas.

Also this month we look at replicas of famous monuments around the world, an exciting new hotel in Berlin, 10 clifftop hotels that will take your breath away, and many more fascinating reads. Concluding in regular fashion with our holiday of the month, arguably Canada’s most exciting city; Vancouver.

Here are our top 10 articles from across the world wide web:

St Peter's JapanPhoto courtesy of malfet_.

1. The imitation Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas is known as one of the world’s  biggest fakes, but there are many less replicas of iconic monuments scattered across the globe. At first glance ‘Foamhenge’ in Virginia almost looks like its been lifted from Wiltshire and placed conveniently in Virginia! Other amusing replicas to check out include the Statue of Liberty in Kosovo or St Peter’s Basilica in Japan!

2. The annual Earth Day last month often throws up related travel articles each year. The best one we came across was a blog post featuring 16 nature-lovers travel photos accompanied by a short background of each. Although every day should be Earth Day, sometimes posts like this remind us of the true beauty and grandeur of nature.

3. Following the recent Everest avalanche disaster, National Geographic features a special article on The Invisible Men of Everest. A thought-provoking insight into the lives of the Nepali Sherpas who risk their lives daily, catering for the Western tourists wanting to climb the world’s highest peak at any cost.

4. Hotels that capture a man’s heart! Check out these 9 hotels that every man should stay in, they include hotels that; overlook the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, offer bathing in beer in the Czech Republic, or a Jumbo Jet Hostel in Stockholm!

5. Berlin is a city we love to visit over and over again and the variety of interesting accommodation available leads us to try and stay somewhere different each time. The brand new 25 Hour Bikini Hotel caught our eye courtesy of The Guardian; the latest hip accommodation to spring up in the city it is a must see!

bagan1Photo courtesy of KX Studio.

6. Easily the most fascinating blog post we came across this month was via Distractify; 40 Incredible Secret Places Most Travelers Don’t Know About. A long winded title but deservedly justified, some of the locations look absolutely mesmerising, we had been to less than a quarter – the remainder instantly jumped on our must visit-list! Our top 3: Bagan in Burma, Chefchaouen in Morocco and Meghalaya in India.

7. Every month Trip Advisor manages to provide a unique ‘top 10 list’ that captures our attention and pushes inspiration around the office. This month it was their ‘10 unbelievably spectacular clifftop hotels‘ that had us marveling and then attempting to fit a few in our future travel plans!

8. April saw the 18th edition of the annual Webby Awards and Airbnb was the big winner in the travel industry. Scooping best travel website and best mobile travel app, remarkably in just 6 years Airbnb has become a market leader in its field. Also of note, Trip Advisor took the Peoples Choice award.

9. June 28th sees the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to World War One. Rough Guides explores what the centenary means to Sarajevo in 2014 and what is happening there later next month.

10. Follow Benjamin Haworth’s mountain bike ride across the Basque region of Northern Spain as he makes his way to San Sebastian along one of the most beautiful tracks in the region. You will quickly see that the riding almost comes second to the food he discovers along the route known for its sublime cuisine.

Holiday of the Month – Vancouver

Situated on Canada’s Western coast, Vancouver is almost as far as you can go West in North America without heading to Alaska. Hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games gave Vancouver a tourism boost that is still continuing with tourists coming for the outdoor lifestyle in the surrounding areas, even in the built up areas Vancouver is a city focused on nature; the impressive forest area of Stanley Park at the edge of the downtown area is a prime example of this. There are countless beaches minutes walking distance from the city which make the summer in Vancouver a truly unique experience. It is also an extremely diverse city, the neighbourhoods of Chinatown, Commercial Drive, Kitisilano and North Vancouver all have completely different vibes to one another and could each be classed as ‘typical Vancouver’ in their own right.

Vancouver also acts as an ideal gateway city to a number of surrounding areas. Vancouver Island, less than 2 hours by ferry, is the ideal getaway for those who enjoy the outdoors, it is almost a mini New Zealand in terms of adventure opportunities and geography. Similarly Whistler, Canada’s largest ski resort, is just 2 hours north of the city, whilst its less than 30 minutes to the border of the States linking to Seattle, Portland and beyond. For these reasons, Vancouver makes for a popular stop-over destination, but it is definitely worth exploring more than the airport waiting room!

VancouverPhoto courtesy of peo pea.


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