The Beautiful Mountain Town of Sapa Vietnam

Sapa is one of the naturally serene and lush towns in Vietnam. It attracts many travelers with its magnificent landscape, which features colorful tribal villages, French colonial villages, lush vegetation and numerous green fields stacked on one after another.

Sapa is also close to Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam. Nestled at an elevation of 4921 feet or 1500 meters, Sapa is in Hoang Lien Son mountain range, in the northwest region of the country. Because of its geographical location, the town's rugged scenery usually experiences being clouded by a warm mist, which only adds to Sapa's beauty and charm, and making it truly a unique place to visit.

Sapa is about 376 kilometers from capital city of Hanoi. Sapa has risen to be the most popular mountainous district in Vietnam. You will easily be charmed by the terraced rice fields, the ethnic lifestyle and the cool climate, inviting you to stay longer in Sapa than you intended. Becoming a tourist destination paved the way for the establishment of hotels and accommodation facilities in this town so you do not have to worry about finding a place to sleep during those tranquil nights. If you really want to immerse yourself into the Sapa lifestyle, you can also arrange for a homestay in one of the tribal villages.

One of the best things to do in Sapa is walk around the town early in the morning as the tourist crow is not yet in full swing. The town is small, so you can easily navigate your way on foot. In fact, everything in and around town can be explored on foot making the most popular activity in Sapa – trekking. Trekking to various villages is fun and adventurous. Just make sure that you have good trekking shoes or boots and waterproof bag. There are also tours that involve renting a bike or motorbike to explore the countryside and visit waterfalls.

There are other less rigid things to do while in Sapa. You can always visit other neighboring villages like the Lao Chai Village, by hiring local transport like a jeep or van. You may also watch ethnic minor dance performances, sign up for the Hmong sewing classis and visit noticeable attractions like the Han Rong Resort, Sapa Culture Museum, the Sapa Lake, Bac Ha weekend market and the European orchid gardens and colonial buildings.

Sapa is home to a couple of ethnic minorities such as the Dazao and Hmong. These people live a simple life and have managed to maintain their culture and traditions. It is a rewarding travel experience to visit their villages and learn about their way of life. You can ask them to be your trekking guide instead of getting one through the hotel. Other than agriculture, the tribes are also now relying on tourism for a living.

Remember to always be respectful and courteous when dealing with them, especially when taking photos; always ask their permission first. The best time to visit the town is arguably from September to October as this is the period when the rice fields are turning their color from green to yellow. During wintertime, the town receives more of that appealing fog. No matter when you visit Sapa , you will definitely enjoy this new pin on your travel map!

Contemporary Kitchen Furniture – Points to Remember

When picking out contemporary kitchen furniture there are one or two things everyone should remember to avoid mistakes and an uneven finish to their new kitchen.

Firstly, do not assume you know exactly what contemporary means in relation to kitchen furniture. Do your homework and look at what's out there in terms of modern designs and ideas. You might be surprised at what constituents contemporary furniture and determined that it is not for you after all.

Always think about your kitchen when you're looking around showrooms. It's very easy to let a salesman tell you that particular furniture will look great in your contemporary kitchen, but if he has not seen your kitchen, how does he know? All kitchens are different in terms of light and space and will need different shapes and sizes of furniture to work effectively. Contemporary kitchen furniture is never one size fits all.

Sometimes the most important advice when it comes to picking out furniture for your kitchen is to remain consistent. If you go around picking out different bits and pieces without thinking about how they will go together, you can end up with a very disjointed and awkward looking kitchen.

Contemporary kitchen furniture needs to give off the impression of seamlessness and have clean lines in order to be authentic. This is not to say that your kitchen has a cold and sterile place to work in. You can add warmth and color to your kitchen by using the right materials and accessories.

These are just a few useful tips to help you ensure you get the contemporary kitchen that suits your needs.

Cheap Dublin Hotels

Getting a hotel in Dublin can be a bit tricky. Since it is a small city, its hotels often get booked to capacity fast. Early reservations are a must for travelers and tourists. And booking in advance may prove to be more than just practical. You can also get discounts by reserving a room beforehand.

You will need discounts especially in peak seasons when hotel rates jack up. But there are also reliably cheap hotels in Dublin you can afford even without discounts.

Cheap Hotels

Location plays a great part in the rates of hotels. The closer you are to the heart of the city, the more expensive accommodations become. But before you go ahead and check in at any hotel in the outskirts of Dublin, be reminded that public transportation is hard to come by at night. You may end up spending large sums on transportation that in the end would amount to the savings you got from not staying in a city hotel.

For a backpacker, Dublin's several hostels are your best bet for cheap accommodation. You may have to share a room with complete strangers but it would be fun to meet fellow travelers you can exchange stories with.

If you are traveling with your family or a large group of friends, check out the apartments you can rent for the duration of your visit. There are also bed and breakfast townhouses operated by families. Most of these are certified Family Homes of Ireland (FHOI). This may be the best way to experience Irish living. Their rates may be slightly higher though. Sometimes they can be priced higher than hotels too. So be sure you check the rates first and compare before deciding on your accommodation.

For best rates, book well in advance. And if you do not mind moving your trip, reschedule it during off-peak season. You will get rooms at a much cheaper rate. Also, mid-week accommodations are priced lower than weekends.

A Ride Without Motorcycle Leathers

Have you ever wished you had a good set of motorcycle leathers? I will never forget the winter of 1987. My wife and I were living on the North shore of Chicago. She was working as an elementary school teacher and I was finishing grad school. Money was tight, so a second car was out of the question. The hassle of sharing a vehicle has always been more than I can stand to end, so I began looking for some other form of cheap transportation. In those days I had yet to own a motorcycle, but I had always wanted one. While driving by the local shopping mall near our neighborhood, I noticed a motorcycle sitting near the road with a sign sign hanging off the front forks. It looked pretty small, but as the chrome glinted in the sun I found myself strangely drawn to pull over and check it out.

The bike was a 1972 Honda CB350, and for being 16 years old at the time, it was in great condition. It looked like it had been barely ridden and then tucked away in a garage somewhere. This was about 23 years ago now, so I honestly can not remember what color it was originally. I painted it metallic flake blue within the first year of owning it. To me, this bike was priceless, but I paid only $ 300 for it later that afternoon.

Now that my transportation problem was solved, I began regularly making the 20 mile commute to school. Which if you have ever been in Chicago traffic, you understand that a trip of that distance could take an hour or more. It must have bought the motorcycle in the summer because I remember how much I loved tooling around on it for the first few months. But then the temperature began to drop and the snow began to fly. I quickly learned that there is a good reason for Chicago being known as the windy city. Riding a motorcycle alongside Lake Michigan in the winter is like running naked through a meet packing plant with 100 high speed fans blowing on you. I mean it was cut you to the bone frigid!

Although I did have a full face helmet, I never seemed to have clothing that could keep the icy wind from penetrating down to my soul. I even remember forgetting my gloves one night and having to put my socks on my hands just to survive the ride home. My ankles still hurt when I think about it. Even though we now live in the south eastern United States, and you can ride nearly all year round, just thinking about those frosty mid-western motorcycle rides can send a nasty chill up my spell.

Since that time I've clocked countless miles on everything from Hondas to Harleys, and if there is one thing I have learned, it is that there is no substitute for a set of high quality motorcycle leathers. Whether you ride a crotch rocket or a big old hog, nothing beats a lined leather jacket and a broken in pair of chaps on a long cold ride. When God made cows, he really knew how to insulate them from the cold. If you are currently in the market for some new athletes, take a minute and check out the link listed below.