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November 2006

Travel To South America – How To Start

20

November

You set your mind and you’re ready to travel to South America, a magical place of immense beauty where myth and legend continue to walk hand in hand. I’ve traveled 18 months in South America and can give you some tips on how to prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure.

Common Sense

We all hear the unpleasant stories and South America has a fame of being dangerous. I traveled thousands of miles traversing cities, jungles, islands and mountains. I survived 6 weeks in a street child care center in the favelas of Salvador da Bahía (Brazil) and had the party of a lifetime during carnival. Nothing, I repeat, nothing happened. Use your common sense. Avoid badly lit streets at night and if your sixth sense is giving you the “something is wrong” sign then take a taxi to your destination.

Travel Guide Book

The first thing that you will need is a travel guide book. It will be your best companion in your search for adventure. I can highly recommend Lonely Planet´s South America on a Shoestring to get you started. The book covers all you need to know to get the most out of your trip and is ideal to plan your journey ahead. I’ve used the guide extensively during my 18 month adventure. They offer excellent separate travel guides of all the countries (besides using the Lonely Planet Shoestring I’ve used their separate travel guides of Peru and Brazil). Their guides are the most popular among backpackers.

Other popular guides are The Rough Guide to South America and the South American Handbook. Ideal, but not practical because you want to travel light, would be to enjoy the adventure with a Lonely Planet and either the Rough Guide or the Handbook.

Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese

The most rewarding thing for me was the fact that you can travel in a huge continent like South America with only 2 languages. Spanish and Portuguese. If you plan to travel just for a few weeks you can invest in a Spanish and/or Brazilian Portuguese Phrase Book. English is not widely spoken and even a basic knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese makes the trip so much more rewarding (they’re extremely willing to help you, so don’t worry, be happy).

If on the other hand you’re planning to travel for a few months I can highly recommend taking a language course. Ideal would be in a school in South America (I took lessons in Quito, Ecuador, and had a private teacher for $2.50/h).

Walking Shoes

South America’s nature is overwhelming. You’ll walk for many hours day after day. It would be a shame to walk in the footsteps of the Incas with blisters on your feet. My biggest recommendation is to invest in high quality walking shoes with Gore-Tex.

Health Vaccinations

Yellow Fever (if you plan to go to the Amazon Basin), Typhoid (consists of two injections taken 4 weeks apart), Diphtheria-Tetanus, Polio, Cholera (only when necessary), Smallpox

Medical Kit:

Depending on what you plan to do you can include the following: Antiseptic cream, aspirin, lomotil for diarrhea, antibiotics, throat lozenges, ear and eye drops, antacid tablets, motion sickness medication, alcohol swabs, water purifier, lip salve, foot and groin powder, thermometer (in a case), surgical tape, assorted sticky plasters, gauze, bandages, butterfly closures, scissors and last but not least, first-aid booklet

Note: malaria pills are required in the amazon basin, please be aware that those pills are very strong and you should check with your doctor before departure

Traveling Gear

Backpack:

Obviously a high quality backpack is a must. Choose the type that has different compartments that can be opened separately. Very handy if you need something quickly. Travel as light as possible. A heavy backpack is destined to undermine your traveling pleasure.

Clothing:

Depends on where you go. If it’s the mountains and the jungle, get some quality clothing from home. If it’s the beach, buy your t-shirts there (cheap).

Camping and Climbing Gear:

You can rent camping and climbing material in South America but the quality may be questionable. Always check the material. Bring your own gear if possible. I traveled 18 months with my own tent and various camping utensils.

Photography

Pictures are something personal. Some people just want some snap shots, others want to publish in the National Geographic. All my pictures were taken with a cheap Nikon F50 camera. Have a look at some amazing photographs at www.travel-amazing-southamerica.com.

I had two zoom lenses, a 35-80 mm. and a 70-210mm. I also dragged a tripod and an excellent flash with me. I used FUJI slides (100 ASA) but you definitely need 200 to 400 ASA if you plan to go to the jungle. A polarize filter enhances the colours tremendously on sunny days.

Conclusion

South America will embrace you with open arms. It’s nature, people and history is overwhelming. With the right preparation and set of mind you’re ready for an unforgettable adventure.

About The Author

Mark Van Overmeire is a passionate musician, photographer and traveler. He has traveled extensively in South America and Southeast Asia.

After spending 4 years in South America he released his critically acclaimed CD Impresiones, a musical adventure traveling from world to jazz, from folk to classical, from ambient to soundtrack. The 6 compositions on Impresiones were composed, arranged and produced by Mark.

As a passionalte traveler Mark has been able to shoot many wonderful photographs and various pictures have been published in magazines and websites. You can visit his portfolio at Shuttermap.com

Mark founded Travel Amazing South America, a travel website at www.travel-amazing-southamerica.com on June 2005. Travel Amazing South America offers many wonderful photographs, stories and tips for a journey to south america.


Caribbean Cruise Guide

20

November

Comprising of around 50 islands (750 if you count the archipelago of the Bahamas), the Caribbean is a real treasure trove when it comes to cruising. A rich variety of vistas, people and places await, along with swaying palms and idyllic beaches of golden sand. The network of islands in the Caribbean is in fact so extensive that it is possible to book several Caribbean cruises and avoid going to the same islands twice!

There are four basic Caribbean cruise routes used by cruise operators:

Western Caribbean Cruise Route – Departing from seaports in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, the Western Route takes in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, the island of Cozumel, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and any number of islands off the coasts of Honduras and Belize.

Eastern Caribbean Cruise Route – One of the most popular Caribbean cruise routes, the Eastern Route typically departs from Florida and other seaports along the eastern seaboard of the United States. The route calls on destinations such as Key West, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands the Virgin Islands (including St. Thomas and St. Croix), and Puerto Rico.

Southern Caribbean Cruise Route – This route normally commences at San Juan in Puerto Rico, and takes in many possible destinations along the Lesser Antilles and the Netherlands Antilles as far west as Aruba.

Exotic/Long-duration Caribbean Cruise Route – This route takes in any/all of the above destinations, and can sometimes end in a different place to where the cruise started.

Given this broad assortment of destinations available in the Caribbean, it can be a bit overwhelming when trying to make that crucial decision on which islands to fit into your itinerary. After all, you don’t want to miss out on some true Caribbean gems, do you? So, whether you’re planning a short vacation or a longer cruise break away from home, here is a selection of ‘must-sees’ & ‘must-dos’ on your Caribbean adventure.

St Croix (Virgin Islands) – Take a night kayak trip in Salt River National Park and visit the first landing site of Christopher Columbus on his voyage to the New World.

Grenada – Although ravaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Grenada is still well worth a visit for its scuba diving. You can explore the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean here and see an underwater volcano.

St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) – The Cinnamon Bay National Park offers excellent snorkeling opportunities. You can see a wealth of underwater life in the shallow waters around St. Thomas.

Jamaica – Why not try your hand at bamboo rafting in Montego Bay?

Puerto Rico – No Caribbean cruise would be complete without a visit to the world famous Condado Beach on the island of Puerto Rico.

Aruba – Want to find Caribbean paradise? How about relaxing on one of the 365 beaches that surround the Dutch island of Aruba.

St Kitts – Swim with the turtles in the waters around St Kitts and then relax on the pink sand beaches on this beautiful island.

Good luck with planning your trip and happy cruising.
About The Author

FG Cruise provides detailed information on cruise vacations including articles and tips for that perfect cruise. To find out more info visit here: http://www.fgcruise.com.


Portugal – one of the best destinations in Europe

16

November

Country on the south-western Europe. Located on the west part of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal occupies an area of 92,152 km2. It is bordered by Spain on the east and north and by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and south.The Portuguese territory is divided in three parts: the mainland, the autonomous region of Madeira and Azores which have their own administration.

The mainland is divided into 18 administrative district : Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, Bragança, Braga, Porto, Aveiro, Viseu, Guarda, Coimbra, Castelo Branco, Leiria, Santarém, Portalegre, Lisbon, Setúbal, Évora, Beja and Faro; the districts are divided into municipalities (311), which are subdivided into civil parishes.

The autonomous region of Azores is an archipelago of 9 islands, divided in three groups: the western, the central and the eastern. The islands of Flores and Corvo are part of the western group, the islands of S. Jorge, Terceira, Faial and Pico are part of the central group and the islands of S. Miguel and Santa Maria are part of eastern group. The autonomous region of Madeira is an archipelago formed by the island of Madeira and Porto Santo.

The capital of Portugal is Lisbon. Other cities of more importance are Porto, Coimbra, Setúbal, Aveiro, Braga and Faro. The Portuguese terrain has several different forms. On the north of the Tejo river, it is very rough, with mountains, except the coast plain, and with an average height above 400 meters. These mountains are crossed by valleys and rivers.

On the south part of the Tejo river the terrain is formed by rolling plains, with low altitude, where the plains prevail. The highest mountains are located on the north of the Tejo river, and the most importants are Serra da Estrela (1991 m), Serra do Gerês (1508 m), Serra do Marão (1416 m), Serra do Montemuro (1381 m) and Serra do Caramulo (1075 m). On the south of the Tejo river, the most important mountains are Serra de São Mamede (1025 m), Serra do Monchique (902 m) and Serra do Caldeirão (577 m).

The rest of the Portuguese terrain is the coastline, which can be divided in three big set of plains: the Beira Litoral Plain formed by the alluvial plains of Vouga and Mondego, the Algarve Plain and the alluvial Plain of Tejo and Sado. The archipelagos of Azores and Madeira have theirs origins on volcanic activities and theirs terrains are very rough.

The coastline of Azores has a lot of cliffs and inside the islands the terrain is very mountainous. The highest mountain in Portugal is located inside the Pico island and it has 2351 meters. One characteristic of Madeira is that it has high mountains on the central part of the island.

The most important rivers are, from north to south of the mainland, the Minho, the Douro, the Tejo and the Guadiana all they rising in Spain and flowing to the Atlantic Ocean. Among the rivers whose course is Portuguese only, we have the Cávado, the Vouga, the Mondego, the Sado end Mira.
About The Author

Ilidio Lopes owns the site http://www.portugalturistic.com where you will find information on a variety of subjects relating to Portuguese territory.


Great Wall Of China

16

November

The Great Wall of China as some believed originated as a military fortification against intrusion by tribes on the borders during the earlier Zhou Dynasty. In 770-BC-476BC, the ducal states extended the defense work, and built large structures to prevent the attacks from other states. The Great Wall of China was eventually separated during the Qin Dynasty, which preceded the Zhou Dynasty. The Zhao, Qin, and Yan kingdoms were connected to form a defensive system on the northern border of the country of Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. In 214 BC the building of the Great Wall of China was on its way. The Great Wall of China took as long as ten years to build.

The Great Wall of China took hundreds of thousands of laborers working daily beyond human limitations to construct and build. Many persons that did not work were thrown into the foundation trenches starving from hunger and exposure of the earths changing weathers. The Great Wall of China was then called The Longest Cemetery on Earth. Buried beneath its structure were more than 400,000 persons.

The Great Wall was stretched from Linzhao (eastern part of Gansu Province), in the west to Liaodong (Jilin Province) in the east. The Great Wall of China served as both a defense and symbolized the power of the emperor. The Great Wall of China was partly successful in repelling invading Mongol forces more than a century ago.

The Great Wall of China has more than 300 million trees, and its purpose was to serve as a barrier from the dust storms that swept into China from the Gobi Desert and other low-rainfall areas. The Great Wall of China was dubbed This Great Green Wall. During the 50′s, the city of Beijing was beset by 10 to 20 dust storms every spring. Visibility was only half a mile for 30 to 90 hours each month. By the 1970′s the storms had reduced resulting in greater visibility at less than ten hours per month. The reduction made work easier for the many laborers.

The Great Wall of China towered China’s mountains, plunging to the lower valleys, and marching across burning desert plains. Very cold winds coupled with snowstorms, made it very difficult for workers. At the same time raging desert sun and stinging sandstorms oppressed the workers, making their jobs difficult, and often risky

About The Author
Jeff Anderson knows about China. He knows what to look for and what pitfalls to avoid. Let him guide you to finding out more about China. Contact him at Jeff@culchina.com or visit the blog at his site www.culchina.com.


Regional Cuisines of China

16

November

It’s easily one of the world’s favorite foods. No matter where you are, someone you know is bound to suggest, “Hey, let’s do Chinese.” For decades, Chinese food meant one thing – Cantonese cuisine. It was the style of Chinese cooking with which most of the world was familiar – the appetizers and roasted meats and delicate sauces that blend vegetables and spices in a perfect marriage of flavors. But Chinese food is far more than just the Cantonese cuisine. There are four major styles of cooking across China, and several more subdivisions to divide them even further.

Cantonese is the most well-known and popular of the Chinese regional cuisine styles. Cantonese chefs specialize in delicate sauces and roasted meats, in steamed and stir-fried dishes with vegetables that are as carefully chosen for appearance and appeal to the eye as to the palate. Steamed rice is a staple of Cantonese cuisine, and is the base of most meals. Every vegetable is sliced to best show off its color and shape, even in a stir-fry or sauce. One of the more enduring and widely enjoyed traditions of Cantonese cooking is ‘dim sum’ – ‘little hearts’. In many cities, both in China and in other countries around the world, you’ll find little dim sum shops tucked beneath stairways and in storefront shops. They serve tea and the delicious savory and sweet little dim sum pastries to businessmen and afternoon shoppers.

Szechwan cuisine has grown in popularity over the last few decades. Most famous for searingly spicy foods like Kung Pao Chicken and Double Cooked Spicy Pork, Szechwan cuisine is a distinct style of cooking that is native to the landlocked mountainous center of China. The pungent flavors of ginger, fermented soybean, onions and garlic characterize much Szechwan cuisine, but there are also more subtle dishes that rely on the interweaving of texture and flavor. The typical cooking methods include frying, frying without oil, pickling and braising.

Hunan cuisine is the most well known of the several regional Chinese cuisine styles from Zheijiang region of China. It is characterized by thick, rich sauces and complex pungent flavors. Typical ingredients include scallions, chili and pepper. A popular favorite dish in the Hunan style is Pepper Chicken, with small chunks of succulent chicken quick-fried with black pepper and onions.

Shangdong cuisine is characterized by its emphasis on fresh ingredients in combinations that emphasize the flavor, aroma, color and texture of each ingredient. The Shangdong regional cuisine is known for delicate flavor combinations that are surprisingly pungent. Garlic and scallions are frequent ingredients, as are seafood, fresh vegetables and shoots. The soups are either thin and clear with a light flavor, or thick and pungent, rich with cream and spices. One of the most famous dishes from the Shangdong area, Bird’s Nest Soup, is typically served at major affairs of state.

While these are four of the main styles of Chinese regional cuisine, there are a number of others worthy of note. Fujian and Jiangsu Cuisine both focus on seafood and shellfish, accompanied by fresh vegetables. Fujian cuisine blends sweet, sour, savory and salt flavors in magical combinations. Jiangsu cuisine is light, fresh and sweet, and is characterized by its elegant presentation. More than any other style of Chinese regional cuisine, it emphasizes appearance as an important part of the appeal of a meal.

China is a complex country, with many smaller nationalities and regions within its borders. Most have typical styles of cooking that are starkly different than those of other regions around them. It is, however, a nation whose love affair with food has produced some of the most complex, rich, delicate and delicious dishes ever created

About The Author
Kirsten Hawkins is a food and nutrition expert specializing the Mexican, Chinese, and Italian food. Visit http://www.food-and-nutrition.com/ for more information on cooking delicious and healthy meals.


City Of New York

16

November

New York City, officially named the City of New York, is the most populous city in the United States, and the most densely populated major city in North America. The city is at the center of international finance, politics, entertainment, and culture, and is one of the world’s major global cities (along with London, Tokyo and Paris) with a virtually unrivaled collection of museums, galleries, performance venues, media outlets, international corporations, and stock exchanges. The city is also home to the United Nations, along with all of the international missions associated with it.

History

Long before the arrival of European settlers, the New York City area was inhabited by the Lenape people, including such tribes as the Manahattoes, Canarsies and Raritan.

Major events in New York history include

  • In 1524 the first European explorer enters New York Harbor
  • European settlement begins with the following the 1609 voyage of Henry Hudson
  • Founding of the Dutch fur trading settlement in Lower Manhattan in 1613 later called New Amsterdam
  • English ships captured the city without struggle in 1664
  • The Dutch formally ceded New York to the English in the Treaty of Breda at the conclusion of the Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1667
  • The city was renamed New York, after James, Duke of York, and became a royal colony in 1685
  • After the Civil War, the rate of immigration from Europe grew steeply, and New York became the first stop for millions seeking a new and better life in the United States, a role acknowledged by the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886
  • In two separate actions in 1874 and 1895, New York City (and New York County) annexed sections of southern Westchester County known as the Bronx
  • In 1898, New York City took the political form in which it exists to this day.
  • 9/11 changed the political map of the world

Place of interest

Tourism is a major local industry, with hundreds of attractions and 39 million tourists visiting the city each year on average. Many visitors make it a point to visit Ground Zero, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Wall Street, United Nations Headquarters, the American Museum of Natural History, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fifth Avenue, and the Brooklyn Bridge, among other attractions. There are over 28,000 acres (113 km²) of parkland found throughout New York City, comprising over 1,700 separate parks and playgrounds. The best known of these is Central Park, which is one of the finest examples of landscape architecture in the world, as well as a major source of recreation for New Yorkers and tourists alike. Other major parks in the city include Riverside Park, Battery Park, Bryant Park, Prospect Park, Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, Washington Square Park, and Forest Park.

Museums & Art Galleries

New York is a city of great museums with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s assemblage of historic art, the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum’s 20th century collection, and the American Museum of Natural History and its Hayden Planetarium focusing on the sciences. There are also many smaller specialty museums, from El Museo del Barrio with a focus on Latin American cultures to the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design. A number of the city’s museums are located along the Museum Mile section of Fifth Avenue.

In addition to these museums, the city is also home to a vast array of spaces for opera, symphony, and dance performances. The largest of these is Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which is actually a complex of buildings housing 12 separate companies, including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the New York City Ballet, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Other notable performance halls include Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

New York City boasts a highly active and influential theater district, which is centered around Times Square in Manhattan. It serves both as the center of the American theater industry, and as a major attraction for visitors from around the world. Broadway theaters are considered to be of the highest quality in the world.

Shopping

Shopping is popular with many visitors, with Fifth Avenue being a famous shopping corridor for luxury items. Macy’s, the nation’s largest department store, and the surrounding area of Herald Square are a major destination for more moderately-priced goods. In recent years 23rd Street has become a major location for “big-box” retailers. In southern Manhattan, Greenwich Village is home to hundreds of independent music and book stores, while the East Village continues to prevail as purveyors of all things “strange” and unusual which you can’t find anywhere else. The “diamond district” (located on 47th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) is the city’s main location for jewelry shopping, and SoHo, formerly the center of the New York art scene, is now famous for high-priced clothing boutiques, and the art galleries are now concentrated in Chelsea. There are also large shopping districts found in Downtown Brooklyn and along Queens Boulevard in Queens.

Food & Drink

New York is the best restaurant town in USA and one of the finest in the world. New York has literally thousands of restaurants to choose from (more than 25,000, in fact), encompassing nearly every cuisine in the world. Some of the big names are Eleven Madison Park, The River Café, Boat Basin Café, Veritas. Like restaurants, thousands of bars and cafes are there in the city. A few old noteworthy among those are: McSorleys Old Ale House, Revival, Push Café and White Horse Tavern.

Universities

New York City is served by the publicly run City University of New York (CUNY), the largest urban university in the United States, which has a number of campuses throughout the five boroughs. The city is also home to a number of other institutions of higher learning, some of national or even international reputation, including Columbia University, Fordham University, Manhattan College, New York University, the Juilliard School, The Cooper Union, Marymount Manhattan College and The New School. New York City is also a major center of academic medicine. Manhattan contains the campuses of the world-class Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, as well as Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and NYU Medical Center and their medical schools. New York City is home to several of the nation’s top schools of art and design, including Pratt Institute, the School of Visual Arts, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Parsons School of Design

Sports

Although in much of the rest of the country American football has become the most popular professional sport, in New York City baseball arguably still stirs the most passion and interest. A “Subway Series” between city teams is a time of great excitement, and any World Series championship by either the New York Yankees or the New York Mets is considered to be worthy of the highest celebration, including a ticker-tape parade for the victorious team.

Hotels & Accommodation

The City of New York is known as the “city that never sleeps”, but its visitors have to. The city hosts a large number of accommodations options.

Luxury Hotels

New York has many “grand dames,” classic elegant hotels that have been around for years and endured majestically. The St. Regis, the Waldorf, Tribeca Grand Hotel, Ritz-Carlton New York, Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers – are some to mention about.

Budget Hotels

Besides all those luxury hotels, a large number of budget hotels are available in New York City. They are comfortable, homely and light weight for the pocket. Some of them to mention are – The Whitehouse Hotel of New York, The Pioneer, Chelsea Center, Guesthouse and Harlem YMCA. Except these hotels and guesthouses, Skyline Hotel and Travel Inn are rare exception among affordable hotels for their services and facilities.

Tours and Sightseeing

To know and see the New York City with no tension way, a number of tour operators are there for travelers help. These tours contain city and outskirt of the city sightseeing. Tours may vary from its contents or theme. It may be a helicopter tour of Big Apple or may be a double-decker bus tour. Some fair tour agencies are there in the city. Tours can be booked from tour agencies or some hotels arrange them for its patrons. Another easy way to book any of these tours is online tour ticket booking. Some helpful websites for this purpose are: http://www.newyork.com/.

http://www.allnewyorktours.com/

http://www.thereservationcenter.com/

Transport

The airport authority owns and operates the four major airports in the New York City area, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Jamaica, Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, La Guardia Airport in Flushing, and Teeterboard Airport in Teeterboard, New Jersey.

Taxicabs are operated by private companies and licensed by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission. Other than cabs, New York City has a mass transit system. Unlike most of America’s car-oriented urban areas, public transportation is the common mode of travel for the majority of New York City residents. The city is served by an extensive network of parkways and expressways, including four primary Interstate Highways enter the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. The world-famous New York City Subway is operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). It is the most extensive subway system in the world. The subway system connects all boroughs except Staten Island, which is served by the Staten Island Railway via the free Staten Island Ferry. In addition to these, city residents rely on hundreds of bus lines, both publicly and privately operated.

Many private ferries are run by NY Waterway, which provides several lines across the Hudson River, New York Water Taxi, with lines connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, and other operators

About The Author
Nivedita Balamurugan

Occupation: Traveler

Website: www.thereservationcenter.com

Biography: Nivedita is with The Reservation Center – providers of discounted tours to make your vacations and sightseeing trips in various cities across the world as comfortable and enjoyable as possible


New York City – Without Breaking Your Budget

16

November

It’s the Big Apple, baby, and all roads eventually lead – or cross – in its streets. But you won’t be doing your sightseeing there, because it’s too expensive…right? If you’re resourceful, there are many free and/or inexpensive tourist destinations in New York City. Below are but a few – including well-known sites, food, and New York’s art scene.

The Sites – Central Park – Stretch your legs and see the world’s most famous park without spending a dime. Enjoy just walking around the 800 + acres, or visit one of the park’s many famous sites for reasonable prices, including the Central Park Zoo, take your kids to one of the 21 playgrounds, or enjoy one of their many tours. -

Ground Zero – Many New York visitors want to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. Today, you can take a guided tour of the site for around $20, or visit it on your own for less. While you’re there, you might want to visit St. Paul’s Chapel on Broadway and Fulton Streets near the area. An impromptu memorial has grown there, with messages from visitors in many languages. – Many birds, one stone – A variety of tours exist for a variety of budgets, ranging from the all-day $75 tour including Ellis Island, the United Nations, and many others, to a few hours’ $35 tour including visits to famous New York neighborhoods and museums. For a mere $20, you can take a Harbor Cruise to the Statue of Liberty.

The Food – Ethnic Delights – While you’re in New York, don’t pass up the opportunity to sample the flavors in the world’s biggest melting pot. Whether you stop for a slice of pizza in Little Italy, or grab some Dim Sum in Chinatown, New York’s diverse residents have brought their recipes with them from their home countries and they are ready to share them with you. A unique dining experience in New York can be had for under $10. – Union Square Greenmarket – At Union Square, vendors sell fresh produce, homemade breads, homemade drinks, and even homemade cheese – and they are willing to share. They often offer free samples. The Greenmarket is a project by the Council on the Environment of NYC, and they’ve managed the open-air farmers’ markets in New York since 1976.

The Arts - Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway – So you want to see one of New York’s famous Broadway shows, but you don’t want to break your budget? Consider one of the Off-Broadway or even Off-Off-Broadway theatres, where you will pay only 25% – 50% of what you would pay to see it on Broadway. There are numerous sites advertising discounted Broadway and Off-Broadway tickets; if you plan in advance, you can easily budget a show into your trip. -

Museums – There’s MOMA, the Met, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Natural History Museum, and many other world-famous New York City museums. Visiting all of them would cost a fortune, right? Not necessarily. There are several options for the cash-poor here. First, you could arrange to take a tour – for around $50, you can visit most of New York’s most famous museums. But there are plenty of free museums, too – including the American Folk Art Museum, urban art particular to New York at the Urban Center Gallery, and the National Museum of the American Indian, which has the largest collection in the world devoted solely to Native American culture and history. But if you don’t feel a visit to New York is complete without a tour of some of the famous museums mentioned above, then go see them on a “pay what you wish” night – MOMA’s, the Whitney, and the Guggenheim are all “pay what you wish” Friday evenings, and although not everyone is aware of it, the Met and the Brookly!

Museum of Art has a suggested admission, but is “pay what you wish” everyday!

Remember, you can find a vacation that matches your budget as long as you’re willing to be flexible and creative – even in New York. There are many online resources you can use to plan an exciting but realistic vacation to the Big Apple. Have fun, and good luck!

About The Author

Rachel Medlock owns and operates the informational site, MyVacationInfo.com.


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