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Location: Coromandel Peninsula. New Zealand





Location: Amsterdam. The Netherlands


In winter, Amsterdam is often shrouded in a dense fog. It is cold and chilly, but also magical. The photo corresponds to AmstelPark, in one of those magical foggy mornings.

This fog is called evaporation fog, and forms when cool air lies over a warm body of water. The water molecules evaporate from the surface of the water into the colder air above, rapidly humidifying it. Netherlands is completely full of lakes, canals, rivers and any type of water canalization. The whole country is literally flooded, making this type of fog very common in winter.






Location: Hot Water Beach. New Zealand


This photo of my daughter running around on the beach was taken at Hot Water Beach, also known as Te Puia, which means hot springs in maori. This place is located  on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand, approximately 12 kilometres south east of Whitianga, and approximately 175 kilometres from Auckland by car (see google map below)

Its name comes from underground hot springs which filter up through the sand between the high and low water tidal reaches. Within two hours either side of low tide, it is possible to dig into the sand allowing hot water to escape to the surface forming a hot water pool.

Visitors often dig large holes and relax and soak in the thermal water. You can bring a spade you or rent it from the nearby surf shop.

One thing to remember is the beach has some dangerous rips and it is best to swim in the sea in between the flags which is the area patrolled by the lifeguards and usually the rip free areas.







Location: Victoria Peak. Hong Kong


If a single image could capture Hong Kong, it would be the view from Victoria Peak. If you are going to spend only one day in Hong Kong, or even few hours and you can do only one thing, don't think more, this is the place to go!

Victoria Peak is a mountain located in Hong Kong Island. With an elevation of 554 meters (1,817.6 feet), it offers spectacular views of the city and its harbours.


How to get to The Peak?

Riding The Peak Tram is the quickest and most scenic way to arrive at The Peak. The Peak Tram Lower Terminus is easily reachable by foot from the MTR Central station (J2 exit)


Tips

The tram takes just 5 minutes to get to the top of the mountain, but you might need to wait in the line for an hour in the busiest days. So plan your visit accordingly.
You can skip the ticket queue with the Octopus card or buying a ticket in advance.

Tripods are allowed, although you need to be careful with your gear as the observation deck is normally very crowded.






Location: Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong


Victoria Harbour is located on the south of Kowloon , and consists in two walks: Kowloon Public Pier and the Avenue of Stars.

You can stroll along the sea front promenade, from the Star Ferry Pier (at Kowloon Public Pier) to the Intercontinental Hotel (at Avenue of Stars), enjoying the Hong Kong skyline in all its glory along the way.

Most of the jaw dropping photos of the Hong Kong skyline you see in brochures and travel guides have been taken from here, Victoria Harbour, or from Victoria Peak.





Location: Nan Lian Garden. Hong Kong


Nan Lian Garden is located in Diamond Hill distict, in Kowloon (Hong Kong). Its scenic garden has been meticulously landscaped over an area of 35000 square meters, in which every hill, rock, body of water, plant and timber structure has been placed according to specific rules and methods. It is managed by the Chi Lin Nunnery, a non-profit organization, and entrance is free.

The contrast between the tranquil ponds and traditional Chinese temple halls with the highrise residential apartments in the background is quite impressive. The white buildings in the photo are called "Grand View Garden Blocks" and the orange one is "Regent on the Hill".


Garden Rules

There are some restrictions when visiting the garden. Visitors are not allowed to dress improperly, bring any food or drink into the garden except for pure water (although you can eat or drink in the designated areas of the food outlets)

Tripods for photography are not allowed and visitors are requested to refrain from group photography as this may cause nuisance to others trying to enjoy the scenery.


How to get there?

The easiest way is by metro. The entrance to the garden is about 5 minutes walk from the Diamond Hill Station (Kwun Tong Line, green color in the MTR map). At the subway station, you need to take the exit C2 (Plaza Hollywood). There are tourist direction signs from the station exit.





Location: Sai Yeung Choi Street. Hong Kong


Mong Kok is one of the major shopping areas in Hong Kong. The area is characterized by a mixture of old and new multi-story buildings, with shops and restaurants at street level, and commercial or residential units above.

Mong Kok has the highest population density in the world (130,000/km2 or 340,000 per square mile) according to Guinness World Record. The streets are always overcrowded, no matter what time of the day you decide to visit the area. In fact, the Chinese characters of the word Mong Kok literally means “bustling corner”.

The most popular street markets of Hong Kong are located in Mong Kok and its surrounding areas. I highly recommend walking through Mong Kok’s many streets and explore the famous and popular Ladies Market (where you can buy almost everything from iPhone cases to T-shirts and typical Hong Kong souvenirs), The photo above corresponds to Sai Yeung Choi Street, which is full of electronics shops where you are able to find the latest computer, digital cameras and other consumer electronics.






Location: Garden Road 3. Hong Kong


Awesome view of the Bank of China Tower (left), Citibank Tower (middle) and ICBC Tower (right), located at CitiBank Plaza, in Hong Kong island.

The Bank of China Tower, situated in the center of the city's skyline, is arguably one of the most iconic skyscrapers in Hong Kong. The building is 315.0 m (1,033.5 ft) high with two masts reaching 367.4 m (1,205.4 ft) high.

The building is also known for its observation deck on the 43rd floor, which offers unique views of the city from its central vantage point.





Triberg waterfall Black Forest Germany Schwarzwald green river

Location: Triberg, Back Forest. Germany


Triberg is a small town with just over 5000 inhabitants located in the Black Forest, Germany. This town is famous for two things: the Triberg waterfalls and being home to the Cuckoo Clock.

In reality, it is unknown who invented the cuckoo clock and where the first one was made, but it is thought that much of its development and evolution was made in the Black Forest in Germany, where it was popularized.

Triberg waterfalls have an overall drop of 163 metres over 7 cascades.
More than half a million people visit this spectacle of nature every year. There is a small fee to enter the park (around 3-4 eur) and there are three entrances to the waterfalls, which are reached via asphalted paths, steps and footbridges. There are bridges, steep gravel paths and rocky stairs, which unfortunately make the place totally unsuitable for prams and pushchairs. However, you can reach the lowest and largest cascade of the waterfall relatively easily from the main entrance.

Many people wrongly believe that Triber Waterfalls are the highest in Germany, but they are actually second highest in Germany. Röthbach Waterfall near Lake Constance, with a vertical drop of 470 metres (1540 ft) is the highest.



Amsterdamse Bos forest park foggy lake river autumn fall grey


Location: Amsterdamse Bos. The Netherlands.


The Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest in English) is a park in the municipalities Amstelveen and Amsterdam. It receives almost 4.5 million people every year and has a size of 1,000 hectares, approximately three times bigger than Central Park.

It was totally artificially created on unused turf lands and wetlands. As some of the trees have now seventy years, Amsterdamse Bos is today a real forest. Since it was planned and arranged, it has many facilities created for sports and leisure. It has among others, several large water areas (a long artificial rowing lake, several other lakes, a number of swimming pools, some of them small for children) and multiple sports facilities.

It's a marvellous place where you can relax walking, riding a bike, making a picnic... You get beautiful views even in cold foggy Autumn days, like the photo above.


Photo Red Light District prostitution sex shops Oude Kerk city oldest church in Amsterdam


Location: Amsterdam. The Netherlands.


Prostitution is legal in The Netherlands, and in Amsterdam most of it is concentrated in the Red Light District where it has enjoyed a long tradition of tolerance. As a matter of  fact, today prostitutes in The Netherlands are also taxpayers.

There are three Red Light Districts in Amsterdam, but the largest and most popular by far is "De Wallen". It consists of a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred one-room cabins rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights.

This photo was taken at the surroundings of "De Oude Kerk", or the Old Church, which is the oldest church in Amsterdam. Yes, exactly! a large 13th Century church in Amsterdam is located in the center of the Red Light District! how cool is that? :)

Although the area of Amsterdam Red Light District may look dodgy, it is certainly not any dangerous place to stay. It is actually a quite safe and well controlled part of the city, with police regularly patrolling around.

If you are visiting Amsterdam, the RLD is at walking distance from Dam Square and it is definitely a very unique place that is worth a visit.




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