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Best and Worst Passports of 2019 – Could Being White Have Something to do With It?

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Best and Worst Passports of 2019

The latest controversy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter has arisen off the back of a recent CNN report that revealed the top ten most accepted passports in the world are from predominantly white countries. Taken from the Henley Passport Index, which ranks countries based on the number of destinations their passport holders can enter without having to obtain a visa beforehand, the CNN report has sparked outrage among people who wish for greater diversity in the travel industry. Considering every year families from all over the world use the help of a family destination guide to choose where they’d like to visit on their next holiday abroad, is it really fair that people from non-Europeans countries have limited options for their next vacation spot? 

The Best Passports of 2019

Despite the majority of the top passports being from countries with a European background, it might be surprising to know that the top two passports are actually Japan and Singapore, both countries in Asia. These passport holders are allowed to travel to 188 countries without securing a visa before setting off. South Korea is also at the top of the list, coming in third place. 

While this might sound promising, it is discouraging to find that the rest of the list consists entirely of either European countries or countries with European heritage such as the U.S. and Australia. 

The full list of countries in the top ten, which can access at least 180 countries across the world without a visa is: Finland and Germany, followed by Italy, Luxembourg, France, Spain, and Sweden. Next with access to 185 countries are Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, and Switzerland. Next on the list is Malta, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Australia, Lithuania, and Slovakia. Rounding out the bottom with access to 180 countries is Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, and Slovenia. 

The Worst Passports of 2019

In the list of the world’s current worst passports, war-torn, predominantly Muslim countries make up the majority of the bottom ten countries. Additionally, dictatorships like North Korea are also on the list. 

But what is considered the worst passport in the world? Afghanistan; whose passport holders can only access 25 countries without a visa. Other ‘bad’ passports with limited accessibility to the rest of the world are Lebanon, North Korea, Nepal, Libya, Palestinian Territory, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, and Iraq. 

Family Destination Guide: Who has the most privilege?

When comparing the lists of the best and worst passports, it is easy to see that those from the white, Western world can choose anywhere they want in a family destination guide for their summer holiday abroad. For families from predominately Muslim countries, it is unfortunately not so easy. Despite benefiting greatly from colonialism and exploitation of cheap labor in some of these areas, European economic superpowers are not so keen to let these people visit their countries without first undergoing strict visa procedures – which can be very frustrating. The hypocrisy is blatant; although there is still light at the end of the tunnel. With the growth of economies in Asia along with a rapidly strengthening of influence from the United Arab Emirates, more and more families from across the world are gaining the freedom to travel wherever they wish. 

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Top 9 Things to Avoid While Visiting Egypt

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Top 9 Things to Avoid While Visiting Egypt

Visiting Egypt

Having a plan before traveling to Egypt is a very important issue in order to have an exciting trip free of any troubles all through your as there are lots of places to visit in Egypt, some very recommended activities and other not recommended ones, lots of good places to stay at and others not that good so in order to manage your Egypt Trips and plan them in a perfect way, you should definitely know the main things to avoid in Egypt and that is why we have included in this article the main points to keep in mind while planning a vacation in Egypt so keep reading to get our point.

What to Avoid While Being in Egypt??

1- Avoid Traveling Without A Currency Converter App

It is highly recommended to have such a converter app with you while being in Egypt so that you don’t get deceived by anyone of the locals or at any place as this app show, you the exact exchange rate of the same day and that is how you will get the best exchange rate.

2- Avoid Not Knowing All About the Best Places to Visit in Egypt

Unfortunately, some travelers who visit Egypt alone without booking a tour with a travel agency miss actually a lot from the main sites in Egypt through spending lots of time at one or two places without visiting the other attractive sites but a travel agency with professional tour guides are exactly what you need to book with in order to have a real satisfactory vacation.

3- Avoid Drinking From the Tap Water in Egypt

It is highly not recommended to drink from the tap water since it is heavily chlorinated and it is even not being drunk by the locals unless it is treated or being purified so it is highly recommended for any traveler to buy bottled water while being in Egypt from and shop or market and drink lots of water during the day tour. The cost of a bottle of water is only 3 to 5 EGP in Egypt and can be found anywhere so you won’t face any kind of problem regarding having them.

4- Make Sure Not to Book Hotels on Your Own Before Scheduling Your Tour With the Travel Agency

Sometimes, tourists find it much cheaper to book hotels & domestic flights on their own and hire only a tour guide and a private car from the travel agency but they eventually discover that all of their bookings don’t even match the tours schedule or the Nile Cruise schedule and as a result, the tour itinerary won’t be doable. So the main advice regarding this point is that the guest should check with the agency first the itinerary he or she wants to go for, which special requirements the traveler wants to apply, and then based on the agreed on the itinerary, the traveler should do the necessary bookings to enjoy some of the best Egypt Tour Packages is a rich historical country like Egypt.

5- Avoid Waiting Till the Last Moment Before Your Arrival Date

Egypt is a wonderful tourist country that contains lots of amazing sites & landmarks and it is visited by thousands of tourists during the whole year and for your knowledge, the peaked seasons in Egypt are the Easter and the Christmas ones and you need to book your vacation in Egypt as soon as you can to guarantee that there will be available for you as if you come to book a couple of months or a month prior to your arrival, you may not find availability for you.

6- Avoid Wearing Inappropriate Clothes

You need to make sure that you pack culturally appropriate clothes with you before your arrival to Egypt as Egypt is an Islamic country and it is not appropriate at all to wear mini-skirts, scrappy tops, shorts, or that clothes that reveal too much of the one’s flesh as it will bring upon you too much unnecessary attention especially if you are a woman so make sure to wear what fits culture in Egypt and what makes you feel comfortable.

Here are some of the recommended clothes to wear in Egypt:

  • Maxi skirts & dresses
  • Pants & Jeans
  • Cotton blouses
  • Loose fitted trousers
  • Jumpsuits if you are in a coastal city or on board of a Nile Cruise.

7- Don’t Forget to Tip in Egypt

Tipping is actually part of the Egyptian culture and it seems that everyone in Egypt expects that you give him “Baksheesh” after offering you some kind of service. It is something that is not obligatory but it is also expected and you need to give tips to the ones who offer you satisfactory services during your vacation in Egypt just like the local tour guide, the driver, the waiter at a restaurant, the cabin crew, and similar people whom you may meet and require their services. That is why you need to have some cash with you for the tipping matter to give money in a small currency like the 5 or the 10 pounds.

8- Avoid Buying Gold Without Doing Lots of Research

Since gold is purer and much cheaper from foreign countries, lots of tourists love buying gold during their vacation in Egypt but unfortunately, there are some gold scams by the Egyptians for the tourists who don’t have enough experience in gold just like weighting it incorrectly or manipulating in the price of the gold of the day without letting the tourists know. So you need to do your research to make sure you are getting the golden items at the best price.

9- Avoid Heading to Unsafe Places in Egypt

There are so many attractions in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Alexandria, and other cities in Egypt that should be visited and spend a vacation around but there are some places that aren’t recommended for travelers just like Sinai or the Western Desert which you can actually visit but things may change due to some political issues and they may not be safe for travelers.

There are some essential things to pack with you for your Egypt vacation including:

  • An Entry Visa can be obtained upon arrival for some nationalities and should be prepared in advance for other nationalities so you need to check first whether you can obtain your visa upon arrival to Egypt or whether you need to head to the Egyptian embassy in your country to apply for the visa.
  • Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, all travelers are required to bring a negative PCR test with them that should be issued a maximum of 72 hrs prior to their arrival.
  • A valid Passport that has a validity of at least 6 months prior to the date of the arrival.
  • Suitable comfortable clothes that match the season of the visit and of course suitable hiking shoes to be able to tour around without any pain.
  • And medicine that the traveler is used to taking daily.
  • The Tour should be booked with a travel agency and the traveler should be accompanied by a local tour guide who knows all of the most visited places, the timing that should be spent on each site, the best sites to do shopping trips, and also have the best negotiation skills to assist the guest to buy the things he or she wants with the most reasonable prices.
  • Exchange some of your money in EGP and make sure to keep a little amount of cash with you for any emergencies or for any small purchases.
  • Learn some Arabic words and phrases to be able to communicate with the locals who don’t speak English.

As a final word, make sure not to spend so much time worrying about unnecessary things in Egypt as it is such a lovely country that is blessed with so many natural, historical, and cultural destinations to visit and the majority of tourists who come to visit it, love every single moment they spend in Egypt and always hope to be able to return to it again in the future. So start preparing for your adventure and let your dream begin.

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Shey and Stok palace in Ladakh

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Shey and Stok palace in Ladakh

With its roots deep in history, Ladakh is a preferred destination for tourists who want to know a culture closely. Ladakh that traces its history back to the first century has a rich culture and tradition that has been kept alive by its people. However, Ladakh’s history is often defined by the religion practiced by the people which was Buddhism and Islam. 

As seen all over the world, religion greatly influences the culture of an entire community, nation or region of the world. This holds true for Ladakh that was often the subject of interest of rulers from Tibet, kingdoms from Central Asia such as Baltistan, etc. Also, Ladakh was a kingdom greatly coveted by other kingdoms due to the strategic importance as Ladakh was an important transit point for traders on the Silk Route, an ancient trade route linking China with the West. 

However, there is no doubt about Ladakh’s rich heritage and centuries-old culture. As mentioned before, Ladakh’s rich culture and heritage reflected in the monasteries, stupas, and mani walls that are scattered all over the region, especially in the Leh district. 

Therefore, cultural tours are a great medium to understand the unique culture and heritage of Ladakh closely. 

Shey Monastery & Palace

Shey, located 20 minutes’ drive from the Leh market, is home to one of the most famous monuments of Ladakh. It was the old capital of the upper Ladakh region. The Shey Gompa and the Shey Palace hold a special place in the heart of the people of Ladakh. The Shey Palace was built by King Deldan Namgyal in the memory of his father Singge Namgyal, the most famous king of Ladakh, in 1655. It is said that the original palace (or Khar in Ladakhi), now in ruins, was built near the Shey village by Lha-Chen Palgi-gon, who was the king of erstwhile Maryul (now called Ladakh), in the 10th century. 

According to the historians, the Namgyals (the famous dynasty that ruled Ladakh for close to four centuries) abandoned the Shey Palace and fled to Stok when the Dogras of Jammu invaded Ladakh in 1841. 

Shey monastery is famous for its gigantic statue of Shakyamuni Buddha made of copper and gold. The statue is said to be the second-largest statue in the region. 

The majestic Shey Palace dominating the Indus River is a wonderful sight to behold and it attracts many photographers due to its scenic beauty. Ladakhi people visit Shey gompa in large numbers during the monastery festival

Stok Palace

As mentioned earlier, when the Dogras invaded the Shey Palace, the Namgyals fled to Stok and made it their permanent residence. Situated on the other side of the Indus River, the Stok Palace was built by King Tsepel Namgyal in 1820.

Situated at a distance of 15 km to the south of Leh, the Stok Palace is one of the major attractions for tourists. Perched atop a small hill, the Stok Palace is a mini version of the Leh Palace. Although the Namgyal dynasty ceased to exist after the Dogra invaded Ladakh, Stok is still a living palace and the home to King Jigmet Wangchuk Namgyal, who is still held in high regards by the people of Ladakh. 

The Stok Palace was the summer home of the royals. It has a few rooms displaying family treasures, including the king’s and queen’s royal Ladakhi costumes.

The Stok Palace, that was renovated and restored, has been turned into a heritage hotel by the King. It has four suites, a royal suite and the queen’s bedroom; it provides to the guest a unique experience of Ladakhi traditions.

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Travel the Easy Way in Path of Exile

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How to get to your destination in an instant

Traveling brings about a host of problems. There’s what to pack, flight times, unexpected delays, and unpleasant service to contend with. Good thing traveling in-game doesn’t have those problems, huh? There’s only the long walk/run toward the next destination. However, we want efficiency, especially when your inventory is full of PoE items like PoE currency. Any minute with a full inventory is a minute wasted without any profit.

Fortunately, games have a fast-travel system to help you get around more easily. Here’s how to fast travel in Path of Exile, and cut down on travel time.

Finding Waypoints

Glowing blue runes sit at certain points in every area. These are Waypoints, and they can teleport you to every other waypoint you’ve found in your travels.

It’s the most basic method of fast travel in Path of Exile, though it could be limited if you’re not the type to explore. Also, remember that you have to have visited the area once before. You can’t use them to go where you haven’t been. Lastly, you may use them to travel between Acts as well.

Console Commands

Some special areas may be accessed using console commands. These areas are player-owned instances, such as the hideout or Azurite Mine.

/menagerie – sends you to your Menagerie

/hideout – teleports you to your hideout

/hideout <character name> – teleports you to that character’s hideout

/delve – brings you to your Azurite Mine

/harvest – makes you appear in your Sacred Grove

/metamorph – moves you to Tane’s Laboratory

You may only use these commands in town. Otherwise, they will fail to send you to that location. As a side note, there’s no indication of whether the command brings up a new instance of the Sacred Grove or not. Use it with caution and only if you’re absolutely sure it won’t destroy your current harvests. You can also make use of the hideout commands when participating in PoE trade!

Teleport Scrolls

You’ll encounter many PoE Items such as PoE orbs and PoE uniques in your map runs. The most important ones for this article, however, are Portal Scrolls. One scroll creates a portal to the previously visited town. Enemies drop them commonly enough that players are still able to gather a decent amount even while using them when needed.

There’s even a skill gem version of the scroll, simply named ‘Portal’ that has the same effect. You can use the item or skill to get to town safely from most maps. Notable exceptions include master’s missions and the Abandoned Citadels.

Conclusion

That’s all the methods you can travel with ease across Wraeclast. With these methods, you won’t have to walk across the continent and waste your time. It’s very convenient, isn’t it? No traffic, no delays (other than a bad internet connection), and just smooth transitions from one area to the next. Take advantage of these instant transportation methods, and soon you’ll be swimming in PoE Currency. You won’t be late for any PoE trade that you’ll do as well.

Enjoy Path of Exile, as well as your journeys across Wraeclast!

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