World Travel: 7 Must See Destinations From Around the Globe

The world is a giant globe of goodness waiting to be discovered. It’s full of natural wonders that intrigue us and fascinate us and places that take our breath away and inspire us to dive into something larger than ourselves. It’s full of places that invite us to slow down and enjoy each moment of the sun setting over a vast ocean or feel the thunder of a fierce waterfall pounding in our chests as we stand at its base. And world travel is the way we are invited into enter into all of these spaces.


We’ve put together a diverse list, perhaps one of the best out there, of places to discover during your next trip abroad. But we’ve done it with all sorts of travelers in mind. The following places are meant to be discovered and enjoyed by historians, hikers, thrill-seekers, lovers, artists, naturalists and newbies who are simply looking for that first adventure to get them on their feet. You’re closer than you think to world travel.

1. Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

Get out your crampons, lace up your boots and don’t forget to pack your bear spray. Glacier’s 700 miles of trail systems offer you endless hours of exploration. You’ll find pristine forests, breathtaking vistas, Native American history, snow covered mountains, crystal clear lakes and alpine meadows. This national park is a hiker’s paradise.

2. The Great Wall of China

This UNESCO World Heritage Site leaves visitors breathless as they stand upon the world’s largest military defense structure and try to fathom how many hands helped make this. The great wall stretches more than 20,000 kilometers and offers incredible views of China’s forests.

3. The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

The Alhambra, an architectural and geometrical gem, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one that embodies a mixture of African, Arabic, Spanish and Muslim cultures. This fort, elaborate palace and historical site is Spain’s most visited monument, with over 6,000 visitors passing through daily, and it is quickly becoming one of the most popular places in Europe. From the top of the city where it sits, you can look off into the Sierra Nevada mountains and towards the sea.

4. The Northern Lights, Iceland

Elusive and unpredictable, yet totally worth it if you find yourself lucky enough to see them. The Northern Lights are one of Iceland’s greatest attractions. Natural phenomenons as beautiful as this one are always great reasons to renew the passports and get up and go!

5. Newgrange Stone Passage Tomb, Boyne Valley, Ireland

What’s older than the Egyptian Pyramids and the statues of Stonehenge? The Newgrange Passage Tomb, which was built by ordinary Irish farmers, is a neolithic tomb worth visiting. This historical masterpiece encompasses intelligences that we still can’t explain today. It will leave you in awe and wanting more. And while you’re on that Emerald Isle you might as well switch up your currency, cross the border and pay a visit to Northern Ireland just to check out The Giant’s Causeway.

6. The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

This reef, the longest barrier reef in the entire world, is Australia’s claim to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. This reef is longer than the Great Wall of China and it is the only visible living thing from outer space. Grab your scuba gear, strap on a snorkel and dive in!

7. Victoria Falls, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. It looks like a scene from The Lord of the Rings where the earth splits open and its waters are swallowed into an endless hole. In truth, this isn’t far from what’s actually happening. If you’re in Africa, book a safari but also don’t forget to see some of it’s greatest waters.

How to obtain an expedited passport or visa

Now that you have a few places to add to your world travel list, let’s talk about how to get you on your way. You’ll want to make sure your passports and visas are up to date. Fast Passport and Visas can help you get your visas and passports fast and hassle-free. Happy travels!

China’s Top 5 Tourist Attractions

China is one of the largest countries and boasts the highest population in the world. With so much land and people, it’s no wonder that it has some of the best tourist attractions. From Great Walls to Giant Pandas, an experience in China is sure to amaze. Here are our top 5 China tourist attractions.

1. The Great Wall

Considered on many lists as one of the wonders of the world, The Great Wall of China should be a must-see on any tourists’ list. The wall spans over 5,500 miles and was built over hundreds of years. The latest construction occurred in 1368 under the Ming Dynasty. The Great Wall is made up of many interconnecting walls that different warlords and dynasties built over the years. If you don’t see any other China tourist attractions, again you must see the Great Wall.

2. The Terracotta Warriors

Had it not been for a local farmer digging a well in 1974, this terracotta army would still be hidden away from the world. These life-size figures were buried in 210 BC with the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty. Each of the thousands of figures have unique faces, hair, and armor styles. They represent the army that triumphed over all the other armies during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), resulting in a united China.

3. The Forbidden City

This architectural wonder was the imperial seat of the Ming and Qing dynasties for 560 years, ending in 1911. A total of 24 emperors lived in this extravagant structure that was once off limits to ordinary people. It features over 8,000 rooms and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

4. Giant Pandas in Chengu

Contrary to a certain popular movie, pandas do not know Kung Fu. In any case, these animals are a spectacular sight to behold. While there are multiple places in china where you can see a giant panda, Chengdu is considered their hometown. There are three panda centers around Chengdu. The Chengdu Panda Center is in the north part of the city and is the more established of the three. The other two locations are a 1-2 hour travel away from the city. In these locations, you can see Pandas in a more natural environment.

5. The Li River

Some of the most beautiful scenery among the China tourist attractions can be found in the town of Guilin. For hundreds of years, the area around the Li River has attracted poets and artists looking to be inspired by the atmosphere. Perhaps you too can find your inspiration among the bamboo forests, reed beds, and rock formations. The best way to enjoy the river is via boat trip with the most popular run being an 80 kilometer stretch between Guilin and Yangshuo. Have your pick between a larger multi-passenger boat or small punt for more intimacy.

A trip to China should be on everyone’s bucket list. Before you go it is imperative that you take care of your documentation. A passport and China visa are necessary to experience these remarkable China tourist attractions. Fast Passports and Visas is highly recommended for obtaining your documentation in a quick, hassle-free manner.

What to Do If My China Visa Was Rejected?

You are excited for you trip to China. You’ve already booked your hotel and flights, and all have you left is to take care of your China visa. You may be surprised to find out that obtaining a visa from China can sometimes be a little tricky. You will need to carefully follow the instructions provided on the application form to avoid getting rejected. If you have already applied and have been rejected, you may be wondering what your next step is. Don’t panic. You can still reapply for a visa. In some cases, it’s a good idea to go through a passport and visa agency as they are intimately familiar with the application process. Let’s take a look at a few of the factors that can affect whether or not your visa application will be rejected.

Why Your China Visa Was Rejected?

You might be wondering why your China visa was rejected. In many cases, it might simply be that you did not submit all of the required supporting documents or did not fill out your forms correctly. It could also be that the supporting documents you submitted and the forms you filled out do not match. For example, if you are sent by a US company to conduct business on their behalf, you actually would not select “work” on the application form as your purpose. “Work” as listed on the form refers to those who are employed by a Chinese company.

On the application forms, you will see that there are some fields related to your occupation. The Chinese consulate wants to know how you make your living and if you are involved in any sensitive business (religious, media, military). It’s possible that you could be rejected on the nature of what you do. In these cases, it is best to consult a passport and visa agency that is experienced in working with China visa applicants. If you are self-employed, make sure that you indicate so in the proper field. Then, write the name of your company and specify the nature of your business next to it in the company name field.

What Type of Visa?

It is very important that you apply for the proper visa and submit all the appropriate documents. Each type of visa will have its own requirements. If you take the time to carefully go over these details before you submit an application for the first time, you have a much higher chance of successfully obtaining a visa. As mentioned above, if you have already gone through the process and have been rejected, you still can reapply. However, it would be beneficial to consult a visa agency like Fast Passports & Visas.

Here are a few types of visas and their uses:

L Visa – a basic tourist visa and a more simplified application process.

M Visa – for those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.

X1 Visa – for those who intend to study in China for a period linger than 180 days.

There are many other types of visas. Whether applying or reapplying for a China visa, the best practice is to go through an agency or consult with someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with the Chinese consulate.

Why You Should Travel to China? Culture.

Many people who travel to China seek to dig deeper into the history of the country. Not just the old buildings but the stories behind them. They come to try and imagine living in the past they walk through while looking at modern progression that has transformed the country. When you travel to China you can also travel in time if you know the history of some of China’s famed historic sited. We hope to expand your geographical horizons and give you a detailed history of some of the most historical sites you should see when you travel to China

China’s history is filled with famous poets and artists. One of the most renowned poets in Chinese history is Du Fu, who lived from 712- 770AD in the Tang Dynasty. Fu traveled through eastern China and his birthplace, Henan but soon settled in the capital of Tang, Chengdu (now known as Xi’an.) He took on the task of a civil servant at the request of the Tang emperor who was distracted by clashing with enemy forces, namely An Lushan, a general who was a rebel leader against the Tang Dynasty; and Du Fu’s new appointment never came to fruition.

An Lushan’s rebellion lasted for eight long years and shortly thereafter Du Fu ventured out towads Chengdu to seek sanctuary where he could focus on his writing. It was during this writing sanctuary that Du Fu created some of his most prolific work inspired by the events that hat unfolded around him. Du Fu had seen so much war, and uprising that his poetry earned him quite the global respect as one of China’s most prolific and influential poets. Du Fu mainly wrote in deep complex ideals and about  the beauty in simple things.

Today a replica of Du Fu’s cottage where he resided is now a mix of both shrine and museum and also serves as the home base for the Chengdu chapter of the Du Fu Society, a fellowship of Chendgu poets who meet there regularly. The cottage is not the main draw of the park but it is no less prolific and fascinating. The rest of the area is filled with stone walking trails that meander through classic Chinese style landscapes and bamboo gardens. The trails come to an end in a clearing that has benches for vistors to reflect or if on luck’s good side, see beautiful flowers in full bloom.

Travel to china today!

If this sounds exciting to you to envelop yourself in a another culture’s history and relive the past then you need to get your passports and travel visas in order. You don’t need anything snagging your plans to travel to China. If your passports and visas don’t line up, you could find yourself in a world of trouble. Play it safe and contact Fast Passports and Visas for yours and keep checking back for more Chinese cultural travel destinations and more.

 

Top 5 China Travel Tips

China is a popular international travel destination due to its ancient history and mysterious culture and cuisine.  As with visiting any foreign country it is important to know some of the local culture, customs and possible risks involved with touring there. We offer just a few of our own China travel tips from experience and from the reports of other seasoned world travelers who have visited this sprawling mysterious land. Have a look; it might just save you a headache or two. Keep coming back as we will post more tips in the future!

1. BUYER BEWARE

“Refund Policy? We don’t need no stinking Refund Policy!”  Yes, that is pretty much the attitude in China on retail purchases. Make sure to inspect what you are buying before you pay, even if you get it, and it is broken or defective, it’s a different world here, and you won’t likely get a replacement or refund. Take your buyer’s remorse and go home lesson learned.

China is a very saturated marketplace, so competition is tough and bargains can be had on electronics. Keep in mind, though, that this isn’t your big box stores from home with Geek Squad reps on every aisle to help you. You better know what you are looking for, or you might wind up with a dud of a deal.

In China, the art of the deal is usually a ridiculous initial asking price till they haggle you down to what they expect you to pay. Don’t be that sucker that buys that item at a 500% markup. Know what stuff is worth before heading to the markets as foreigners are easy targets.

2. TOUR AROUND

If you want to see all China has to offer and catch the best sights. A tour group is your best bet to see some amazing things and also get a bit of an education as well. While you may see more on your own, you also risk the dangers and inconveniences that come with being a foreigner in a country you are unfamiliar with. Most tours in China feature English speaking guides and are structured and organized. But beware; skip the trinket shops the tours conveniently take you through, it’s usually a bunch of useless junk.

3. MAKE FRIENDS, ASSIMILATE

This is probably one of the most important China travel tips to remember as it goes a long way. It is considered good manners when foreigners attempt to adapt to the Chinese culture and speak or learn Mandarin. Even if it is something as simple as hello or goodbye, it goes a long way with the locals including workers, and merchants. It could work to your advantage as well, so bone up on your Mandarin before leaving for China.

4. EAT WITH THE LOCALS

If you are looking for authentic Chinese cuisine, skip the restaurants full of tourists. These are likely nothing more than a glorified Panda Express with fancy accouterments designed to entice tourists. These places modify authentic recipes to appeal to what they feel westerners eat. Many makeup recipes never even found in real Chinese cuisine.   Typically restaurants with a family style setting and many Chinese families dining and somewhat upscale décor, these will be your best bets for authentic cuisine.

5. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT OF CHINA TRAVEL TIPS

Get your passports and visas in order and ready way before your trip. You don’t need anything snagging your travel plans to a destination that is so far off and is also very closed off to the western world. If your passports and visas don’t line up, you could find yourself in a world of trouble. Play it safe and contact Fast Passports and Visas for yours and keep checking back for more China travel tips

Top 3 Underrated Sights In China

Over the last decade, China has made a conscious effort to increase international tourism in their vast country. Most of their efforts are to draw people to the modern areas of China and rebrand the country as a modern burgeoning economic powerhouse. Despite this modernization, China is still a very old country with ancient civilizations history visible everywhere. In this vast, mysterious country you will find an abundance of historic landmarks and ruins, lush landscapes and interesting markets. Given the size and scope of China, planning a trip there is quite a task. Of course there is the obvious Great Wall, Terracotta Army and Shanghai on everyone’s list. But what about the treasures that are often overlooked in China? We have highlighted our top three underrated places that you must add to your itinerary in China to help you begin planning after you get your passports.

Walk on Historic Ground In The Forbidden City

For a span of almost 500 years, The Forbidden City in Beijing was the imperial palace for both the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty. After Puyi, the last emperor of China was forcibly evicted in 1924; it was opened to the public as a national museum. Despite ascending at an incredible pace to become one of the most visited locations in the world; many western travelers accidentally overlook it. Possibly this is due to the extreme size of the city; there are over 900 buildings, you should pack a lunch and expect to spend the full day or more there.

Witness the Phenomenal Leshan Buddha

This giant Buddha statue was constructed in the 8th century in an attempt to calm the raging waters of a river by slowing its flow. The Leshan Buddha stands at a jaw-dropping 223 ft and is the largest sitting Buddha in the world. Because it is carved directly into the riverside cliffs, tourists can climb the carved stairs from the foot to the top of the statue cliff.

Hanging Temple

Just a day trip from Beijing, the Hanging Temple is not only one of China’s most impressive, but also one of the least visited by tourists. Maybe that is due to its daunting presence. The temple buildings are suspended over 100 feet in the air and are connected by wooden paths. To the unsuspecting tourist, this can be unnerving., but well worth the experience even if only for the magnificent views.

Ready To Jet Away To The Far East?

We hope to have inspired and motivated you to begin planning your journey to the exotic and mysterious ancient country of China. The historical value alone makes it a top entry on any bucket list and requires a lot of planning. Take the first step and get your passports in order quickly with Fast Passports and Visas.

 

Tips for International Travel

So you are thinking about travelling abroad for you next vacation but you don’t know where to start? Welcome to the hectic world of international travel, however, it doesn’t have to be so hectic. In fact, International travel can be quite a breeze once you get your feet wet and follow a few basic protocols. It’s actually quite an elite crowd to be in as only five percent of Americans travel abroad, so it’s understandable why it may seem so daunting at first sight.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

You are going to want to obtain a passport first. This process takes only a short time to complete and about four weeks to receive your passport. You can shorten this process significantly by using a specialized Passport service who can expedite this process. We highly recommend www.fastpassportsandvisas.com  for all your passport or visa needs. Fast Passports & Visas use the most reliable professionals to assist in this time sensitive task. With a firm commitment to performance, service and integrity, Fast Passports & Visas specializes in delivering your passport or visa to you in the timely fashion that your travel demands; it is the reason why they come with such high praise from us. Be very careful with your passport as it cannot be duplicated, however you can get extra copies of your passport photo and keep them with your passport in case you need them for additional visas or border checks.

Travel VISAS

This could actually have dual meanings as we always recommend bringing a few credit cards strictly for emergencies. However here, we are talking about travel visas. Most international destinations won’t require a visa to enter the country, but the oddballs that do can make it quite difficult. This is why you want to do this with plenty of lead time. It is really just a matter of gathering your documents sending them in and forking over the fee. Of course, this again is where our friends at Fast Passports & Visas come in handy. They will streamline and manage the entire process for you with minimal effort on your behalf.

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO

Once you get all boring documentation and legalities out of the way, then you get to the fun part. Choosing a destination or multiple destinations, if you’re going to splurge is the most enjoyable part of travel planning. It can go a lot more like you imagine it if you follow some basic pointers from veteran travelers.

  • Since driving laws and road rules vary greatly in different countries, try to avoid staying somewhere you have to rent a car. Not only can get it incredibly expensive, but also dangerous if you don’t even know which side of the road to drive on.
  • Make sure you have some metropolitan stops along the way, even if you are doing an outdoorsy or nature trip. This way you can fully experience the local cuisine, culture, language and the society.
  • Eat up! Pick a destination with good food that is not too “adventurous.” You don’t want to end up noshing on pickled horse brains and scotch eggs your entire trip, so do your research and remember Google is your friend.
  • Learn the tourist seasons for the locales you are considering and AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE. Travelling just out of season nets you the same attractions without the higher prices and crowds.

 

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN

That is all for now but come back to our blog for the continuation of this series as we prepare you to plunge into international travel.