Monday, October 31, 2016

The Latest News From The Dominican Republic #GoDomRep


  • Dominican Airline Announces U.S. Expansion | Pawa Dominicana announced daily flights from Santo Domingo-Miami will start Nov. 16. Pawa Dominicana is the first commercial Dominican airline offered in the U.S. in over 20 years and will soon offer flights in New York.
  • Cap Cana Marina to Become New Cruise Port | The Cap Cana Marina will start accepting cruises Dec. 8 for its first cruise season, with majority of incoming cruises classifying as luxury vessels. This new port is part of Dominican Republic’s goal to achieve 10 million tourists by 2022.
  • New Luxury Complex Planned for Puerto Plata | Foreign investors announced a $1 billion investment for the Punta Alma project, a new luxury complex in Puerto Plata. The development will include a hotel, spa, golf course, villas, apartments and a marina.
  • Marine Mammal Sanctuary Celebrates 30 Years The Dominican Republic Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Marine Mammal Sanctuary, located off the coast of Samaná. The sanctuary protects the habitat of thousands of humpback whales who come to the area’s warm waters each year for mating season.
  • Merengue and Caribbean Rhythms Festival Takes on Two Cities | The 2016 Merengue and Caribbean Rhythms Festival will be held Nov. 5-6 in Santo Domingo and Nov. 12-13 in Puerto Plata to celebrate Caribbean rhythms like, merengue, salsa and urban music.
     Explore upcoming events in Dominican Republic:

Top Travelore Tips for Solo Travelers

1. Learn the Culture
Dressing like the locals isn’t a bad idea, but it should be less about blending in and more about understanding cultural norms so you can avoid wearing things that will offend other people. Also, knowing important phrases in the local language and any common etiquette rules or embarrassing faux pas is crucial before visiting a new place. By finding out cultural norms before you go you make it easier to interact with locals and have a richer cultural experience.

2. Know Your Neighborhoods
Nearly every city has areas that can be considered dangerous, but that doesn’t mean solo travelers need to stick only to "safe" tourist zones. Finding out which neighborhoods are relatively safe and which are not means you can explore a city confidently. Asking locals is the best way to learn what parts of town you can feel comfortable walking around solo and which you should take more precautions. People living in the city walk these streets every day and will know about neighborhoods in transition or what areas are like at different times of day and different times of the year.

3. Know Your Transportation Options
Write them down or have them easily accessible on your phone. Familiarize yourself with route maps and schedules so you can have spontaneous adventures. Knowing when the trains stop running in the city you’re visiting or what the best bus route is back to your hotel gives you piece of mind when you’re out without having to plan every minute of your trip. Plus, if you’re not feeling well or find yourself in a part of town you feel uncomfortable, you’ll know how to quickly and safely get out.

Also, finding out which forms of transportation are safest and most reliable ahead of time (in some cities it might be cabs, while others a bus is a better way to go) means you’re not scrambling when you’re too far away (or too tipsy) to walk back to your hotel.

4. Meet Locals
Meeting locals and forming connections makes travel so much more rich and rewarding. My most memorable travel experiences come from meeting locals and seeing a destination through their eyes. It’s also been extremely helpful in keeping me safe. Locals usually know the most about what areas to visit, the customs you should know, and the best ways to get around.

5. Trust Your Gut
If a situation feels sketchy, trust your instincts and get out of there. Travel should be about trying new experiences and getting out of your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean you should throw all caution to the wind.

Do you have tips you’ve learned from traveling solo? We want to hear them! Share your advice in the comments below.

About the Author
Evan Hung is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zipskee, a social-discovery platform that connects travelers and locals around the world. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University and has experience in eCommerce, brand strategy, and business development. Zipskee was founded in 2015 on the belief that people make the culture, and connecting with culture is the best part of traveling. The platform can be used to share recommendations, arrange meet ups, and experience the real side of a destination that you can only get when meeting locals — Zipskee’s mission is to make it easy to make friends wherever you go. In Evan’s spare time, he can be found teaching hip-hop dance, playing music, and traveling the world.

To learn more about Zipskee, please visit

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Best Things To Do In Paris During Christmas

Every year during Christmas, Paris welcomes visitors from all around the world: tourists, families, businesses and Parisians themselves exalt in admiration of the city’s beauty and wonders. The city of romance is transformed into a fairytale town, and takes you to magical places that you would never dream of… its traditional and popular Christmas markets, shops, luxury boutiques, cafés, restaurants, museums, galleries, artists, food, cuisine and wines. Below are some of the highlights of Paris during Christmas, whether it’s day or night…
Champs Elysées and its illuminations
L’avenue de Champs Elysées during Christmas is the most spectacular place to visit, the largest avenue in the world, decorated with more than 800,000 LED lamps and 400 glowing trees. The magic usually starts around mid-November until the beginning of January each year. Les avenues Montaigne and Faubourg Saint Honoré are also adorned in the most beautiful way, giving the shine and brightness of a thousand flames dazzling in a sweet and subtle display – so magical in every sense.
The famous avenue Montmartre and La Place du Tertre will also have Christmas displays and, walking on the left bank of Paris, you will also enjoy Christmas delights especially around Le boulevard Saint-Germain, located between art galleries and luxury boutiques, and the so renowned jewellery square, La Place Vendome, which offers marvellous Christmas illuminations. The shops and Le Ritz Palace (re-opened in July 2016) is also beautifully decorated. Last but not the least, the Iron lady of Paris, La Tour Eiffel will be dressed up with striking lights sparkling every hour in the evening.
Christmas markets in Paris
The concept was born in Alsace, in the east of France, in the 1990s; the Christmas markets have since spread throughout Europe and have now become an essential festive event of the Christmas season in Paris. The markets are on the four corners of the capital, from La Gare de l’Est to L’avenue de Champs-Elysees going all the way to La Défense, on the west side of Paris; the journey is an absolute pleasure, especially if you love walking! La Défense Christmas Market is the largest in the region with more than 350 wooden chalets offer an amazing variety of Christmas handcrafted products and French gourmet specialities. Then comes Champs Elysées Christmas Market – with more than 200 wooden chalets, it is the most visited of all the Christmas markets in the city.
The markets extend from La Place de la Concorde to Champs Elysees roundabout – the famous and dangerous driving place. You can also continue your walk from the Saint-Germain Des Pres area where you will also find charming Christmas markets offering about 30 small chalets. It is the smallest Christmas market in Paris but it is lovely; its little stands offer traditional handicrafts and =local products. On the other side of the Eiffel Tower, Le Jardin de Trocadero hosts many wooden chalets, offering a wide selection of gifts and decorations for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. Paris at Christmas is breathtaking; however, you must really experience the markets during the evenings when the modern surrounding buildings, houses and candles are blowing lights everywhere, and Christmas trees are all over the streets of the city, illuminating unique spirited settings.
Fun Christmas activities
Around La Tour Eiffel, there are always ice staking rinks all over the place; do not miss out on the experience of holding hands and swinging around like a professional ice skater, taking part in one of several activities offered by the local association Trocadero on Ice event. If you miss this one, there are always other opportunities but don’t miss the ice staking rink experience in Paris. The second most ephemeral ice skating rink ever created in France is in a magical place – inside Le Grand Palais, in the heart of its sumptuous nave. One of the funniest attractions of the Christmas period in Paris is riding on the Big Wheel of the Concorde Square – down the Champs Elysées – try it! At 70 meters high, it dominates the elegant Place de la Concorde, and brightens up as soon as the night falls, offering a stunning view of the city. Over the years, it has become a must-see attraction for Parisians and tourists alike. What would be the Christmas holidays in Paris without its animated windows?
This event is the rendezvous for young and old people, no matter their age group; they all enjoy the spirit and magic of Christmas, the windows shopping or decorations. The most eagerly anticipated displays are those of Les Galleries Lafayette, Printemps on Boulevard Haussman and Bon Marché. Each year each window competes for creativity and imagination, the question always being which is the most exceptional window? Come, see, judge and give your verdict – there is a new theme year after year, and this is of course without forgetting the huge Christmas tree that sits and smiles at you as soon as you enter a boutique or shop.
While you stroll, do not miss the wonderful Parisian cribs in the most magnificent churches of Paris. In every church of the city, whether it is an Orthodox, Catholic and/or Protestant, there is one crib beautifully prepared by artists and amateurs, in life size or a small version. This allegorical and poetic scene is animated and drawn from local lives and even revisited by some contemporary artists. The famous Notre Dame de Paris, L’Eglise de la Madeleine, L’Eglise Bonne Nouvelle and La Basilique du Sacrée Coeur welcome new crib creations. Whether traditional, Baroque or modern, they are pieces of art attracting many visitors every year, and each of the churches organises concerts and entertainments for children and adults throughout the holidays.
Between the Paris illuminations, the Christmas markets, the giant ice staking rinks, the churches, monuments and so on you will find enough attractions and activities to fill all your Christmas desires. Every single element assures you of a magical and memorable moment with your family, friends or just the two of you.
Zakary Chanou is Managing Director at Ultimate Guide Paris.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The 30 Best Cities For Foodies Around The World

Taipei dessertsTaipei, Taiwan, has some of the world's best street-food markets.Flickr/LWYang
One of the best parts about traveling is getting the chance to indulge in regional delicacies from around the world.

We combed through a recent Quora thread on the top cities for foodies and pulled out the very best of them, where you'll find everything from high-end Michelin-starred restaurants to scrumptious street food.
From Mexico City to Tel Aviv, here are 30 cities that all foodies should cross off their bucket list. 

BANGKOK: Endless street stalls can be found with familiar dishes like pad thai, which Thip Samai on Mahachai Road is known for. In the last few years, there have also been a growing number of pop-up restaurants, where chefs organize set dinners at fixed prices based on various themes.

BARCELONA: You can help yourself to an abundance of cured pork, Serrano ham, and cold cuts from inland Catalonia, but you could also get fresh fish from the Mediterranean Sea. Sample traditional Catalan cooking in areas like the Barri Gòtic quarter, indulge in tapas at popular stops like Cal Pep, and explore the Boqueria market for stalls of fresh produce and treats.

BOLOGNA: Head to the city that invented Tagliatelle al Ragu, which consists of ribbons of pasta smothered in a hearty meat sauce. Wander through the family-owned artisan shops in Quadrilatero, or taste a variety of fresh cheese and mortadella at the Mercato di Mezzo market.

BRUGES: From succulent plates of mussels and crisp french fries to fluffy waffles and delectable chocolate, Bruges is a food paradise waiting to be explored. Head to the Chocolate Line, where chef Dominique Person uses everything from wasabi and guacamole to chicken and oysters in his chocolates.

BUENOS AIRES: In Buenos Aires, you can indulge in juicy grass-fed steaks, multi-course chef's tasting menus, and quality wines for under $30. Its parrilladas (grills) are famous for their tender steaks and meats, but Buenos Aires is also home to a large underground food scene where high-end chefs prepare meals for diners in their homes.

CHARLESTON: With plenty of top-notch restaurants that serve locally-sourced dishes, Charleston is a haven for food lovers. Examples include Husk, where chef Sean Brock's motto is, "If it doesn't come from the South, it's not coming through the door," and Fig, where minimal preparation is used to show off ingredients like black bass and fresh flounder.

CHICAGO: Chicago may be the home of deep dish pizza and has fabulous varieties to offer at spots like Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, but it’s also got plenty of other delicious dishes to offer. The city is home to an impressive BBQ scene and hosts high-end restaurants like Acadia, where dishes like pork belly or golden snapper are served in playful presentations.

ENSENADA: The Ensenada market made waves with its fish tacos when it opened in 1958, and the dish remained one of the area's most famed bites. Today you'll find stands all around the Mexican city, serving up the iconic combination of fried fish and shrimp smothered in mayo, salsa, and fresh cabbage.

GEORGE TOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA: Penang is home to a mix of traditional Malay, Chinese, and Indian dishes with cooking methods that date back hundreds of years. Its hawker centers in George Town are filled with tasty fried treats and delectable varieties of soups that range from pork and duck with anise to mackerel-chili soup.

HO CHI MINH CITY: The southern Vietnamese city is famous for its delectable varieties of bánh mì — a French-inspired sandwich consisting of a baguette filled with meats and topped with fresh vegetables, daikon and carrot pickles, cilantro, and various sauces. Head to Banh Mi Huynh Hoa to sample one before trying the extensive menu at Cuc Gach Quan, which is located in a French colonial home.

HONG KONG: Popular foods here include dim sum, roasted meats (like goose), and seafood varieties like soft-shell crab. Head to a traditional cha chaan teng restaurant for a cup of milk tea — black tea served with creamy milk — and a pineapple bun — a roll-like bun topped with a sweet and crusty pastry.

LIMA: This Peruvian city is home to a wildly diverse food scene, with dishes that include causas — mashed potatoes stuffed with various delectable fillings — and Conchitas a la Parmesana — fresh scallops topped with melted Parmesan and lime. A must-try here is the ceviche, which includes incredibly fresh fish marinated in a mix of salt, red onions, chili peppers, and lime juice.

LOS ANGELES: This is where chef Roy Choi started the Kogi food truck, which marked the beginning of a thriving food-truck scene in the city. LA offers everything from fresh seafood choices on the pier of Venice Beach to posh restaurants and top-notch Mexican, Korean, and sushi, courtesy of its diverse population.

LYON: According to The Guardian, Lyon has been the gastronomic capital of France and of the world for the past 76 years. In Lyon, you'll find eclectic dishes such as pig's brain dressed in pork vinaigrette, and quaint markets like the Quai Saint-Antoine and the Les Halles de Paul Bocuse.

MARRAKESH: This Moroccan city combines the flavors of France, Africa, and the Middle East to offer food stalls where you can taste on-the-go bites such as kefta (Moroccan meatballs) and merguez (spicy sausages) in the day. At night, dine at stunning restaurants like Dar Moha, set in Pierre Balmain's former residence.

MEXICO CITY: Mexico City is famous for its street food, especially when it comes to tacos al pastor — thin slices of pork that are shaved onto tortillas before being topped with onions, cilantro, pineapple, and salsa. Besides the street eats, the city is also home to creative chefs pushing the boundaries at restaurants like Pujol, where everything from flying ants and suckling pig are used for dishes.

NEW ORLEANS: New Orleans is known for its delectable Creole dishes. Try a po boy sandwich, sample a fresh hot beignet at Cafe du Monde, or head to one of the oldest restaurants in America, Antoine's, where oysters Rockefeller were invented.

NEW YORK CITY: Here you'll find one of the most diverse food scenes in the world: there's everything from Italian and French to Afghan and Tibetan cuisine. Try one of its many Michelin-starred restaurants, grab a hot dog or halal platter from a street vendor, or check out one of its food markets, like Smorgasburg.

PARIS: Weekend markets like the Bastille market and the Place Monge Market bring in an array of authentic French cheese and sweets to taste. Head to one of the brasseries outside of the tourist centers for traditional dishes like quiche and coq au vin, or indulge in one of the city's many acclaimed restaurants like L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon.

PORTLAND: This Pacific Northwest city is known for its thriving food-truck scene. Some tasty options include Pok Pok, where you can sink your teeth into some of the most succulent chicken wings; Bunk Sandwiches, where you can get a flavor-filled pork belly Cuban sandwich, and Miss Kate's Southern Kitchen, where you'll find delectable southern dishes.

SAN DIEGO: San Diego is one of the top places for Mexican food in the US. Head to Lucha Libre and try the Surfing California burrito, which is filled with grilled steak, shrimp, fresh french fries, avocado, pico de gallo, cheese, and chipotle sauce. It once made an appearance on "Man vs. Food."

The city by the bay is home to a plethora of dining destinations, like the three-Michelin-starred restaurants Benu and Saison. The city also has tasty cheap eats at spots like the Ferry Building Marketplace, where vendors offer everything from wild mushrooms to freshly cured salamis.

SAN SEBASTIAN: Besides its trio of restaurants with three Michelin stars, the Spanish coastal destination is known for its markets, its Basque-style tapas, and its cutting-edge dishes such as foie gras with figs.

SÃO PAULO: São Paulo has long had a tradition of outstanding cuisine, but over the years it has also been fusing the traditions of Italian, Japanese, and Lebanese populations with those of Brazil. Bar do Mané — a market hall hosting one of the city's largest produce and food markets — is best known for its epic-size sandwiches of grilled mortadella and melted cheese.

SÃO PAULO: São Paulo has long had a tradition of outstanding cuisine, but over the years it has also been fusing the traditions of Italian, Japanese, and Lebanese populations with those of Brazil. Bar do Mané — a market hall hosting one of the city's largest produce and food markets — is best known for its epic-size sandwiches of grilled mortadella and melted cheese.
A sandwich from Bar do Mane in São Paulo.Facebook/Bar do Mané
Source: Food and Wine

SEATTLE: Start off by heading to one of Seattle's prized food markets, like Pike Place Market, before wandering over to Pioneer Square for fresh oysters. Afterwards, grab some prime coffee and warm biscuits at the specialty market at London Plane, or catch a late-night coffee with a movie screening at Zeitgeist.

Source: Travel + Leisure 

SINGAPORE: Hawker centers abound with cheap eats that are beloved by famous foodies like Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay. Try iconic Singaporean dishes like chicken rice, chili crab, and char kway teow.

SYDNEY: Sample regional meats such as crocodile and kangaroo grilled to perfection, try the city's bountiful seafood at the Sydney Fish Market, and sample the growing array of Malaysian cuisine at places like Mamak.

TAIPEI: According to The Guardian, Taiwan is the world's best destination for street-food markets, and Taipei is where some of the best reside. Here you'll find night markets that abound with everything from candied fruit to popcorn chicken. The area's desserts are particularly special, with delicacies that include squid-ink bread and breads made with a pineapple crust.

Source: The Guardian

TEL AVIV: In Tel Aviv, most eateries are farm-to-table with locally grown, fresh produce and vegetables. The city also has a unique cafe culture, where it's not uncommon to sit in an open-air restaurant for long hours while you sample bowls of salads, fresh vegetables, pickled onions, and roasted red peppers all before indulging in your main entrée.

TOKYO: Home to more than 200 Michelin-starred restaurants, Tokyo is a go-to destination for those in search of prime fine dining. While there, be sure to sample some of the best sushi in the world at Sukiyabashi Jiro, the famed sushi restaurant from the documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."