Winter is well and truly here in the UK, which means long, dark nights and unpleasant weather conditions. Chances are, you're dreaming of being somewhere else, somewhere hotter, and somewhere that enjoys winter more than summer. Winter in Spain boasts much more bearable temperatures than the summer and is a hub of activity during the cooler months. There are surprising amount of events and things to do in Spain over winter, from active skiing adventures to cultural museum encounters, there is something for everyone.
Skiing is the ultimate winter activity. The snow, the warm cabins, and the hot drinks make for a cosy escape whilst you enjoy some of the beautiful scenery that Spain has to offer. You may not know it, but Spain has more mountains than any other country in Europe which, when it snows, make the ideal backdrop for this popular winter sport.
I'm not taking about a walk around the block; I'm talking about those bracing walks through breathtaking landscapes that really blow the cobwebs away. Spanish walking holidays are perfect for this time of year as you will meet less tourists along the way and can enjoy your surroundings without feeling unbearably hot.
Spain is home to artworks by some of the most famous artists of all time and there is no better time to explore these masterpieces than during the winter months. Tourists will be scarce so there will be no one blocking your view, and the indoor environment offers the perfect escape from those dreaded bad-weather days. Warm up whilst wandering amongst works by Picasso, Goya, Velaquez, Miro, and Dali.
In the summer, you might find yourself preoccupied doing outdoorsy activities and enjoying the warm temperatures so the cooler months provide the perfect opportunity for you to get your head down and learn Spanish in Spain. There's no better way to learn a language than by immersing yourself in the culture surrounding it and you'll be prepared for your next summer visit.
In summer, the locals often up and leave the cities in search of cooler places. This means that many restaurants, bars and shops are closed for much of the summer until their owners return. In winter, pretty much everything is open because, well, the temperature is much more bearable for the locals.
Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, is featured among the top most visited places in the world. With its glorious architecture, diverse culture and historical monuments, Kuala Lumpur is a perfect place to spend some time during the holidays. Furthermore, the city also boasts of numerous malls and stores and is considered to be a shopper's paradise.
Important Places to Visit:
Located adjacent to the Perdana Lake Gardens, the museum provides a glimpse in to Malaysia's history and culture. Built in 1963, it has several galleries featuring historical artifacts as well as representations of cultural activities like festivals and weddings.
Kuala Lumpur Tower
Kuala Lumpur Tower is one of the most recognized towers in the world and is seen as a symbol of the city since its inception in 1995. Reaching into the sky, the tower is used for communication purposes with a 421 meter long antenna at the top. It also has a revolving restaurant where visitors can enjoy a nice meal along with the magnificent view of the city below.
Merdeka Square (Independence Square) is probably one of the most significant places in the history of Malaysia. It was here that the Malaysian flag was hoisted for the first time, in August 31, 1957. Every year, on August 31, the square becomes the venue for the National Day parade (Merdeka Parade). What makes the square attractive for the visitors is the panoramic view of the old and new buildings in its vicinity. Many of the constructions like the Sultan Abdul Samad building were completed during the British era.
House of Parliament
The seat of the Malaysian democracy, the House of Parliament is located nearby the Lake Gardens. The main building is 3 stories tall and adjacent to it is a 17 story tower.
Crowded with locals and tourists alike, the Petaling Street is strewn with stores offering cheap clothes and accessories of which most of them are pirated. The area is also known for Malaysian street food with large number of small food stalls and restaurants lining the path. The street also offers a variety of budget hotels for the budget traveler.
Located only at a stone's throw away from the Petaling Market, the Central market is a haven for those who want to purchase items of handicrafts and art. Designed in a stall concept, the Central Market is an example of the traditional Malaysian markets. Different ethnic groups live and work in and around the area and all religious festivals are celebrated in a grand way here.
Kuala Lumpur has a diverse culture with people of different religions co-existing in harmony. Jamek Mosque and Sri Mahamariamman temple are two of the most prominent places of devotion that is worth a visit.
Shopping in Kuala Lumpur
Even the most reluctant shopper would become a shopaholic when in Kuala Lumpur. Apart from the Petaling Market and Central market, the city has 66 malls and many retail outlets. People from all over the world, especially from the Asian region, flock to Kuala Lumpur to shop for anything from clothes to electronic goods.
There’s plenty of accommodation for all kinds of budgets, including budget hotels and inexpensive serviced apartments in Kuala Lumpur.
John Chen is a travel writer currently located in Bangkok, Thailand.
A cup of tea is not just a cup of tea, depending on where you choose to sit and sip it can mean an entirely different experience. A cup of tea in a well placed cafe is the best way to take in a new country. People watching in between sips gives you the sorts of keen insights that make great blog posts and wonderful mental memento's. Take a tour around the world with us and find yourself a tea spot to visit.
Some may have mistaken India, and its spices, for the crown jewel of the British Empire, but we would argue that it was rather the tea of Sri Lanka that Britons valued more. The types grown in the central regions of the island nation are: Ceylon Black, Ceylon Green and the highly-prized Ceylon White. Production of the latter is limited to the hundreds of kilograms and is a rare pleasure. If you're ever lucky enough to get yourself a few leaves save them for a special occasion: a graduation tea date or a pre-wedding cup of tea. To explore the under appreciated central regions of Sri Lank visit Tea Trails.
The ritual of tea-drinking is an integral part of Japanese culture so you'll have to approach a tea date in Japan with a bit more formality than your average cafe date. Chanoyu (or sado) is the traditional ritual of preparing and drinking matcha - the powdered green tea favoured in the land of the rising sun. A proper tea ceremony takes up to four hours and involves a meal bracketed by two sessions of tea-drinking. Wherever you go in Japan you'll find a teahouse nearby, but for the in-depth experience Hotel Okura in Tokyo (other hotels offer a similar service) is the perfect place to sample this meditative exercise in tea-drinking.
You would think that the best liquid to combat the stifling heat of a Moroccan day would be cold, but locals will tell you that nothing beats a foaming cup of Toureg Tea - a type of mint tea. Like matcha above, preparing the drink is an event worth savouring almost as much as the tea itself. The routine involves two rounds of boiling, with tea leaves and then sugar, and ends with a long pour from the pot to give the tea its characteristic frothiness. Some like to put a tea leaf in their cup before drinking, but leaving it in too long will upset your stomach. Preparation of the tea is done by the head of the family, but in other settings anyone can prepare the tea. Visitors to Morocco looking for the luxury experience may want to stop in at The Repose - a luxury Moroccan hotel, with a lovely traditional riad (courtyard) for their afternoon tea's.