Are you ready to ring in the Year of the Sheep (or Goat or Ram, depending on who you ask)? The second new moon after the winter solstice marks the beginning of the Spring Festival, otherwise known as Chinese New Year. In 2015, the celebrations run from February 19 to March 5, and Chinese people all over the world are making their way to visit friends and family for this most important holiday on the lunar calendar. Homes are swept clean for good luck, red lanterns are put up, colorful lion and dragon parades take place, firecrackers are set off, new clothes are worn, gifts are exchanged (often red envelopes of cash) and elaborate banquets are prepared. Whether you are Chinese or not, it can be fun to take part in these 5000 year old festivities – and you don’t necessarily have to go all the way to China to experience them. Here are the 10 best places to ring in Chinese New Year outside of China. Gung Hay Fat ChoiGung Hay Fat Choi (Happy New Year)! (Happy New Year)!
Day in and day out, most people don’t invest a lot of time thinking about how outdated cartography really is. When you hear that the map on which all our perceptions of the world are based on a technique finalized in 1569, it might not sound too concerning. After all, how hard can it be to translate real world measurements to a piece of paper. All you really need is time, patience, and a big enough ruler, right? As it happens, the science and art of cartography has seen some monumental changes in the last 450 years — and the result is that everything you thought you knew about the world’s map is probably wrong. Here’s why.
Depending on where you live, the winter months can be a bit of a drag. Sure, the first snowfall and the holidays are fun, but that cold, dreary weather can be hard to take for months at a time. Sometimes you just need to get away as a mid-season pick-me-up, and a winter cruise can be the perfect way to do it. Whether you’re looking for a warm weather thaw-out or a winter wonderland embrace, here are some regions to consider for a voyage this season.
Orlando is a mecca for family travelers looking for thrills, chills and spills in the major theme parks in the area. The many Disney, Universal and SeaWorld attractions there can easily fill more than a week or two’s vacation time, and some people never tire of them through repeated trips. They are “the” major draws to the area, but they’re not the only games in town. Don’t overlook Orlando’s other options for entertainment and recreation. Some are old-school, most have less line-ups, a few are educational, a couple are nature-loving, others are budget-friendly and several are even (gasp!) free. Take a break from lining Mickey’s pockets and consider a few of these other Orlando activities when in the area.
Peru’s capital is a sprawling metropolis with a population approaching 10 million. While it might not be a top-of-mind holiday destination, the tourist-friendly city offers plenty of historical and cultural attractions to entice you to stay a while. Unfortunately, most visitors to Peru spend as little time in Lima as possible, instead heading straight for the Andes or the Amazon after flying into Jorge Chávez airport. However, these 9 reasons to linger in Lima might make you think about extending your stay in this vibrant South American city.
Central America is the perfect destination to hop on a board and learn how to surf. Or, if you’re already an avid wave rider, there’s always room to improve your skills in a swell setting. The gorgeous beaches, amazing surf breaks and wide choice of surfing schools makes Central America the new hot spot to hit the breakers. Why not combine a vacation getaway with some surf instruction? From luxury boutique villas to all female surf camps to ones geared to the entire family, there are plenty of opportunities to learn and grow in this dynamic sport. The two most popular countries for surfing vacations are Costa Rica and Nicaragua, where sun, sand and surf dominate the conversations. Here are the 10 best surf camps in Central America where you can get on your board and experience the thrill of barreling through a wave.