Much like its neighbor to the north, Belize, Honduras has a natural beauty and laid back lifestyle that makes it very appealing to travelers. Unfortunately, its restless political history and underdeveloped infrastructure keep most tourists away. The country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch, which hit in October of 1998, but relief efforts have helped renew the tourist interest in this rough but enticing country.
The Sandinista revolution is perhaps what most people think about when they think of Nicaragua. But as with so many other Central American countries, Nicaragua is a place rich with culture, sites, and opportunity for tourists. With the help of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the country has been trying to recover … Continue reading Nicaragua
For more than 50 years Burma (Myanmar) has been ruled mainly by dictators, rebel groups, and by people connected to the drug trade. Because of this, democracy has had a tough time finding a foothold in its society; those who try to introduce it are often faced with brutality and harsh punishment from the government. … Continue reading Burma (a.k.a. Myanmar)
Turkey is truly the meeting place of Europe and the Middle East. Although, generally, Turkey is considered a middle eastern country, its main hub Istanbul has a European feel with old world charm. This bustling city is a doorway into a country that has two distinct sides.
Cross the Rio Grande heading south and you’ll enter the United States’ southern neighbor Mexico. Mexico is a land of many contrasts, from the northern desert to the rainforests of Chiapas, and everything in between. This is a country filled with history and culture–one look at the Mayan ruins is testament to that–but it is also rife with isolated beaches, towering volcanoes, and glitzy resorts in places like Acapulco and Cancun. Whatever your passion, you’ll likely find it in Mexico.
Since 2500 B.C., the cultures that grew into the modern state of India have been involved in a wild dance of religion and politics that make the India of today one of the most colorful, culturally rich, hyperintense, and interesting places in the world. The culture, politics, and economic effects can run to such extremes, in fact, that tourists have often been divided in to “love” and “hate” groups when it comes to appreciating all India has to offer, in relation to the trials one must at times undergo to enjoy it.
When the British withdrew from the Gulf in 1971, a group of seven shaikhdoms from the area united to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE has been growing as trading and travel destination, with its mountains, beaches, and deserts, and its welcoming attitude toward Westerners, as well as Easterners. The UAE is known for its dichotomous lifestyle: on the one hand, there are soaring skyscapers with all of the world’s biggest banks represented and bustling shopping malls around every corner, on the other hand there’s plenty of shopping to be done in traditional Bedouin markets (or souks) and traditional cultural activities such as camel racing–legacies of the days before the boom. But while the UAE is considered one of the safest places to travel in the region, it is advised that you steer clear of political gatherings or demonstrations.
While Indonesia’s spectacular beaches, natural resources, and laid-back lifestyle have attracted tourists, missionaries, and businesses for generations, recent political and religiously motivated events make much of the archipelago dangerous for Western tourists.
Mongolia is one of the world’s most untamed countries. This exotic land may be considered the last frontier in Asia, and despite a history that includes such all-powerful warlords and diplomats as Ghengis and Kublai Khan–roving horsemen who’s bands of warrior-statesmen were responsible for unifying the largest empire in history–it seems amazing this country has kept it’s independence, existing between such giants as China and Russia. But Mongolia survives, through harsh winters, a serious lack of infrastructure, and few natural resources… In Mongolia, you are nothing if not a survivor.