Trip to Bansko, Bulgaria – part 1

Here is the first part of several postings about some interesting places to visit in Bulgaria. This Eastern European country is a good place to visit and enjoy both winter (skiing, hiking) and summer (hikinig, swimming) activities. This summer my family and I had a good visit to several nice resourts in Bulgaria and this is a quick write up about it.

Bansko is located in the Southwest part of Bulgaria Continue reading Trip to Bansko, Bulgaria – part 1

Travel to China and Ways to Maximize Your Time

Recently I was asked for some suggestion as to maximizing your time spent in China while on a business trip. The person who contacted me asked for best ways to use a few days prior to business in Canton (Guangzhou). Here is what I suggested for his trip:

Since you are flying to Beijing first, you will actually have time to see quite a few things before you head to Canton (Guangzhou). Book a hotel in Beijing – near downtown – look for hotels near Wangfujing street (one of the main shopping streets). In the back streets off Wangfujing you will find many hotels that are acceptable accomodations wise and have good prices. Continue reading Travel to China and Ways to Maximize Your Time

Starting information flow about Bulgaria as well

It is time to write a bit about my experiences (over the years) of visiting European destinations and especially Bulgaria. I have my connections with that country — I actually grew up there and left in 1987.

So, I will now start to include information on Bulgaria as well in my blog, plus add also entries about some other countries in the region — e.g. Macedonia, Greece. Continue reading Starting information flow about Bulgaria as well

Using ATMs and Mobile Phones if you travel to China

I have come across some travel sites lately that give suggestions that are not exactly quite acurate — there were a number of posts on those sites that suggested that ATMs are difficult to find or not to be used if you travel to China. So I decided to post some information that should help you in case you are visiting Beijing for example:

ATMs — they are actually widely available in the big cities in China. I can find plenty of ATM machines that accept foreign (US) ATM cards and can be a good source for local currency for both a traveller and also a resident in China. I lived in Beijing until end of August 2006, and have also traveled and lived in several places in China…and have been able to use ATM cards (both Chinese and US ones) in most places.

Places like Holiday Inn Lidu hotel in DaShangZi area in Beijing, China World area in ChaoYang district in Beijing, WnagFuJing area in Beijing, among others have many ATM machines — e.g. HSBC (Bank), that accept foreign ATM cards.

Telephone — I would strongly advise your customers to get an unlocked tri-band (multi-band) mobile phone from the States and buy a local SIM card as soon as they arrive in China. The cards are prepaid — e.g. RMB100 will get them quite a bit of talk time and at lower cost than the hotel IDD service….

More Airline Deals

United Airlines is offering up to 25,000 bonus miles for qualified round trips on United, Ted, and United Express. Apparently you need to complete the flights between November 10, 2006 and January 31, 2007. Here is the link.

United is also offering deals to Hawaii from many US cities. Rates could be as low as US$340 round trip (plus taxes and fees) and you may qualify for bonus miles. Here is the link (you need to buy by Nov. 22, 2006).

You can also register with United for on-line holiday shopping and earn 2-3 miles per $1 spent with a number of on-line merchants. If you have United Mileage Plus go to the United Web site, register and then can leverage the on-line shopping. For those who were not aware, Air China is now partner of United Continue reading More Airline Deals

Sanya and Hainan Island

Travel Sanya and Hainan Island

Travel to Sanya and Hainan island to experience the tropical regions of China.  Here is a brief on the region.

Well holidays are approaching and so is the cold weather in Beijing. So it is time to think about an escape to the tropics… Sounds exotic, right 🙂 If you are spending any prolonged period of time in China in the winter you might want to consider a trip to Hainan Island and Sanya, located on the southern tip of the island.

Map of China Haina Island

Here is a map of China I picked up somewhere on the Web. You can see Hainan in the southern part (lower portion of the map) of China. Then here is a map of Hainan Island I picked up from the China Economic Review Web site (

Visiting Sanya is very nice. My first trip there was in the late 1980s.  (I will publish some photos from that time on my Photo Album pages soon).  Today Sanya is amazing.  See for yourself!

Continue reading Sanya and Hainan Island