Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Are you interested in exploring the rich history and diverse culture of Myanmar but don't know where to start? When it comes to things you need to experience, we've got you covered!

1. Placing a gold leaf on Shwedagon Pagoda

Burmese tradition has all citizens buying gold leaf which is hand pounded over a thousand times and then affixing it to a pagoda out of respect for the Buddha. The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is the largest in the country and gleams a brilliant gold.

2. Alms to the monks

Get up in the early morning to witness a long line of orange-clad monks walk by collecting donations of food from their followers.

3. Sunrise over Bagan

Climb a temple and gaze at the horizon as thousands of ancient Pagodas and temples are illuminated by the rising sun. If you’re willing to splurge, experience this incredible event in a hot-air balloon.

4. Visit a local school

One of the most gratifying moments is to see the smiling faces of young Burmese children in their very simple school buildings. If you’re lucky they will sing a familiar tune which will make anyone’s eyelids go moist.

5. See the fisherman of Inle Lake

In an amazing feat of balance, these men stand on one leg while paddling their canoe with the other, casting a fish net at the same time.

6. Walk up Mandalay Hill

Not for the faint of heart, the xxx steps up to the glistening, colourful shrine at the top of the hill offers spectacular views over the city which is dotted with temples and pagodas. Important to note: You must go barefoot because the entire walk is a religious site.

7. Smoke a Burmese cigar

The Burmese have an adoration for their cigars as much as the Cubans do. Big note of difference, the local variety are very smooth, so much so that you can actually inhale them. Not that we advocate smoking, but at less than 5 cents each (at the non-tourist spots), it’s worth a try.
What's next on your bucket list? Whatever it is, let #CoreensTravels help you arrive.
www.coreen.thetravelagentntextdoor.com  @Coreenstravels  cdoucett@thetravelagentnextdoor.com
 #Myanmar  #Asia  #Travel  #Buddha #Shrine 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Antigua

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Antigua

Itching to travel to a new Caribbean island? While the Caribbean offers all-around stunning beaches and warm weather, each island is unique and has its own distinct personality. Allow us to introduce you to Antigua, a small island in the West Indies, in the Leeward Islands. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Antigua:
1) Antigua, meaning “ancient” in Spanish, was named by Christopher Columbus after an icon in Seville Cathedral called Santa Maria de la Antigua (St. Mary of the Old Cathedral).
2) Approximately 80,000 people inhabit the island, with over 31,000 people living in the capital city of St. John’s.
3) Antigua is home to 365 beaches, one for each day of the year.
Antigua Rendez-Vous Beach
4) Shirley Heights is where you can get one of the best views of Antigua. It is also the spot where party-goers converge every Sunday evening to witness a beautiful sunset, while enjoying the aromas of barbecue and moving to the soca, reggae and calypso beats of a live steel drum band.
Antigua Harbour
5) Stingray City, a popular site on the island, is home to – you guessed it – stingrays. Here you can swim with stingrays, feed them and learn about their natural habitat.
Stingray City
6) Goat water is one of the island’s specialty dishes. While its name may suggest otherwise, the dish is actually a thick, hearty stew made with mutton, cloves, cinnamon and hot peppers.
7) Ziplining through the jungle and mountain hiking are popular outdoor activities on the island.
8) Devil's Bridge is a natural bridge located in a remote area on the northeastern part of the island. Due to the harsh waters that surround the bridge, legend has it that it is home to the devil.
Devil's Bridge
9) Great Bird Island is a small islet situated 3 km from Antigua that measures only 20 acres (smaller than the average city park!) A variety of endangered species live here, including brown pelicans, red-billed tropicbirds, the Ameiva griswoldi lizard and the Antiguan racer (a type of snake).
10) Antigua Sailing Week is one of the top sailing events in the world and takes place every April at Nelson’s Dockyard in St. John’s. Even if you are no sailing expert, it is a great opportunity to see a variety of yachts and boats.  
Antigua Sailing
Think Antigua could be a contender for your next Caribbean escape? 
Contact me to book at  cdoucett@thetravelagentnextdoor.com  416-570-1918  or book directly on my web site @

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Hotel Scams to be aware of...

You arrive at your hotel and check in  at the front desk. Typically when
checking in, you give the front desk your credit card (for any charges
to your room).
You go to your room and settle in.   All is good.
The hotel receives a call and the caller asks for (as an example) room
620 - which happens to be  your room.
The phone rings in your room. You answer and the person on the other
end says the following: 'This is the front desk. When checking  in, we
came across a problem with your charge card information. Please re-read
me your credit card  numbers and verify the last 3 digits numbers at the
reverse side of  your charge card.'
Not thinking anything wrong, since the  call seems to come from the
front desk you oblige. But actually, it  is a scam by
someone calling from outside the hotel. They have asked for a random room
number, then ask you for your credit card and  address information.
They sound so professional, that you think you are talking to the front
If you ever encounter this scenario on your travels, tell the caller
that you will be down to the front desk to clear up any problems. Then,
go to the front desk or call directly and ask if there was a problem.
If there was none, inform the manager of the hotel that someone
tried to scam you of your credit card information, acting like a front desk
ANYONE travelling should be aware of  this one!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Great Britains' Best Views

National Parks Week 2014 runs from July 28 until August 3. To mark the annual event, insiders at 14 of Britain's national parks have revealed their favourite views
Peak District
"You get unforgettable views from skyline ridge walks at Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill." - Carol Parsons (read their complete guide here).
Find out more about National Parks Week at www.nationalparks.gov.uk/visiting/national-parks-week-2014

Yorkshire Dales
"Malham Cove from above the village of Kirkby Malham. You drive from Settle over the hill tops and, just as you start to drop down, a view of this vast natural limestone amphitheatre opens up. It just completely surprises you as you don’t expect to see a cliff like that in the middle of the meadows and pastures. It catches me out every time." - Cat Kilner (read their complete guide here).

The Lake District
"We are spoilt for choice for fantastic views and my favourite is of Mickleden, at the head of Great Langdale, from the top of Side Pike. This takes in the great mountain vista of the Langdale Pikes, Bowfell, the Crinkle Crags and Pike of Blisco." - John Hodgson (read their complete guide here).

"The view from Bellever Tor, across Postbridge and up the East Dart valley, takes in many elements of Dartmoor’s scenery, a combination of tors, open moorland, the steep-sided river valley and woodland." - Mike Nendick (read their complete guide here).

The South Downs
"The spectacular view of the Seven Sisters cliffs from Seaford Head is probably the most famous; it’s allegedly one of the most popular screen savers in Japan and people come from all over the world to see it. But I prefer the views of rolling weald farmland from Harting Down in West Sussex." - Allison Thorpe (read their complete guide here).

Brecon Beacons
"If I had to pick just one place, it would have to be from Mynydd Illtud Common close to the village of Libanus. On a clear day you can see the four main hill ranges that make up the park and the view is dominated by Pen y Fan, the highest point in the National Park at 886m." - Jon Pimm (read their complete guide here).

The Cairngorms
"The 360-degree vista from the summit of Ben Macdui is a just reward for those adventurous enough to make the ascent. Ben Macdui is Britain’s second highest summit at 1,309 metres, and lies at the southern edge of the CairnGorm plateau right at the heart of the park. From this isolated vantage point, you really appreciate the unspoilt wilderness." - Mike Dennison (read their complete guide here).

"Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor. There one can appreciate the mix of forest, moor and farmland, with glimpses of the coastline and, on a sunny day, the sea sparkling in the Bristol Channel." - Dr David Brabban (read their complete guide here).

"I love the view of the Coquet Valley from Dove Crag on the Simonside Ridge, with fascinating sandstone formations in the foreground, giving way to impressive views of the Cheviots across the valley." - Gill Thompson (read their complete guide here).

The Broads
"Some of the best views are being immersed in the Halvergate marshes, particularly around the RSPB reserve at Berney Marshes. Apart from all the big skies we get in the Broads, I can’t get enough of the magic of being within the middle of a whispering reedbed that towers over my head in the summer or a still wet woodland filled with the sounds of small birds searching for a meal." - Andrea Kelly (read their complete guide here).

"Foel Drygarn, an Iron Age hill fort in the Preseli Hills." - Pete Crane (read their complete guide here).
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
"The view of Arrochar Alps from East Loch Arklet is amazing. There is also a good chance of being in the company of Black Grouse, Osprey or even Golden Eagle." - Craig Walker (read their complete guide here).

North York Moors
"Nothing beats the ever-changing view from Blakey Rigg on my drive back home – whether it’s low-lying fog in the valley or sunlight breaking through the clouds onto the moors. Sometimes I just stop the car, take in the view and let time stand still for a moment." - Sally Ann Smith (read their complete guide here).

The New Forest
"Among the ancient trees that have made the New Forest their home. We have over 1,500 ancient or veteran trees in the New Forest, some of which may be over 1,000 years old." - Gillie Hayball (read their complete guide here).
Find out more about National Parks Week at www.nationalparks.gov.uk/visiting/national-parks-week-2014

There is more to Great Britain than Big Ben....
Let #Coreenstravels help you arrive 416 570 1918 or cdoucett@thetravelagentnextdoor.com
@CoreensTravels   www.coreen.thetravelagentnextdoor.com
  Certified & Insured Travel Consultant.