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The most spiritually interesting places to visit

We’re here to suggest you do something with your vacations that you might not have previously considered in your pursuit of hedonism under the sun. We’re here to suggest you visit the world’s most spiritually interesting places.

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Heading to a country because you’re interested in it’s beaches and food is a pretty positive outlook on tourism. It could be considered quite limited, however. If you’re not used to traveling to a culture in order to sample it’s locations of spiritual interest, then boy do we have the article for you. We’re here to suggest you do something with your vacations that you might not have previously considered in your pursuit of hedonism under the sun. We’re here to suggest you visit the world’s most spiritually interesting places.

IMAGE SOURCE: Pexels

No matter you religious belief or lack thereof, you can glean some immense value out of doing this. You might feel that religion is a sham for the masses, and one of the biggest mistakes of human civilization. That doesn’t lessen the emotional truth and passion it takes for someone to hand craft a temple in centuries old. To disregard the pure emotion and love behind that effort is to lose out on experiencing something culturally significant. We’re not here to make a state on anyone’s religious preferences, of course everyone is free to believe what they do or do not wish, and the world is healthier as a result of that free choice.

However, we’d argue that visiting these spiritually interesting places the following article will explore can lend you some wonderful insight and interest regarding your general human experience. It can certainly culturally enrich you. Seeing religious iconography, architecture and cultural celebrations often informs you of the best of a people. Again, you needn’t agree with the beliefs, but marveling at the artistic integrity of some of these places is a universal allowance.

After all, even the most devout atheist would have a hard time looking up at the Sistine Chapel and not being floored with its beauty.

Vatican City

Vatican City, known the world over for being the home of the Catholic Pope, is one of the most beautiful places in modern Europe. A place of cultural, religious and historical significance, the Vatican City has stood since the fourth century AD. Rumored to be located above the tomb of St Peter, the Vatican City also takes pride in being named the smallest country in the world. Despite common perception, the Popes only began living in the Vatican during the 14th century, and not before.

The Vatican City boasts a citizenship of around 600 clergy members, but most live overseas in religious diplomatic positions around the world. If you’re in the area, visiting the Vatican is one of the must-dos of your Italian tourist checklist. Over five million tourists visit the Vatican each year, but that doesn’t cheapen the experience one bit. Home to the beautiful and aforementioned Sistine Chapel, featuring famous and world-known artwork by Michelangelo (no, no the ninja turtle,) this place serves as a real place of reverence and pure spectacle.

It’s hard not to enter the hallowed halls of this beautiful construction and not marvel at the power of belief which permeates its halls. Think of the last time you entered your holy place, be that a Church, Synagogue, Mosque or other. Times this by a thousand when entering what many consider to be the hub of their religion, and you’ll understand just how much power this place wields, both artistically and spiritually.

Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, especially from a cultural perspective. It’s home to the Malay, Indian and Chinese people, meaning that a blend of all religious beliefs make their way here. The culture is populated with both intricate and wonderful mosques, jaw-dropping Buddhist temples as well as incredible statues of the Buddha. While Island is the official religion of the state here, Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism and Hinduism make their nest here also.

This allows for a great amount of cultural and spiritual diversity, and for the most part (unlike other places,) each religion is tolerant of the other in this country. The constitution of the country allows for freedom of religious expression. This country delivers that in droves. From Buddhist monks to Muslim elders, this country boasts some of the most variant wisdom to be found in the East.

This diversity makes the country so interesting to occupy. Not only is the food, populace and history so rich and interesting, but the peace that these religions preach and practice with one another do a lot for the moral backbone of the country. In fact, an extended stay here soaking in the variant spiritual disciplines on show will lead you to desire reading the complete guide to obtaining a mortgage loan for property in Malaysia.

We’d recommend checking out the Batu Caves in Selangor, as one of the most amazing and recently built Hindu temples is chiseled into the rock. It’s a truly unique and sheltered religious arena, one which demands exploration and slow study of it’s beautiful structural embossing. We’d also recommend seeing the Jamek Mosque in nowhere other than Kuala Lumpur, as it serves as one of the largest and most prominent mosques in the country. Despite being built by the British in an effort to expand the cultural and religious significance of the then small city, it retains its architectural authenticity and still serves as the primary hub of worship for many Malay muslims to this day.

Camino De Santiago

Popularized by Martin Sheen’s movie ‘The Way,’ the Camino de Santiago serves as one of the longest standing pilgrimage routes in the world. Also known as  ‘The Way of Saint James,’ this Spanish route of pilgrimage leads to the eventual shrine of Saint James the Great in the Santiago de Compostela – situated in Galicia. This route is a popular route to walk for those searching for quiet and meditative spiritual reflection, and serves as a wonderful activity to experience.

Excellent hostels and hotels line this walk now, but so do beautiful, historical building converted into hospitality points for travelers. Restaurants, cafes and incredible camping spots line this way, but it’s important to respect the significance of this route if traveling it and practice the same quiet respect afforded to you if walking it.

This significance is hard to understate. In the middle ages, this route served as one of the most important and discussed pilgrimage routes in the world. You can gain a modern day certificate for completing this route yourself, but in order to gain your certificate you need to walk a minimum distance of 100 kilometers into Santiago from the French or Spanish path in. If cycling, this distance is doubled. Of course, if you’re doing it out of a pure interest in the cultural significance and have zero interest in the religious side, you can receive a difference certificate of welcome, without the spiritual congratulation laced on top.

This route is not one which has faded into obscurity. Those who know about it really do know about it, but try to keep it a secret thanks to its natural beauty. We guess that makes us discussing it part of the overtourist problem, but the place is simply too beautiful for you to be unaware of. Over 250,000 walkers attend this pilgrimage each year, all for various reasons. If you feel interested in the slightest, you can be sure that this is much more than a tourist destination, but can serve as many things. Some use it for religion, some for a right of passage, and some for an adventure. Whatever you choose, you can be sure that your time here will be well spent.

Visiting these locations will not only stimulate your cultural interests, but it will lend you perspective about the role religious belief has had in the storyline of mankind. Appreciating this can be a humbling experience, regardless of your personal beliefs.

We hope you find some value in attending these wonderful locations.

Travel

On the road again? Choose the right tires for your ride

If you think it may be time to replace your tires, consider these five expert tips to simplify the process.

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Lots of people want to drive, definitely. But not everyone is well-versed with the cars they drive – e.g. many drivers have difficulty selecting the best tire for their vehicle and driving needs. For many, tire selection starts at the size then jumps to what’s in stock or what’s on sale. However, there are many factors to consider when you need new tires for your car, truck or SUV. Buying tires is an investment, so it’s important to make the right decision.

You may be surprised to learn determining the best tire is as much about the driver as it is the vehicle. Choosing the right tire requires considering where you drive, how you drive and what you drive. You can explore these and other factors in the Treadwell tire-buying recommendation tool, which is based on a decade of data and real-world test results.

This tire recommendation tool combines millions of data points from tire safety checks and Discount Tire’s own test track where intensive tests are performed on tires from all major manufacturers, along with the driver’s location, vehicle and driving habits, to generate a selection of personalized tire recommendations from a variety of brands.

With more than 20,000 different models of tires available for the everyday driver, it’s no wonder tire-buying can be a mystifying process. However, tools like this can help drivers make the most informed choice while having access to the same information tire technicians use in-stores alongside their expertise. The result: empowering drivers with information and options tailored to their needs.

If you think it may be time to replace your tires, consider these five expert tips to simplify the process.

Driving Style

The type of driver you are, the kind of ride you want and how long you expect your tires to last are all factors in choosing the right tires. For example, thrill drivers might prefer tires with high levels of grip and responsiveness while those who stick to long road trips are better suited for long-lasting, smooth riding tires.

Weather Conditions

Your location and the weather you regularly encounter when you drive influence the type of tires you need. For example, drivers in the upper Midwest require tires that perform well in extreme cold and winter weather while those in humid climates like the Southeast need tires that perform well in wet conditions.

Budget

Purchasing tires is an investment. Drivers should look at the cost of their tires over time, rather than the cost up front. In the long run, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a higher quality tire based on multiple factors like increased safety, improved handling and ride quality, as well as cost per mile.

Vehicle Specifications

Tire specifications can vary depending on the type of car you own. For electric vehicles and vehicles carrying heavy loads, it’s critical to know how much weight your tires can safely support. Only install tires that meet or exceed the load requirements for your ride.

Wear and Age

Two of the most important considerations when replacing tires are tread depth and tire age.

Your tires’ tread depth directly impacts your vehicle’s ability to stop. Tires are reaching the end of their life at 4/32 inches of tread. However, your tires may be underperforming even if more tread remains, particularly in rain or extreme weather conditions.

When it comes to replacing your tires, you should also consider their age. Because the materials used break down over time, experts recommend replacing tires that are six years or more past the date of manufacture.

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Destinations

Singapore Cable Car launches world’s first Skyorb Cabins

Exclusively designed for the Singapore Cable Car, the SkyOrb Cabin is the world’s first chrome-finished spherical cable car cabin. Unlike conventional cabins, the spherical design of the SkyOrb Cabins breaks the boundaries of traditional cable car aesthetics, offering a futuristic and captivating look.

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Mount Faber Leisure Group officially launched the new futuristic SkyOrb Cabins on the Singapore Cable Car – Mount Faber Line. The launch of the SkyOrb Cabins took place at Mount Faber Peak, as part of the Singapore Cable Car’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The event was attended by Bob Tan, Chairman of Sentosa Development Corporation and Thien Kwee Eng, Chief Executive Officer of Sentosa Development Corporation, as well as Michael Syn, Chairman of Mount Faber Leisure Group and Buhdy Bok, Managing Director of Mount Faber Leisure Group.

SkyOrb Cabins – A cabin like no other in the world

Exclusively designed for the Singapore Cable Car, the SkyOrb Cabin is the world’s first chrome-finished spherical cable car cabin. Unlike conventional cabins, the spherical design of the SkyOrb Cabins breaks the boundaries of traditional cable car aesthetics, offering a futuristic and captivating look.

The SkyOrb cabin boasts a spectacular view through its glass-bottomed floor

Fitted with glass-bottomed floors to allow guests to view the scenery below their feet, the new cabins offer guests an elevated journey with a stunning panoramic view of the skyline. As night falls, a captivating ring of lights surrounds the cabin windows, casting an illuminating glow that imparts a distinctly futuristic ambience. 

The SkyOrb Cabins have been thoughtfully designed with double window louvres at the front and triple window louvres at the rear, providing enhanced air ventilation for guests on board. To offer an exclusive experience, only seven SkyOrb Cabins will join the existing fleet, enriching the vibrancy of the Sentosa skyline. 

SkyOrb Cabin on the Mount Faber Line

“Each SkyOrb cabin, a gleaming chrome orb soaring through the sky, embodies modern design. These cabins offer guests a one-of-a-kind experience, taking them on a discovery between Mount Faber Peak and Sentosa, unveiling breathtaking views along the way,” said Mr Buhdy Bok, Managing Director of Mount Faber Leisure Group.

Collaboratively designed between Mount Faber Leisure Group and renowned cable car cabin manufacturer CWA, the SkyOrb Cabins showcase product innovation and commitment to creating new unique experiences for guests. Based in Olten, Switzerland, CWA has enjoyed a long partnership with Mount Faber Leisure Group since the first generation of the Singapore Cable Car cabins was launched in 1974.

The SkyOrb Cabins will be open for guests to experience from 20 March 2024 and tickets will be available for sale at the Singapore Cable Car Mount Faber and Sentosa Station ticketing counters from the same day. Mount Faber Line and Cable Car Sky Pass ticket holders have the privilege of upgrading one-way of their round trip (between Mount Faber and Sentosa Cable Car Stations) to a SkyOrb Cabin experience. This upgrade costs $15 per person on weekdays, and $20 per person on weekends and Public Holidays.

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Destinations

Japan ranks as top leisure travel destination for Filipino travellers: Visa study

According to the data, 24% of surveyed Filipino respondents have traveled overseas for leisure or business purposes in the past year. This trend aligns with a broader travel resurgence across Asia Pacific, with 37% of those surveyed reporting overseas travels within the same period.

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Visa, a global player in digital payments, has published its most recent Green Shoots Radar study[1]. This quarterly report analyzes consumer sentiments across various sectors, such as financial services, commerce, and travel.

The study reveals a surge in travel frequency among Filipino travelers. According to the data, 24% of surveyed Filipino respondents have traveled overseas for leisure or business purposes in the past year. This trend aligns with a broader travel resurgence across Asia Pacific, with 37% of those surveyed reporting overseas travels within the same period.

Japan emerged as the top leisure destination for Filipino travelers, with 32% visiting in the past year. Singapore (22%) followed by Hong Kong (21%) and Thailand (18%) were the next most popular destinations. For business trips, Singapore led the list with 25%, followed by Japan (23%), and the United States tied with Hong Kong at 18%.

Filipino travelers prefer to book flight tickets directly from the provider’s website (44%). Among those respondents who booked their accommodations through Online Travel Agencies and paid the full amount upon booking, using credit cards is the most popular payment mode (41%), followed by mobile/e-wallets (28%).

Jeff Navarro, Country Manager for Visa Philippines, said, “As cross-border travel gains momentum in the Philippines and the region, we have a significant opportunity to maintain visibility throughout travelers’ journeys. This involves being present during destination searches and bookings, using Visa cards on travel apps for smoother transactions, and engaging consumers with authentic travel and shopping content to create a secure and seamless digital payments experience for everyone, everywhere.”

The future of travel remains promising, with 65% of Filipino respondents planning overseas leisure travel in the next 12 months. The top three leisure destinations intended in the next 12 months are Japan (38%), followed by South Korea (29%) and Singapore (16%). For business travel, Japan (19%), Canada (13%), and South Korea (12%) are the most likely destinations.

According to Visa’s Global Travel Intentions 2023 study[2], majority (89%) of Filipino travelers used credit (44%) and debit (39%) cards when travelling, for the benefits of cards’ wide acceptance (56%), accepted at ATMs (49%), and ability to be used both online and within apps (43%).

Visa’s most recent Consumer Payment Attitudes 2023 study[3] data also reflect cards as the preferred mode of payment when travelling, where 25% of surveyed Filipinos use credit or debit cards online and 21% use via swipe or insert when traveling overseas.


[1] The Green Shoots Radar survey was conducted online in 14 markets covering more than 8,000 respondents, including 500 consumers in the Philippines in January 2024, towards male and female respondents aged 18-65 with a minimum household income of PHP 12,000.

[2] The Global Travel Intentions Study is the largest and longest running global consumer insights program from Visa, which surveys travelers across continents on their travel journey and payment behavior. The study was conducted across April-June 2023 to more than 1,000 Filipino respondents.

[3] The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study was conducted in Oct-Nov 2023 via online interviews with 1.000 Filipino consumers across the country with a demographic mix of ages (18-65), genders and income levels.

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