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Reaching the peak when it comes to great travel experiences

While certain mountains hold more acclaim than others, there are hosts of them out there, and each provides its own experiences and stunning views. Here are some of our favorites that you might like to seek out on your next adventure.

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People travel the world to witness and experience a whole host of natural phenomena. Our interests span all four of the elements. We look to the skies to see sunrises, sunsets, comet showers, and (perhaps most famously) the Aurora Borealis. Those of us who are a little braver or perhaps just more fond of adrenaline skydive, bungee jump, and paraglide. When it comes to water, we seek out lagoons, geysers, waterfalls, and seas. We sail across its surfaces on cruise liners, ferries, sailing ships, and speedboats. For more direct contact with the water, we dive into it on paddle boards, surfboards, and to swim. Though we are a little more wary of fire, hundreds of thousands of us still travel seeking volcanos and landscapes filled with bubbling molten lava. Now, earth may well seem like the dullest of the elements. We’re in contact with it on a day to day basis while we’re at home. Surely ground is ground, and you don’t have to travel very far to see that.

But, you’re forgetting one key part of our planet formed of earth and rock that can provide us with profound experiences: mountains. While certain mountains hold more acclaim than others, there are hosts of them out there, and each provides its own experiences and stunning views. Here are some of our favorites that you might like to seek out on your next adventure.

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Mount Everest, Himalayas

Mount Everest is commonly acknowledged as the most famous mountain in the world and for good reason! It’s the highest mountain with its peak nearing 30,000 feet. It’s not surprising that it attracts some of the world’s most accomplished climbers. After all, if you want to prove your skill, there’s no better place to do it than here. Now, we wouldn’t recommend that anyone attempts to climb any portion of any mountain without being fully aware of the risks and the tasks that lie ahead of them.

But when it comes to Everest, over 290 people have died attempting to reach its peak and the last year when no fatalities were recorded was 1975. So, leave the climbing to the professionals and enjoy the scenery instead. Believe it or not, Everest is host to plenty of enjoyable opportunities for those who aren’t interested in long hikes. Why not book an Everest Flight which will take you over the mountains, allowing you to see the beauty of this natural landscape from the comfort of your plane seat? You could also visit the Shigatse valley at Everest’s base. This is filled with small villages where you can visit ancient ruins and wonderful markets.

Mount Bromo, Surabaya

Mount Bromo is a lot less well known than Everest, but this merely means that you won’t have to share it with quite so many other tourists. Located in East Java, it forms a part of the Tengerr Massif, and though it may not be the largest of the mountains in the area, it often proves the most popular. Technically speaking, it is an active volcano, but not to worry. Its activity is monitored, and warnings are issued if any potential dangers lie ahead. What is perhaps most unique about Mount Bromo is its unique location. It lies amongst vast plains! These are locally termed the “Sea of Sands”.

A great time to visit is during the Hindu Festival of Yadnya Kasada. On the fourteenth day of this celebration, the Tenggerese people of Probolinggo travel up Mount Bromo to make offerings of fruit, rice, vegetables, and flowers to the mountain gods. These wares are tossed into the volcano’s caldera.

Make your stay as comfortable as possible by immersing yourself in the local culture. Accommodation can be found at rumahdijual.com/surabaya/perumahan-murah. You can then try out local cuisine at nearby restaurants and take in the rest of beautiful Surabaya at ease.

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Mount Fuji, Tokyo

If you’re going to be spending any time in Japan in the near future, you have to make sure to spare sufficient time to spend at least one whole day at Mount Fuji. Located on Honshu Island, this is Japan’s grandest offering at over 10,000 feet high. Again, this mountain has an active volcano (this time a stratovolcano), but it was last recorded as erupting between 1707 and 1708. If you are staying in Tokyo, this mountain can actually be seen from the city on a clear day. It’s only around 100km out of town, so can easily be accessed by public transport. So, what can you do once you actually arrive there? Besides gazing in wonder at the wonderfully symmetrical mountain’s snow-topped cap, you can visit one of the 25 different UNESCO heritage sites of cultural interest.

Perhaps top of the list to visit is the Fujisan Sengen Shrine in Fujinomiya City. This lies in the Southwestern foothills of the mountain and has become the head shrine of over 1300 Sengen and Asama shrines that have been built nationwide. This is the traditional shrine from which climbers begin their ascent of Mount Fuji, so is an ideal place to pay homage, whether you intend to climb the mountain or not.

There are numerous forests, waterfalls, and lakes nearby, so natural beauty doesn’t stop with the mountain itself. If you fancy taking a step back and seeing the mountain from a distance, visit the Iwamotoyama Park. This spot is perfect for taking photos of the mountain at large while having a relaxing rest stop.

These are just three beautiful mountains that the world has to offer. Remember that there are at least 109 mountains out there with elevations greater than 23,000 feet. So the world is quite literally your oyster if you’re planning travel around seeing some of these great Earthly giants. Just remember to always do your research. If you’re not going to be climbing the mountains yourself, you still want to ensure that there are plenty of other activities around to engage with and alternative sights to see.

Travel

Travelling farther away from home linked to better health

How often people travel and the range of places visited are important, with those who regularly travel more than 15 miles away from home more likely to report being in general good health.

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People who travel more outside of their local area feel that they are healthier than those who stay closer to home, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.

How often people travel and the range of places visited are important, with those who regularly travel more than 15 miles away from home more likely to report being in general good health.

Those who travel to a wider variety of places are more likely to see friends and family. This increase in social participation is then linked to better health.

Researchers say the results provide strong evidence of the need for investment in medium and long-distance transport options, such as better serviced roads and access to trains and buses.

For the paper, published in Transport & Health, the researchers analysed travel in the north of England, where residents face worse health outcomes than the rest of England and many rural and suburban areas suffer from poor transport accessibility.

Specifically, they looked at the links between perceived constraints to travel outside of the local area, such as a lack of suitable public transport, and self-rated health, considering trip frequency, the number of different places visited, distance travelled, car use and public transport use.

Lead author Dr Paulo Anciaes (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) said: “We expected to find that restrictions on travel through a lack of access to suitable public transport or to a private car would be linked to residents’ perception of their health because of the lack of social participation.

“We explored the links between constraints to travel more than 15 miles from home, demographics and location and social participation in how residents perceived their own health, finding that the key variable is the number of different places people visit outside their local area. This links to more social participation and better health.”

The researchers conducted an online survey of 3,014 nationally representative residents in the north of England. Constraints to travel have previously been identified as contributing to economic disadvantage and a lower sense of wellbeing in the region, but the impact on health hadn’t been analysed before. The team used a research technique called “path analysis”, which uncovers the direct and indirect effects of constraints to travel outside of people’s local area.

The study found that the links between travel constraints, social participation and health are stronger among those aged over 55. Among this group, constraints to the number of different places people can travel to is linked to less frequent contact with friends and participation in clubs and societies.

Dr Anciaes explained: “Those aged over 55 are more likely to face other constraints to travel such as limited mobility. They are also more likely to suffer from loneliness. In the north of England, rural and suburban areas with limited access options are more likely to experience population loss as young people move to the cities in search of work and good travel options. Meanwhile, older generations are left behind in these areas with limited transport options. The range of places they can visit is low, leading to less social participation and lower levels of general health.

“The results of this study emphasise the need for public policies that reduce constraints to travel in the region, by providing better options for private and public transport that allows for more frequent and longer trips.”

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Destinations

The one-and-only Hobbiton from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is now on Airbnb

With access to 44 Hobbit Holes, The Millhouse, The Green Dragon Inn, and other beloved locations from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, guests will take an unexpected journey into Middle-earth for an experience unlike any other.

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For the first time ever, fans from around the world can explore the faraway lands of their favorite holiday films with an exclusive overnight stay at the original Hobbiton™ Movie Set. Russell Alexander is inviting guests to his family’s property to live like Bilbo Baggins and retreat to The Shire for an overnight stay at Hobbiton, as featured in the famed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.

Nestled in the picturesque pastures of New Zealand’s Waikato region on a 2,500-acre working farm, the property’s rolling, green hills – bear a striking similarity to The Shire as described by J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings, and captivated Sir Peter Jackson’s movie scouts more than two decades ago. The team quickly realized the Hobbits had found their home – and this holiday season, it could be yours.

Alexander will host three individual two-night stays for up to four guests at NZD $10 per night* as an homage to the 10th anniversary of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, courtesy of Airbnb.

With access to 44 Hobbit Holes, The Millhouse, The Green Dragon Inn, and other beloved locations from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, guests will take an unexpected journey into Middle-earth for an experience unlike any other.

With sweeping views of The Shire, they’ll enjoy:

  • Cozy overnight accommodation curated by the trilogies’ Creative Director Brian Massey, including a writing nook fit for Bilbo Baggins at The Millhouse.
  • Private access to a personal Hobbit Hole, set up for relaxing moments of Preciousss  downtime and afternoon tea.
  • An evening banquet in The Green Dragon Inn with a feast featuring beef and ale stew, whole roast chickens, freshly baked breads and plenty of ale, plus Second Breakfast and Elevenses served daily.
  • A behind-the-scenes private tour of Hobbiton Movie Set.

Now, one does not simply walk into Middle-earth. There are rules.

  • No unexpected parties, please –  unless with Gandalf and company.
  • Bare feet are allowed but wipe them first.
  • Magical rings permitted, but keep them secret, keep them safe.
  • Pony parking is provided only at The Green Dragon Inn.
  • Straying far at night is discouraged, thanks to multiple troll sightings of late.
  • No pets are allowed, except Pickles the resident Hobbiton cat.
  • Never laugh at live dragons…

“For more than two decades, we’ve welcomed millions of passionate fans to Hobbiton Movie Set, but never before has anyone had the opportunity to spend a night in Middle-earth. I am delighted to share the beauty of my family’s farm and pleased to be hosting this iconic location on Airbnb for fans from around the world,” shares Host Russel Alexander.

How to book

Hobbits, elves, wizards and others may request to book one of three overnight stays on Wednesday, December 14 from 10:00AM NZDT/5:00AM PHT at airbnb.com/hobbiton. Stays will take place March 2-4, March 9-11, and March 16-18, 2023. You Shall Not Pass! (without requesting to book, of course).

To request to book, guests must have a verified Airbnb profile, a history of positive reviews and be aged 18+. Maximum occupancy is four persons. Two bedrooms are configured, featuring one queen bed, and the other two king-singles.

Guests are responsible for their own transportation to and from Auckland, New Zealand. Round trip car transportation will be provided for the two-hour journey between the airport and the property. (And just as a Wizard is never late, it’s important our guests arrive at their stay precisely when they mean to).

Travellers looking to book should note that this stay’s rules require strict adherence with local COVID-19 guidelines. Guests are responsible for their own travel to and from Auckland. Airbnb is closely monitoring COVID-19 infection rates and government policies and will offer booking guests a refund of the booking fee ($31) and $1,000 USD Airbnb travel credit if Airbnb determines it is necessary to cancel the stay due to COVID-19 guidelines.

*Plus taxes and fees. These three individual two-night stays are not a contest. The Hobbiton Movie Set is privately owned and operated.

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Destinations

Greenfield District in Mandaluyong kicks off its holiday celebration

To mark the beginning of the district-wide yuletide merry-making, the event kicked off recently with the traditional lighting of the 60-foot Christmas tree at the Greenfield District Central Park,. followed by a magical display of fireworks and Christmas caroling by a 20-piece chorale , setting the mood for guests to get into the holiday spirit.

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Greenfield District, the smart and connected urban center of Greenfield Development Corporation (GDC) in Mandaluyong City, transformed into a holiday wonderland with the launch of GDC’s annual Christmas festivities called “A Christmas for Generations”. 

To mark the beginning of the district-wide yuletide merry-making, the event kicked off recently with the traditional lighting of the 60-foot Christmas tree at the Greenfield District Central Park,.  followed by a magical display of fireworks and Christmas caroling by a 20-piece chorale , setting the mood for guests to get into the holiday spirit.

“After two years of not having face-to-face yuletide celebrations, Filipinos are surely excited to once again gather with their loved ones to celebrate the country’s festive Christmas season,” said GDC President and Chairman Jeffrey D.Y. Campos.  “Greenfield District is a venue where different generations, from senior citizen grandparents to Gen Z kids, can bond with each other by taking part in the fun holiday activities of the District,” he added.

Ongoing  until December 25, Filipinos of all ages are in for a lot of holiday fun at the District. On December 17, families, especially kids are invited to come and meet  Santa Claus at Greenfield District’s “A Night with Santa” , which will feature merry activities and gift giving.

Meanwhile, adults can start their holiday shopping early as the Greenfield District Central Park will showcase weekend bazaars starting this month until December. Shoppers can look forward to discovering value for money gift ideas, trendy fashion pieces, delicious treats and more. While shopping, visitors can also enjoy a quick food trip and engage in Arts and Crafts activities while immersing at the bazaars dressed in colorful Christmas decorations. 

With a mission to build future-ready and sustainable communities for generations of Filipinos, GDC upholds its tradition of organizing events that promote the value of togetherness and spending quality time with the family.

“At GDC, we are committed to not only building properties for generations but also creating verdant, spacious neighborhoods where Filipino families can create beautiful memories together throughout the years. Christmas is a special occasion for many Filipinos, and we want Greenfield District to be part of their memorable Christmas experience every year,” said GDC Executive Vice President and General Manager Atty. Duane A.X. Santos. 

Located at the corner of EDSA and Shaw Boulevard, Greenfield District is accessible to the public through various routes and roadways from the main business districts of Metro Manila, making it an ideal destination for recreational activities, get-togethers, and shopping this yuletide season.

Visit the Greenfield District with friends and family this holiday season.  To know more about the activities at Greenfield District, visit https://www.facebook.com/greenfielddistrict.

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