Ants in Pants | Blog about budget travel | Page 20

Mount Elbrus – One of the Seven Summits

Русская версия   Caucasian Dormant Volcano Elbrus situated on the border of Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia republics of Russia is not just the highest Russian peak. Since the scholars and politicians still cannot agree about the border between Europe and Asia, Elbrus is often included into the list of “seven summits” as the highest mountain of Europe (another lower candidate for this title is Mont Blanc). Seven summits also include Everest in Nepal/China, Anconcagua in Argentina, McKinley in Alaska, Vvinson in Antarctica, Puncak Jaya in Indonesia, and Kosciuzsko in Australia. Unlike most of the mounts on this list, Elbrus is quite easy and cheap to reach. While the cost of ascending Kilimanjaro is about 1000 euros (since it is obligatory to get the guide and expensive permit for it), Elbrus costs only 10-15 euros (without transport of course, but it is also easy and cheap to organize). We will tell how to save a bit even from this sum.

Vietnamese Coffee

Русская версия   Coffee production introduced by French has been a major source of income for Vietnam since the early 20th century. In 2009, Reuters reported Vietnamese coffee exports at “an estimated 1.13 million tones” for the previous year, stating that coffee was second only to rice in value of agricultural products exported from Vietnam. No wonder that Vietnamese are really creative when it comes to making coffee, and even a tourist who is not a big fan of it will find some sort he likes. Vietnam also claims to produce the most expensive kind of coffee in the world – made of the seeds of coffee berries once they have been eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet. Today we tell how this and other sorts of Vietnamese coffee taste.

Registration in Uzbekistan

Русская версия   Uzbekistan is a country very pleasant for a traveller in different ways: food, people, architecture, nature, cheap and developed (if compared to the rest of Central Asia) transport. There is only one trouble there, killing all the fun. The Soviet legacy – registration – is a problem for both tourists and locals. Everyone coming to Uzbekistan must register in some accomodation within three days and have this registration for every day of the stay. Locals travelling from one region to another also must register. Registration is the concentration of bereaucracy; because of it, grandchildren cannot visit their grandparents in summer, and the tourists are sometimes deported from the country because they do not have a registration for just one of the days. Here we suggest several ways which will hopefully help you not only to avoid deportation, but also achieve valuable cultural experience in coping with bereaucracy.

Ancient Khiva – Oasis in Khorezm

Русская версия   In Uzbekistan, not far from Urgench, there s a town of Khiva more that 2,5 thousand years old. It is considered that the town grew around the draw-well Kheivak with its amazingly tasty water. Once Khiva was an important point on a trade route connecting the East and the West: the travelers stayed in this oasis in the middle of the desert with great pleasure. Khiva was also one of the towns of the ancient state of Khorezm; later it was conquered by Mongols and Tatars as well as Tamerlan, but truly blossomed in the XVII century when it became the capital of Khanate of Khiva.

Elbrus surroundings: what to see and how to get there

Русская версияThe region around Elbrus – one of the seven summits of the world – is a paradise for hiking and trekking. It really deserves at least a week, even in case you are not a mountain-climber. There are a lot of places to walk to, not only Elbrus. It is great to breathe fresh mountain air, collect mushrooms (which nobody collects here as everywhere in Caucasus) and tea herbs. Here we will tell what to see around Elbrus, how to get there, and where to stay.

AMSTERDAM: Useful Information and Free Tours

Русская версия   At the end of November, Vitya had an event in Amsterdam, but found one day to explore the city in very tough regime. City tour, Red Light District, Heineken Expirience, and Ajax Arena – this is the small list of his activities. This is what he saw and learned.