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  Explore Life in the Tent with Bedouins

By Crystal Travel-Last Updated Wednesday , July 23, 2014
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Wondering, if you have ever experienced a desert holiday, in one of the bedouin tents, without the air conditioner, the comfort and facilities of your hotel rooms, the well-laid pavements of a tree-lined street or even the elegant malls and markets. Well, none of these are there, but life seems to take a different turn once you get into the shoe of a bedouin life.

Come and visit Oasis Dakhla (a part of the seven oases of the Western Desert in Egypt, a part of the Libyan Desert) and meet some of the real-life Bedouins who have never left their traditional ways of life. Let's get familiar to their life before you actually start planning on a bedouin vacation.

Their Tent - Handwoven Masterpiece

Living in a tent brings forth a feel of adventure and the travellers isolation which he/she enjoys during a trip. A Bedouin's tent is purely a home with limited facilities, or you may not know what treasures may lay in there. 

Bedouin Tent
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The tent is usually woven from goats' hair, so went it pours, the woven pattern contracts, not letting the water to get soaked and drip inside. During the heat waves, the interior of the tent remains pleasurably cool and during winters the effect is reversed. When it’s bitter cold outside, its warm and cosy inside with a small fire lit.

Their Music - Haunting & Soulful

The simple, fun-loving Bedouins are not great rockstars but they truly don't need anything else to make music, except their voices and the rhythmic clap of hands. The haunting melodies, their dance and the blissful mood make them feel strong, united and encouraged.

Their songs have been passed down by their forefathers and families which usually talks about being happy. There are several songs for the camels to inject hope and strength in the 'ship of the desert'. Once you're on the camel, you can feel the positive vibe by the way your body moves. 

Bedouin Songs
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When twilight creeps in, the fire is lit and the songs are sung with drums and a samsomeja (a typical instrument similar to a guitar) to entertain the guests.

Their Food - Simple and Gratifying

Bedouins love fetir (a kind of pancake) which is eaten with hot milk or soup. They also relish in Moraras, a pancake with samna (a kind of fat), sugar and honey.

You might not be able to carry all other food stuff into the desert; your food, in that case, will be simple and tasty. They can cook anything with rice and flour and you'll also get a variety of freshly baked breads to dip in your curries.

Bedouin Food
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Their Attire - Graceful and Pleasing

They love to wear a long gown type dress in various colours and protect their head from the cold and heat with shaals. Well, there are various ways to wear shaals and especially the males have this kind of attire. 

Bedouin Dress
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The women frequently dress in a bright long gown, but while going out, they dress in 'abaya', a long black coat, maybe with embroidery. They always cover their head and hair while leaving the house. While the older generation uses 'burqah', the younger generation use a 'tarha' (shawl) to cover faces.

Their Hospitality - State-of-the-Art

Bedouins treat their guests with love, care and with tremendous hospitality. They have this belief that their homes are poor without guests. After a meal the men discuss. They enjoy sitting in a circle, or a semi-circle, reclining on a cushion or pillow and spend hours talking and smoking pipes or hookahs. 

Guests are not allowed to pay anything; everything is bore by the host or the whole family. In every season, inside the tents you can see glorious smiles. They truly know how to enjoy life with whatever they have!

Posted in Africa

Tagged In Bedouin Bedouins Burqa camping desert vacations Fetir food in the desert food music Oasis Dakhla staying in the tent travelling in the desert

  Top 10 Magical and Gripping Forests Part Two

By Crystal Travel-Last Updated Monday , July 21, 2014
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Trillemarka - Rollagsfjell Forest

Created on December 13, 2002, the thriving natural reserve is located in Buskerud, Norway, between the mountainous areas in Numedal and Solevann. This is an ancient wilderness forest of Norway. The land has the look to allure all nature lovers with age-old trees, rivers, valleys and lakes. 

There are large amounts of animals living in their natural habitat, completely dependent on the environment of the forest. Explore endangered species of birds such as Tree-toed woodpecker, Siberian Jay, the Golden Eagle, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and many more. Apart from birds, there are endangered species of fungi, mosses and lichens. 

Dark Entry Forest

Dark Entry Forest
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Dark Entry Forest, also known as 'the village of the damned' is a ghost town in Cornwall, Connecticut, which was once a renowned place of visitation until people witnessed strange sightings, mass suicides and mysterious murders. There were cases of hallucinations which led people to suicide and animals started to vanish.

The area is a large thick forest with rugged rocky mountains and an old town called Dudley Town. Because of the tall trees and dense forest, the name - Dark Entry Forest came into being. Local visitors and neighbouring villagers have stated that the forest is insanely quiet and without wildlife. 


The Ardennes is a thriving region with extensive woodland, forests, ridges and hills situated in Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The land is rich in minerals and timber and covered with dense forests and mountainous terrain. 

There was a time this land was the site for battles and thus, this place also bagged the name 'The Battle of the Bulge'. Most of the towns in and around this area were destroyed during the battle. Today, the charm of Ardennes lies in the wide-ranging activities including hunting, walking, cycling and other tourist hot-spots.

Hoia-Baciu Forest

Hoia-Baciu Forest
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The Hoia-Baciu Forest, also named as the Bermuda Triangle of Romania is situated in Romania. The intriguing forest bags its name after a shepherd boy disappeared completely with two hundred sheep and therefore, most people are scared to enter. Many who have gone inside complain of nausea, vomiting, rashes, migraines and other sensations that someone is watching.

This forest has a reputation for paranormal activities of seeing paranormal activities, hearing female voices, UFO lights and people being scratched. Several scientists have managed to capture strange sightings and bizarre materials on their video.

Ancient Wuda Forest

Ancient Wuda Forest
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The Ancient Wuda Forest was found buried under volcanic ash near Mongolia. It is believed that the blast came from a large volcano around 100 kilometres away and the destruction left a layer of ash that was 40 inches thick. 

Under the ash a large collection of flora and plant species was found that had been extinct. The land around the forest is swampy with inches of water and peat. There were six different species of trees that were identified belonging to the family of the ferns.

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  Top Ten Magical and Gripping Forests Part One

By Crystal Travel-Last Updated Friday , July 18, 2014
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How do you identify forests these days, when there is so much of deforestation and wild forest fires? Most people connect forests with trees, but the thought of forests reaches to a much deeper perception that comprises of numerous rare species that call forest their home. 

Apart from the tall trees grappling with each other the ecosystem reaches out to insects, animals, fungi and bacteria.

Much of the earth still possesses tranquil and gigantic forests that when you step in, fresh air fills your lungs. The forests suddenly come alive at the sound of a stranger entering it. 

You'll discover new things, inhale a new air, be in close contact with nature and come to terms with something that the world lacks - peace. Enter into the world of such serenity that will make you escape the world of technology.

North Sentinel Island Forest, Andaman Belt

North Sentinel Island Forest
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Situated in the Andaman belt of the Bay of Bengal, this unique island forest is full of coral reefs and covered with old grown trees. The island forest is also home to the Neolithic tribe known as Sentinelese. 

These tribes stay away from any contact with the outside world and have known to kill two men who were illegally hunting for mud crabs. 
The Sentinelese are mainly a hunters group that maintain their living from fishing, hunting and obtaining rare wild plants. The 10-metre accuracy throw of flatbow and javelins do send out a warning shot to intruders. Their food includes fruits, coconut and other wild games.

Crooked Forest, Poland

The uniquely shaped pine trees located at the outskirts of Nowe Czarnowo, Poland was thought these trees were formed with a human tool, but the reason for such growth remains unknown.

Crooked Forest
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The forest contains around 400 pine trees, all of which are bent at 90 degrees at the base. These trees have grown for seven years before they took this shape. Till today, it remains a bizarre case that remains unexplained.

Red Forest, Ukraine

The Red Forest, also known as, the Wormwood Forest came to be a special one after the Chernobyl Nuclear accident on April 26, 1986. The Wormwood Forest turned brown and rotted away. Today, the Red Forest is one of the most contaminated places on the face of the earth. 

Red Forest
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The scientists got the opportunity to completely understand the happenings of the natural environment from time to time. With something remarkable, the flora and fauna, along with the wildlife, has seen drastic changes of flourishing and surviving. Birds are nesting as well as wild species of animals have found their home among the dead area. There is something unique and unexplained here!

Sea of Trees, Japan

Let's start of this way; the Sea of Trees is famous for two things - a captivating view of Mt. Fuji and numerous suicides. Yes, suicides!
This forest is located at the base of the glorious Mt. Fujiyama, containing several gigantic trees and hidden caverns. Being dark and thick, a collection of sunbeams are the only source of light available. 

Sea of Trees
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The suicide rate has caused a panic and offers warning signs to visitors to keep a watch on their actions and motives. Legends say that leaving an elderly relative to die in this isolated area was widely practiced.

Chestnut Hills, West Salem, Wisconsin

Don't panic, it's nothing as the movie, 'The Hills Have Eyes'. These hills bear the name and fame due to a disease that struck America around 1900 through the trading of chestnut trees or chestnut lumber. These hefty trees grow as tall as 200 feet, with a 14 feet trunk and lovely flowers on it.

Chestnut Hills
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The largest remaining forest is named as Chestnut Hills, with approximately 2500 chestnut trees without any traces of the disease. 

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Tagged In America Andaman Chestnut Hills Crooked Forest forests Island Forests islands Japan Jungles North Sentinel Island Forest Poland Red Forest Sea of Trees Ukraine USA Wisconsin

  Ten Most Beautiful Temples Worldwide Part Two

By Crystal Travel-Last Updated Wednesday , July 16, 2014
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We continue with the next five '10 Most Beautiful Temples Worldwide'. Be it the staggering monasteries of the east, or the terrific handiwork of the steeple-like temples of South India, each and every column depicts the inner spirituality that oozes out as you admire the beauty of these massive masterpiece temples.

Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Paro Valley, Bhutan

Taktsang Palphug Monastery
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The confounding location on a cliff shot this holy site in Bhutan to fame. The Paro Valley, also known as Tiger's Nest, comprises of a massive crust of Granite Mountain just over the upper Paro valley. 

It is said that Guru Padmasambhava meditated for three months before elevating as a Tibetan saint. Today, the area includes a monastery, four temples, and caves to meditate with paintings. The path to the monasteries are joined together by wooden bridges and wooden steep stone steps.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar

Famed as the Golden Pagoda, or the Great Dragon Pagoda, this serene stupa is perched on Singuttara Hill. Legend takes you back to those times when the pagoda is around 2500 years old. 

Shwedagon Pagoda
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It is said that miracles take place due to the power of spiritualism. The pagoda stands 325 feet high, topped by gold coverings and 76-carat diamond. Walk up to a vendor selling incense, prayer flags and other items for ceremonies. Admire giant lion statues, shrines and praying pavilions.

Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga Temple, Rameswaram, India

Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga Temple
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Among the various South Indian temples, the island of Rameswaram has become a major pilgrimage destination due to the famous temple dedicated to Shiva. Situated near the sea on the island, the site has a legend that goes back to the time of the Ramayana. 

The temple is blessed with the hallmarks of the ancient temple architecture which includes a high compound wall, grand towers, 22 tanks of spring water and numerous shrines. The breathtaking corridor is lined with endless sculptures and carved pillars.

Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Wat Rong Khun
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The White Temple or Wat Rong Khun looks like a snowy palace of a fairy-tale queen from a distant land. The icicle-shaped towers and the white structure elaborate the significance of the Buddhist faith. 

The white colour showcases purity and the overall creation displays the wisdom of Buddha. The interiors are adorned with paintings of the natural and the supernatural. Don’t be surprised to see images of Superman, Batman, Keanu Reaves and Predator.

Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
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This water temple is one of the most visited and photographed sites in the city of Bali. Built in 1633 on Lake Bratan, this Hindu temple is dedicated to Shiva as well as to Dewi Batari, the river goddess. 

Visitors and devotees drown into various ceremonies towards their prosperity and fertility. With the foggy dense mountains in the background and site is encircled by towers honouring the deity.

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Tagged In Bali Bhutan budget travel Indonesia pagodas Rameswaram Shiva temples ten famous temples Thailand Tibet Travel Advice travel tips travel Vacation Ideas vacation

  Ten Most Beautiful Temples Worldwide Part One

By Crystal Travel-Last Updated Monday , July 14, 2014
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Whether you are spiritual or not, but spirituality is usually birthed by one of the facts that encompasses and encouraged by the captivating setting. 

Right from a isolated monastery that clings on a cliff to a flower-shaped temple displaying the wonders of the modern architecture, come and enter the world of some of the breathtaking temples and sanctuaries where some are overflowing with worshippers, and some are ancient relics, still inspiring plenty of camera clicks.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Here's something intriguing! You must have walked through it in the famous Lara Croft video game, or seen in it the Hollywood flick starring Angelina Jolie. 

Angkor Wat
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This vast complex of ancient temples and tree-lined ruins are so hypnotising, they have been cited by the UNESCO World Heritage Site as a national symbol. Angkor Wat, till now, has been the best preserved temple complex that depicts the Cambodian Khmer architecture with amazing illustrated carvings from the Indian mythology.

Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, India

The 'gateway to the gurus', famously known as the Golden Temple, this glimmering holy sanctuary is the most famed place for the Sikhs in India. The Islamic-style frescos, gemstone work and the external gold plated artwork add to its superiority. 

Harmandir Sahib
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The sacred lake, known as, Amrit Sarovar (Pool of Nectar) surrounds the temple along with four entrances according to their religious belief. In the interiors, you will find shrines to Sikh saints, designed marble work and a memorial to the gallant Sikh soldiers. Many locals offer their time and voluntary help towards the temple. Don’t forget to join in the mighty 'langar' (common kitchen where food is served) which is a memorable experience.

Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China

Temple of Heaven
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This temple was built around the 1400s by the Ming Dynasty Emperor, Yongle. Over the years many would visit the temple to pray for a blessed harvest. The temple features a public park, prayer halls, a vivid wooden structure and other dragon structures. The most eye-catching element of the temple is its dark blue tiles symbolizing heaven.

Ta'er Monastery, Lusha'er, Tibet

Considered as one of the most vital monasteries in Tibet, the 1950 founded monastery has a place of meditation for seven monks in those initial days. 

Taer Monastery
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The present complex includes more than 30 temples topped with pure-golden paste roof, a large gold tile hall, silk banners, silver and golden lamp stands and important relics. By the glow of several vessels, the interiors create a spiritual and mystical atmosphere.

Baha'i House of Worship (Lotus Temple), New Delhi, India

The Baha'i House of Worship, also known as the Lotus Temple has drawn 70 million visitors since it opened which has elevated to being the most famous and visited building in the world. 

Bahai House of Worship
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The 27 free-erected leaves leave people awed at its creation. Nine doors lead to the vast central hall that has welcomed people from every faith. The ground is endowed with nine ponds and a marvellous garden with indigenous flowers and plants.

Posted in World

Tagged In Amritsar Angkor Wat Bahia Beautiful Temples Beijing budget travel Cambodia China Golden Temple Harmandir Sahib India Lotus Temple New Delhi Siem Reap Temple of Heaven Temples in India Temples of the World Travel Advice travel deals travel tips Vacation Ideas

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