First thing that comes to mind on hearing a phrase ‘Chocolate Hills’ are cacao bean plantations, candy villages or some kind of sweets festival. However, we’ll have to disappoint sweet teeth and make happy those who appreciate unusual views – chocolate is nowhere near here, instead there’s a unique work of nature.
Mountains with their shapes resembling huge sweet truffles overlook Bohol Island – one of over seven thousand islands that make up the Philippines. Chocolate color range makes it resemble a desert even more; its ‘powder’ becomes apparent when sun starts ‘smoking’ its grass cover. Mountains decorate a huge plain, disappearing far beyond the horizon, because their quantity amounts to tens of thousands! ‘Truffles mature’ and acquire distinctive shade with autumn approaching. However, both tourists and locals come here the year round. When gathered on sightseeing platforms, people take pictures either pretending they are having a bite of huge sweets or jumping as if they are in Sugarland.
No conclusive answer has been found to the question why it was here where the risings emerged. At first it might even seem that they are manmade – their shapes are too alike, as if a skillful sculptor created them according to a sketch. Scientific hypotheses as to those limestone mounds overgrown with grass vary from ancient volcanic eruption to digging into their oceanic past when they used to be in the bottom of deep waters.
Filipinos disagree with scientists and explain the birth of ‘chocolates’ by means of legends. However there is no accord here, too. One of the tales suggests that the mounds emerged as a result of two giants fighting. Later the two hulks made peace and left the island each taking own track while the whole area, as a reminder of the heavyweight duel, was left covered in sand and stones that got covered with greenery. Another legend, a romantic one, is mostly told to loving couples; it also runs of a Gulliver who fell in love with a girl of the earth. When she died and an immortal leviathan was left in solitude, he was suffering and crying his heart out and it were his giant tears that turned into those mounds.
There is a mention of chocolate in neither folk nor scientific versions. Locals even didn’t use to pay attention to the coloration of the altitudes at all. Tourists too used to simply enjoy gorgeous views of ‘emerald’ hills known as Carmen Hills until an American compared the small mountains, which changed their tint as autumn was at hand, to “Hershey Kisses” sweets with similar shape. Thus the name Chocolate Hills stuck solidly to the area attracting travelers much better then the previous one.
Tourists with their eyes full of tears because statuettes, shells and other stuff bought “as a souvenir” are being shaken out of their bags – is a continual occurrence at customs. For you not to become one of those tourists, OUTLOK suggests you check out a selection of (sometimes weird) objects forbidden to be exported from different countries.
People on holiday can be divided into two types: “tender creatures” and “adrenaline addicts”. Former ones will trade passive sunbathing and comfortable hotels for nothing. The letter ones prefer even cabins to annoying all inclusive and suites. “Cabins” are the conditions Guinea Bissau provides you with. It is ironic that to go to a state that ranks among the poorest countries in the world would cost more dearly then a decent European resort.
To fully experience a country with the territory of over 700 square meters in merely a couple-of-days-long walking tour is very much possible. And no superpowers like teleportation or ability to move at light speed are needed for that. It is enough to head for Sentosa Island that pertains to the Republic of Singapore and completely reflects its specialties. And all that against no more than 100 dollars!
Lighthouse - this word evokes beautiful associations: sea adventures, storms, huge ships. And we do not want to dispel these thoughts, but rather to add fuel to the fire. There is a great amount of them in the world, they are striking by their beauty and inimitable. Today we are sharing with you the quintet of amazing lighthouses!
Have you ever noticed how parks attrack us when it gets warmer outside? And what happens when you suddenly get there? Time stands still, something starts pulsating inside you, and your body seems to plant out fresh sprouts. OUTLOOK encourages you to visit the most beautiful arboreta of Ukraine, which you will exit feeling double alive.
European coast of the Baltic Sea can boast of neither warm waters nor lasting beach season – this however does not prevent it from being a popular resort area. Great number of cozy coastal towns attracts tourists first of all with fresh and curative air as well as with the opportunity to “heal the eyes” looking at the cold sea and amazing landscapes. Sopot – main Baltic resort of Poland – exhibits all of these advantages to the full.
This country became open for tourists only in late 1980s although its port cities were considered windows to the new world in past. It is now famous as a producer of most expensive perfumes, world supplier of incense and a keeper of copper pits that used to be a source of the metal for ancient civilizations!
Young Ukrainian writer Pavel Khomenskyi visited Batumi, the city smothered in greenery and shining bright, the one that local citizens call the city of love. Palm trees, cypresses, magnolias, oleanders, bamboos, laurels, orange trees, thujas and box trees exhale fragrances on every step there; they tempt you to go watch a romantic picture of ships sailing off harbors. And today the author shares with you his postcards from this amazing city, penetrated with murmur of the sea and taste of fragrant wine.
Our cities are literally overfilled with concrete, glass and plastic. However, no matter how heavy-duty these construction materials are, sometimes the best foundation is nature. Today, OUTLOOK focuses on towns built "in" and "on" rocks.
It has been known since olden times that wine-making process is a true art that is within the power only of the ones sincerely in love with their trade. Let alone beauty of masterpieces created by skillful hands – grape gardens, scattered in various nooks of the world, that impress with grandeur and adorn this planet, ornamenting it with bright juicy colors.
OUTLOOK cannot imagine life without travelling. However, tickets, schedules, tardiness – all those things can spoil any trip. Therefore it is great to have either at home or in you garage a kind of transport that can allow you to see and to experience something new and forget all the problems.
Hotels that offer “all inclusive” for dogs. Hotels where adults are being lulled asleep by a fairytale or a unique place where work isn’t held in honor while laziness is encouraged. This is not a dream or a parallel reality – these are stalky hotel services…
Lisbon is one of the most beautiful and ancient cities in Europe, however, its territory is difficult for living and building due to its steep hilly terrain. Portuguese metropolis is situated on seven densely populated hills. That's why its hallmark is three funicular railroads and the elevator, without which tourists and residents would be much in trouble moving around the city.
If all the magnificent Istanbul is considered as the heart of regional trade, one of its most luxurious streets, Bagdad Avenue, is, certainly, the main artery. Having appeared there, even rejecting shopping with the whole heart, one feels hardship while trying to keep him balanced and not succumb to temptation to go to the ships and markets. Even though, apart from that, there is something to do here.
Traveling has long ago become a part of human life. There have always been bravehearts and madmen who headed off up hill and down dale, took risks and eventually discovered new lands. Today, when the world map has a very accurate outline, we offer you a couple of stories about trips around the world that contributed to its creation.
Everybody remembers a child’s fairy tale about the magical rainbow-colored flower that could make wishes come true. But some of us don’t know that it actually exists. Not so much in the shape of a flower but more like in granular state. We mean the sand that one of the villages on Mauritius, called Shamarel, is covered with.
Depression and lack of new ideas? Head to Goa! It was the rest in Goa that helped business lady Kira Kondratenko build up energy and ideas for the implementation of an interesting project once. Today she shares with us her impressions of the island while calling it nothing short of Heaven on Earth.
Marina Orlova is a project manager in a cultural and public organization. Working on one of her international projects, she met her love - Wim, a guy from Belgium. She succeeded to visit his country only when Ukraine obtained visa-free regime and Marina shared with OUTLOOK her observations about how the Belgians live, what they eat for breakfast and how they relax.
Some call it the city of temples, some – created by gods and others call it crematorium on the Ganges River. Today we speak about Indian city of Varanasi where no one is scared by death and the latter one has long ago become business. This metropolis with a million and a half of population, situated in the north-west of the state, was, according to legends, founded over five thousand years ago by Lord Shiva.
The Eiffel Tower, according to Guy de Maupassant, is just a huge iron freak in the centre of Paris. A romantic Shakespearean Venice, they say, in fact, is a solid dump with a sharp stench of sewage throughout the city. Can the glorified and famous countries, cities, and attractions be so disgusting? We asked experienced travellersabout the most disappointing destinations in their long journeys.