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.
OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko came back from Japan and launches a special series of articles devoted to this country. Warning for very sensitive readers: Beware! After reading, you will get a keen desire to break away, buy a ticket and fly to such a marvelous and fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!
Despite ongoing development of air transport, many people across the Earth still love to travel by train for various reasons. Though the majority of passengers associate trains with a rather slow way to travel compared with airplanes, and are concerned with low comfort which can be still at the level of last century, reading through our selection below, you will definitely consider once again which means of transport you prefer to get to your destination.
Today Outlook travels along the cities and countries that are considered as the most interesting from the point of view of geography and administrative management. Moreover, they are enclaves as they are located within the territories of other states.
Context manager Bohdan Yanchev undertook a long-term journey to the United States. He spend six months there and not just visited large cities like Miami, New York and Washington but also worked in different positions, made numerous acquaintances with locals and visited places that ordinary tourists know nothing about. Upon his return he told us about his brightest impressions.
Prague... It is romantic, decadent, sad and cheerful, sublime and spiritual, reflected in the flapping wings of well-fed seagulls on the Charles Bridge, in the mirror pools of Vltava River... Prague is a very attractive and slightly strange European city. Creative copywriter Masha Goldman once spent several winter days there and told us about Prague charms.
This amazing African country strikes tourists by odd mixture of cultures. There isn’t a thing you cannot see in Senegal! Retro cars of French origin; cows idly walking along the road; horse-drawn carts... Yet, there are more than enough surprises it its historical and cultural capital city of Saint-Louis. Go for a walk in search of attractions, and local herbalists offering specific medical herbs as a cure-all remedy, will immediately surround you.
Today our story is about one of the most amazing combinations one can imagine, that is Italians and Englishmen, so we expand number of our articles dedicated to the ethnic ghettos of the world. Get ready to follow us to the cold and rainy Bedford, where we will plunge into the warm Mediterranean atmosphere.
The Times newspaper edition recognized Ålesund as the most beautiful town in Norway. It is not without reason: wayward sea, mesmerizing northern nature, famous fjords, fabulous multi-coloured houses in the Art Nouveau style and the legendary Trolls' Path, beckon those wishing to see the stunning wild landscapes.
In the world there is an unusual place where the biggest number of twins are born. Although at first glance it looks like a mystical coincidence, statistics makes you believe in miracles. The Indian state of Kerala can boast of a village where unusual things happen. Kodhini is the place with more twins than anywhere else in the world. Actually, there is almost no explanation for this.
Nature and heritage are above and beyond temporary drawbacks in infrastructure and services of Kyrgyzstan, which in terms of tourism is approaching to Georgia and Armenia. Let's consider this through the example of the cosy city of Karakol.
Australia flies instinctively into our ears with a loud intro from shell of the Sydney Opera, and only after that we recall that the capital of this country is Canberra. Though the city is often seen as a stopover between Melbourne and Sydney, Canberra is not only considering, but has been already implementing into reality a plan how to win hearts of all tourists.
For many tourists France is mainly Paris with long queues to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, as well as neighbouring sights with royal chic, or Mediterranean resorts. But OUTLOOK author while travelling through the country decided to go to the north, to Normandy! Our readers are welcome to read series of travel essays about a journey to the Atlantic Ocean by Kornei Gritsyuk, and the story begins with his impressions from the town of Deauville!
At the bare mention of the word lake, our imagination pictures soothing, nostalgia-laden images of quite pond cosily embraced by the grassy hills. OUTLOOK prepared a selection of the most spectacular lakes, which will change your understanding of this work of nature. Each of them has something to surprise, whether it is unusual water shade, or frightening ability to petrify living creatures.
As a child I could spend hours gazing at the sky and spying majestic flocks of birds winging their way south. For a kid this movement was a real magic. Today my bookshelf hosts almost no books about magic, though I am still excited about feathered tribes travelling in hope to land on their winter grounds.
Experienced travelers tell that one could watch the ruins of ancient settlements in the Andes during several months, moving from one region to another. Particularly, the richest one in archaeological complexes of is the western coast of the Southern continent. A long time ago, some of them, such as Machu Picchu, have become popular with tourists, others are just beginning to open their doors to curious people.
Its sounds penetrate the heart, stop the flow of thoughts and cause the blood to move in some kind of magical rhythm. It's a roll of thunder. It gives the shivers. It's a secret. Japanese drums in their homeland are elevated to the rank of cult. Without them, not a single official event is possible, their melodies delight the hearing during joy and help to experience sadness.
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Good tourist is not just someone who is always quick off the mark and ready to embark on a journey any minute. It is the one who is also known for an ability to carefully plan holidays six months in advance. If you are one of them and already think where to go in summer - our next story about gigantic Issyk-Kul Lake and kinds of recreation there is for you.
Even being adults, sometimes we are able to bring to life the children’s fantasies, see the stories from childish dreams, and embody what has seemed to be the fairytale. Have you ever dreamt of being in the whale’s chaps? Just imagine that you were swollen by the giant fish, and you were living there for a long time, looked at it inside, settled down there, swam and dived there?
Ancient cities with their monuments, architecture, traditions and atmosphere are a desired destination for tourists, since visiting them one can learn and understand a country and its inhabitants. However, there are travellers who are fans of urbanism and modern urban planning. To delight them we prepared this article devoted to the newest cities that have sprung up recently around the world. Yet, we believe that it is still interesting for fans of centuries-old hot spots.