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.Photo naiveangel.com
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.Photo holidayme.com
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. Photo envato-shoebox-0.imgix.net
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.
The city of elegant bridges and mazelike streets, fouled on the map as if a headphones carelessly flung into a pocket. A place that gave name to the whole country and an alcohol drink that used to pack a punch for rugged sailors. The capital’s main rival and the pride of the North in its opposition to the South. We’re talking about Porto – Portugal’s second business and industrial centre after Lisbon and all-in-all one of key South European metropolises.
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!
Going to the Comoros a tourist wants to see pure exotic and immediately gets into an oasis of wildlife. "Moonlight" tenderness implicit in Arabic interpretation of the name "Comore" ("moon"), was taken from the neighbouring Madagascar, initially claimed to be called "Comoros".
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 days there and told us about Prague charms.
Today we are inviting you for a walk in the oldest neighbourhood in the city of Lisbon, the famous Alfama, an emblematic quarter we often see in the movies and works of popular culture when it comes to the Portuguese capital. Founded by the Moors in the eighth century, the most genuine neighbourhood Alfama blows visitors away immediately with its picturesque labyrinth of narrow streets...
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.
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.
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.
One of the smallest capitals of the world – Malé – offers to have a look at the country’s, not 5-star hotel’s, places of interest and to get closer to life of ordinary Maldivians, not people from a room next door. First association that comes to mind at the mention of the Maldives is something azure and pastoral.
Once upon the time, Pygmy peoples lived on the west coast of Africa. They did not have any conflicts with anyone. When they were hungry, they went hunting, picked up nuts and bananas. Then the Mpongwé and the Fang tribes came. After them, the Portuguese arrived and named these lands Gabon. They were followed by the French who acquired the land and declared it as their colony.
If what they show in cinematograph is true than a typical samurai appears to be austere, taciturn and even slightly unsociable person. But this image in actual fact doesn’t get in line with reality... You don’t believe it? Our journalist Elena Rasenko suggests you make sure of it for yourself.
Elena Rasenko has visited Armenia and shares with readers the original charm of the country in which one really wants to stay. Armenians treat their national treasure - khachkars - very reverently and respectfully. These are processed and refined cross stones with a unique ornate pattern. So OUTLOOK proceeds with its story about Armenia.
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...
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.
It is just as hard to imagine a Japanese who doesn’t eat fish as to picture a Scott who doesn’t drink whiskey. OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko will tell you about a unique place where successors of samurai purchase fine seafood for their tables.
Incheon is considered to be sea and air gateway to South Korea since it has one of the country's largest seaports and the most spacious, world-class airport in the region. The city is growing rapidly: within just a hundred years it developed from a modest port settlement to an ultramodern industrial and tourist hub.
Green slopes covered with heather moorland, deserted suburban roads, narrow streets with small cottages and gardens emitting heady fragrance - it seems that British villages are unchangeable through the passage of time. Like stilled scenery for heroic fantasy fiction, each of them has its own story about great battles, brave warriors and legendary artefacts.
I was heading to this Caucasian state all by myself to completely strange people. Prior to the trip all my friends and relatives warned me more than a dozen times about harsh temper of the hillmen and painted a vivid picture of what kind of difficulties were expecting me, a young woman travelling alone.
Spiegelgasse is originated from German collocation ‘Mirror street’ or ‘Mirror alley’. However, it is not the biggest and the most important street in Zurich. Moreover, it is vice versa, incredibly short and narrow… Well, being situated in the quiet nooks of the old city in such a way that no tourists could see it.
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!