sexta-feira, 6 de abril de 2018

Cultural Immersion: Bangkok (South Africa)

▪ Thailand
 Located in the heart of mainland Southeast Asia, Thailand or Kingdom of Thailand encompasses diverse ecosystems, including the hilly forested areas of the northern frontier. The country has also many rare species of  trees, shrubs and plants. The country was primarily an agricultural country, however since 1960 an increasing number of people have moved to Bangkok and to other cities. (Read more)

▪ Bangkok
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand is the only multicultural city in a country of small villages and towns, it’s also a cultural and commercial centre. Located on the mouth of river of the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok it was formely divided into two municipalities: KrungThep on the east  and Thon Buri on the west, the two were  united as a city-province with a single municipal government in  1971. The buildings of the city were originally modelled on Ayutthaya, and was designed to reflect the glory of the city. Home to the Royal family, Bangkok is the capital of Thailand in every sense. (Read more)

▪ Tourist Spots

▪ Dusit Palace
The Dusit Palace, originally constructed on Ko Si Chang in 1868 and moved to Vimanmek  Teak Mansion, it’s a gougeous palace in Bangkok.  This beautiful building  contais eigthy one rooms, halls and anteroons, is said to be the  world’s largest golden-teak builging, allegedly built without the use of single nail. The mansion was also the first permanet building on the Dusit Palace grounds, and served as Rama V’s residence in the early 20th century. (Read more)

▪ Lumpini Park
The Lumpini Park, the first public park in Bangkok is more than an oasis of nature, originally designed to house Thai crafts and flowers, it’s a calm place where people can run, stroll paths, take a paddle boat ride or just sit and relax with family and friends. (Read more)

▪ Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Market also known as JJ Market, is one of the largest markets in the world, with more than 8,000 stalls peddling wares ranging from antiques to clothes, acessories and also food. Chatuchak Market also includes a wide array of tasty restaurants with the best street food in Thailand. (Read more)

▪ Wat Arun
Wat Arun also Known “Temple of Dawn” is one of the  oldest and best known tourist spots in Bangkok, situated on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, the temple is an architectural representation of the Mount Meru, the Center of the universe in Buddhist cosmology. (Read more)

▪ Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw
With an incradible building,  the construction of the palace was started in 1782, when the capital of Siam was moved from Thonburi to Bangkok. The palace also served as the residence of the Kings of Thailand until the misterious death of King Ananda Mahidol. Today, the palace is a famous tourist attraction, parto f the Grand Palace is dedicated to a royal temple, Wat Prakew, na sacred temple of Thailand and home to the famous Emerald Buddha. (Read more)

▪ Cuisine

▪ Pat Thai
Pat Thai is one of the most famous dishes in Thailand, is prepared with rice noodles stir-fried  with dried and fresh shrimp, bean sprout, tofu, eggs and seasonings. Tradictionally is served with lime halves and a few stalks of Chinese chives and a sliced banana flower. (Read more)

▪ Khao Pad
Khao Pad it’s  a famous food in Thailand. The recipe is  prepared with fried  rice, eggs, onion and few herbs. The secret of this pretentious dish lies in keep simple. 

▪ Yam Nua
Yam Nua is a spicy beef salad, prepared with a mix of onion, coriander, spearmint, lime, dried chili and tender  strips of beef, it  perfectly embodies  the invigorating in the  mouth thrill of all Thai salads. 

▪ Mango Sticky Rice
Sticky rice is the staple starch of northern and northeastern Thai cuisine (Isaan), and it’s also commonly used in all sorts of Thai desserts.
For Thai mango sticky rice, the sticky rice is steamed, mixed with thick coconut cream and sugar, paired with perfectly ripe yellow sweet mango, served with some extra coconut cream on the top to make it even better, and finally often some crispy yellow mung beans are sprinkled on the very top. (Check ou the recipe)

▪ Cha Yen
One of the most delicious and popular Thai drinks, Cha Yen or Thai iced tea is prepared with  orange and milky and tasty traditional tea that often proves to win many tourist’s hearts. You can also choose  to drink the Cha Yen cold or hot. 

Oliang or Black iced coffee is another traditional drink in Bangkok, the Oliang is a mix of coffee and others ingredients, can be roasted rice and caramel then roasted with coffee beans. Normally people drink Oliang cold and you can also adding milk in the drink. 

▪ Nom Yen
Nom Yen is a creative drink made of fresh hot milk mixed with green or red syroup. Very popular among kids and teenegers who not consume any kind of caffeine drinks. The drink is colorful and atractive. (Read more)

▪ Habits
Bangkok is a city with friendly people, the culture is deeply influenced by religion, the belief system and values of Buddhism play a huge  role in day-to-day life, no matter how frustreted or upset a person might feel, they always strive  to maintain a positive and friendly attitude, sense of humor and a smile. (Read more)

▪ Music
The Thai music was developed in the royal court while folk and popular music sprung up in the countryside. The traditional music of Thailand refrects its geographic position at the intersection of China and India, and also reflect trades routes that have historically inlcuded Persia, Africa, Greece and Rome. (Read more)

▪ Dance
Dance is the main dramatic art form of Thailand. Thai dance, like many forms of traditional Asian dance, can be divided into two major categories that correspond roughly to the high art (classical dance) and low art (folk dance) distinction. (Read more)

▪ Climate
The climate in Bangkok simillar to the rest of Thailand is hot all year round, between mid-November and January the weather is good, usually with clear skies. In fact, the weather in Bangkok it’s hot even  thought it’s winter, normally in February the temperatures start to rise, remains sunny, although occasionally a few thunderstomrscan develop. (Read more)

▪ Cost of living
Bangkok in the past has had a reputation of being cheap, but after years,  the city changed and the biggest surprise for many visitors is how modern the city is nowadays. The life in a city who still growing everyday can be a little bit expensive. ( Readmore)

▪ Extra  

quinta-feira, 29 de março de 2018

Cultural Immersion: Johannesburg (South Africa)

Flag of South Africa
▪ South Africa 
Officially Republic of South Africa, the southernmost country on the African continent, renowned for the great natural beauty and cultural diversity, all of which have made the country a favoured destination for travelers since the legal ending of apartheid. Most of South Africa’s landscape is mad up of high, flat areas colled plateaus covered with rolling grasslands, called highveld and tree-dotted plains colled bushveld. (Read more)


▪ City of  Johannesburg
Home of  the South Africa’s hero Nelson Mandela, Johannesburg is the most advanced commercial city and the engine room of the South Africa regional economy. It is a city with unique African character, world-class infrastructure in the fields of telecommunications, transportation, water and power with globally-competitive health care and  educational  facilities. The city was named after two  officials of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) Johannes Meyer and Johannes Rissik, the city grew rapidly . However , the city has also some   contrasts : Johannesburg is home  to both wealthy and poor residents and refugees, global corporations and emerging enterprises. (Read more)

▪ Tourist Spots

▪ Soweto  and The Mandela  Museum
 Soweto ( na abbreviation for Southwestern Township) lies 20 kilometers southwest of Johannesburg  and offers visitors a jorney into the soul of the fight for freedom. The tours often include a visit to Mandela House Museum, when Mandela lived with is wife Winnie before he was imprisoned for 27 years. (Read more)

▪ Market Theatre
 The Market Theatre complex housed in a converted market building, plays a major part in Johannesburg’s cultural life. It has four live theater venues where some of the finest productions in South Africa are presented. (Read more)

▪ Johannesburg Art Gallery
 Is one of the biggest collections of art in Africa with more than 9.000 works, though only a small portion is displayed at one time. The Gallery focuses  on works by South African and European artits. (Read more)

 ▪ The Apartheid Museum
The Apartheid Museum is very popular for visitors who want to learn about the history of the city and also about the history of the country, you can also see  photographs, text panels and be able to learn throught film footage, the non-profit museum was opened in 2001 and releis on donations, contributions and sponsorship to keep growing. (Read more)

▪ Lion Park
The Lion Park is a wildlife conservation dedicated to the protection of Transvaal lions and is  spread over 500 acres  of land Gauteng province, more than 90 lions live in the park including  the rare  white Lions. The park also include cheetahs, spotted hyenas, cape wild dogs, Black-backed jackal and antelopes. (Read more)

▪ Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park
Close to Lion Park, the Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park is one of the wold’s favourite wildlife to see crocodiles and other reptiles, you can also learn about those incradible animals ans have a photo taken holding a baby crocodile or a snake. (Read more)

▪ Cuisine:

▪ Malva Pudding
 It’s easy to see why South Africans love malva pudding. Malva pudding is a sweet and  stickly baked sponge pudding made with apricot jam and served smothered in a hot cream sauce. 

▪ Chakalaka and pap
Chakalaka and pap are mainstays on every South African dinner table. Chakalaka is a vegetable dish made of onions, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beans and spices, and is often served cold. Pap, meaning porridge. Papa and Chakalaka are served together. 

▪ Amarula Don Pedro
This cocktail-come-dissert uses South African Amarula, a cream liqueur made from indigenous marula fruit blended with ice cream. (Read more)

▪ Mealie
Frequently served on the cob or mande into a beer Mealie is a maize and quickly meal for the masses and those on a tight budget. Can also be processed in the form of Mealine Pap wich is a porridge made from  ground maize and grains. 

▪ Frikkadel
 Also called meatball, Frikkadel is a traditional South African food  that is mainly made of  baked or sometimes deep-fried, frikkadel are prepared with onion, bread, vinegar, eggs and spices, you can find easilly in the entire country. (Read more)

▪ Biltong
Biltong is one of the most popular food in South African, it is a kind of cured meat, an air-dried meat (usually beef) that is savoured nearly everywhere by nearly everyone. Many differents types of meat are used in its making, ranging from beef through games meats fillets of osthich from commercial farms. 

▪ Umqombothi
Umqombothi is a beer made from corn, has a lower alcohol percentage than most of commercial beers, high in vitamin B this beer is usually drunk in a communal setting where the drinks is shared between friends. 

▪ Mageu
Mageu is a non-alcoholic drink made from fermented mealie pap, looks like a thin carbohydrate-rich porridge. Its made by adding  flour or sorghum to maize porridge. People usually drink Mageu to improve digestion. (Read more)

▪ Habits

 Johannesburg is referred to as the largest and most densely populated city in South Africa.  Three-quarters of its population comprises of the Africans, along with 16% whites and 6%  Coloured. Indians also make 4% of the population of Johannesburg. Christianity is widely practised,  but there are a considerable number of Jews, Hindus, Muslims  and people who still practice  African Traditional religions. (Read more

▪ Music

▪ Kwaito
Kwaito is a mixture of house music, R&B, Jamaican raggae and hip-hop. Kwaito is played  almost countinuously on radio stations, in clubs and in people’s home, the cultural influences is evident in many song and bands. (Read more)

Song: Wena | Artist: Heavy-K DRUMBOOS

Mkhululi Siqula best Known as Heaby-K Drumboos  is a Record producer na DJ from South Africa, the artist come a long way from making music in his roon to producing some of the biggest artits... (Read more)

▪ Climate
The city of Johannesburg  enjyable weather all year round, a good reason for the great  climate is the fact that  Johannesburg is located  at high altitude above sea  level, another good reason is that there’s often a light breeze, helping to ward the extremely hot temperatures. The seasons are not always clearly defined.  (Read more)

▪ Cost of life
In Johannesburg the cost of living is low.  The city is ranked as one of the cheapest expant destinations in the world. (check out the cost of living in Johannesburg)

▪ Extra

Cultural Immersion: Reykjavik (Iceland)

▪ The country: Iceland

Iceland, an island nation located in the North Atlantic Ocean is a land of bright colours contracts of climate, geography and culture. The country has mountainous  landscapes, black lava  fields, geomethermal pools, geysers  and thirty active volcanic. Icelander use  the nature benefits to energy, ninety percent of housing in Iceland is  heated by natural geothermal energy and is also one of the cheapest and cleanest  form of energy. Iceland was founded during the Viking age of exploration and settled by a mixed Norse and Celtic population. (Read more)

▪ Reykjavik
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and is also the largest city in the country, it's located on the Seltjarnar Peninsula, at the southeastern corner of Faxa Bay, in soutgwestern Iceland and the city was fonded in 1876. Similar to the entire coutry, in Reykjavik we still close to the nature, the forces of the nature are all around in abundance. The city is the commercial, cultural, industrial and cultural centre of the country, its also a major fishing port and the site of nearly half of the nation’s industries..... (Read more)

▪ Tourist Spots

▪ Aurora Borealis ( Northen Lights )
The Aurora Borealis or Northen Lights is a natural phenomena  light show, if you’re visiting Reykjvik during the winter, you might  want to see the beautiful Northen lIghts, although you can see the lights from the entire city, people recommend taking a tour with local companies.... ( Read more)

▪ Golden Circle
The Golden Circle  its a very popular 190-miles-long tourist route that runs by Thingvellir National Park. The Golden Circle offers the opportunity to see a meeting-point of the continental plates and site of the ancient Icelandic parlament..... (Read more)

▪ Hallgrimur’s Church ( Hallgrimskirkja)
Hallgrimskirkja is one of the most photographed church around the world. Whit a modern and beauiful structure the church is also a main tourist spots for visitors. The church was named after  17th century hymn writer and church scholar Reverend Hallgrimur Petursson and took nearly 50 years to complete.... (Read more

▪ Arbaer Open Air Museum
The Arbaer Open Air Museum shows what life was in 19th and 20th century in Iceland, the history of painting houses,exhibits about toys and early building techniques. This open-air museum features more than 20 buildings that were origially located in central Reykjavik . (Read more)

▪ Harpa  Concert and  Conference Center
Situated in a solitary spot with a clear and beautiful view of the sea and mountains, Harpa Concert inspared by basalt crystals, the faceted glass scatters reflections of the  surrounding harbour and Sky, and presents a glittering wall of light after dark. Today is one of the most visited attraction of the volcanic island. Harpa means “harp” in Iceland, its also Icelandic name for the first month of spring. (Read more)

▪ Cuisine

▪ Harofiskur
Harofiskur is basically jerky fish made from Wind-dried fish, often cod, haddock or seawolf. It can be easilly found in supermarkets in the entire country.  Icelanders usually eat Harofiskur with butter, often comes in colorful packaging illustrated with comic figures to attract Young children. (Read more)

▪ Kjotsúpa
Kjotsúpa is na Icelandic soup with meat, tradictionally prepared with Lamb shank and vegetables. Grains such as oats, barley or rice are often used to thicken the soup. Its a good choice during the winter... (Read more)

▪ Fiskisúpa
Made with salmon and prawns, Fiskisúpa is a Icelandic soup whit many varieties and can be also made with a mixture of different fish, often including co dor Artic char, the soup countains vegetables and is often made with generous slug of  alcohol, usually white wine and lashings of cream. (Read more)

▪ Skyr
Similar to yogurt in consistency and made out of cheese, Skyr it has been  consumed in Iceland for 1.000 years and continues to be consumed by locals throughout everyday. It is usually served with milk and a sweet topping, such as berries or other fruit... (Read more)

▪ Brennivin
Brennivin translates directly to “burn wine”  also caled by “Black dead” is made from fermented grain or potato mash and flavored with caraway. The drink has been poured into Icelandic  snaps glasses for decades and is especially enjoyed during the winter. (Read more)

▪ Coffee
Icelandic people drink a lot  of coffee and they are also the fourth-largest consumers of coffee per capita in the world. Local coffee shops and cafés are found on most streets corners. The latté is the most popular coffee beverage, but espresso, cappuccino and Black coffee are high on the Icelanders list. (Read more)

▪ Habits

In the capital of Iceland is common festivals  wich always attract foreign guests attention, if you are plannig to visit Reykjavik, you will have the great  possibillity to discover gastronomical and cultural establishment. (Read more)

▪ Music

▪ Folk Music
Folk is a remarkable of Iceland’s musical traditions with differets styles together. Tradictional instruments like langspil and fiola are normally used to accompany vocal compositions and the main themes around  the folk song including the Norse mythology. (Read more)

Song : Shades | Band: Árstíoir

▪ Band:
Formed in 2008 with a unique sound that represent the Icelandic music scene and culture, Árstíoir is a six-piece Icelandic folk band from Reykjavik.... (Read more)

▪ Climate
Close to the Artic Circle the climate in Reykjavik, simillar to the rest of the contry is cold, windy and cloudy in the most part of the year,  the average temperatures in Reykjavik in July are about 12 degrees C.  It doesn’t snow as much in Iceland as people may think either, especially in Reykjavik where there is usually very little snow to be seen even during the winter. ( Read more)

 Cost of Living
It’s important to keep in mind that if you are planning to move to another country you must consider your budget for living expenses.  In biggest cities like Reykjavik the expenses are higher, normally in Iceland people spend less money living on the countryside or outside the city... (Read more)

▪ Extra: