Using Travel Guides to Your Benefit

When it comes to travelling; basically there are two kinds of people. The first kind plans their entire vacation right from the time they leave their house to the time they return whereas the others just go to the place, book themselves into a hotel and then decide what to do.

But, if you’re planning on visiting a new city there are plenty of travel guides that would be able to help you plan your vacation; however, there are plenty of people waiting to mint cash from you and therefore make sure that you only buy official travel guides as they’d have everything you need to know.

Use the travel guide to plan

One of the best ways of using the travel guide is by flipping through the pages of the brochure, check out the places you would love to visit and write them down on a separate piece of paper or on your phone.

Once that’s done you could then begin your journey by visiting the places in order based on their proximity to each other. As far as possible hire a professional travel guide so that they would help you reach all those places in the least amount of time – else you’d be travelling in circles.

Also, while you’re travelling from a place to the next, you could use your smartphone or laptop to check out what you could do in the area, usually you’d find a lot of interesting articles on each place you visit.

Find out about dangers using the guide

There are also times when you need to be careful about visiting a few places and your travel guide would point those out as well. You may find a mountain range really beautiful and plan a hiking trip, but the time of the year that you’re visiting could be avalanche season – so, make sure that you read the guide thoroughly before you plan.

Use them to learn about the place

Your travel guide is probably a comprehensive book and it would contain a lot of information on each and every place mentioned. Using the book you would be able to check out the history of the place as well as it’s cultures and traditions.

If you’re lucky, a bit of the ancient culture could still be alive in some parts of the city and if you’re interested you could ask your travel guide to take you to that part of town.

A travel guide isn’t a book, it’s basically just a kind of glossary that gives you information that you would find when you scratch the surface. If you’re looking forward to having a true adventure, you would need to conduct your very own research on the particular heritage site, garden or just about any place you visit within a city.

They prevent you from being cheated

When you use a travel guide, it would also include the fares that you would need to pay your tour guide as well as taxi driver to drive you from one place to the next. Usually when you’re travelling to foreign countries, you would notice that the locals try to loot you as they consider tourists to be rich.

Hence, just by following the tour guide and using government services as outlined in the guide, you would be able to enjoy your visit, whilst at the same time save cash.

Germ Free Vegetarian Dining: 5 Disease Culprits You Won’t Encounter at A Vegetarian Restaurant

These days, it seems like germs are everywhere. From the swine flu to the avian flu, we seem to be under siege from deadly bacteria and viruses. Fortunately, when you dine in a vegetarian restaurant, there are some illnesses that you can forget about for an hour or two. Here are 5 germs that you are less likely to encounter when you choose a vegetarian dining option for your next meal.

1. Salmonella
This illness-causing bacteria is carried primarily in meat and eggs. Most often, people ingest the bacteria when eating meats or eggs that have not been fully cooked. Since your vegetarian meal contains no meat or eggs, you do not have to worry about proper preparation time.

Salmonella can sometimes spread from contaminated meat to other foods and surfaces if the preparer touches the item after handling uncooked meat. Vegetarian restaurant kitchens are safe from any possibility of cross contamination. Even if a germ managed to get on your veggie before it arrived at the restaurant, the bug is eliminated when your chef washes your veggies before use.

2. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) a.k.a. Mad Cow Disease
Rare but deadly, BSE is caused by a mutated protein that enters the body and causes the brain and spinal cord to degenerate, eventually leading to death. It is carried exclusively in meat products and is transmitted by consuming the affected beef. Your dinner at a vegetarian restaurant is guaranteed to be BSE-free.

3. E. coli
E. coli is a bacteria which produces toxins that can cause serious illness and even death, particularly among those with a weakened immune system. It is most commonly transmitted in undercooked meat, such as the hamburger-related outbreak on the West Coast a few years ago. While unwashed produce can occasionally contain E. coli, basic washing eliminates the bacteria. Simply put, as long as your restaurant is washing its vegetables before use, you’re completely safe.

If you’re still worried, go organic for your vegetarian dining. Certified organic farms were found to have a lower incidence of E. coli than other producers. If you want to be doubly sure that your meal is bacteria free, an organic vegetarian restaurant is less likely to have E. coli than other restaurants.

4. Shellfish poisoning
Nearly everyone has known someone who has gotten sick after a seafood dinner. Clams, mussels, oysters and scallops are the most common culprits. These two-shelled bottom feeders often build up toxins as they filter the water for their nutrients. When improperly cooked, those toxins remain in the meat, entering your system and leading to a few days of gastrointestinal misery. You can avoid any risk of shellfish poisoning by opting for a vegetarian dining option instead.

5. Clostridium perfringens
This is another illness-causing bacteria carried in poorly prepared meat and poultry. While the subsequent gastrointestinal upset is not usually fatal, it is weakening and can last for 24 to 48 hours after consumption. Most of us have experienced it at some time or another without knowing it, since studies have shown that the majority of the population has antibodies left over from previous infection. To save yourself from a case of the “stomach flu,” choose a vegetarian restaurant instead.

Dangerous, disease-causing bacteria lurk in incorrectly prepared meat, poultry and shellfish, and you can get your dose unknowingly from a meat-serving restaurant. Choose a vegetarian restaurant instead for a germ free dining experience.

7 Of the Best Restaurants in Honolulu

Warning: This content could result in severe hunger pains.

The Pig and the Lady is one of the best restaurants in Honolulu. It is the epitome of comfort food at its finest. Their menu changes weekly so be sure to call ahead or go online to find out what wonderful meals they will be serving. The prices are low and the quality is outstanding.

Chef Andrew Le is a man of many talents. He makes an awesome noodle soup. You can eat at the pop up restaurant or at his booth in the farmer’s market. The beef and pork wrapped in a betelnut leaf, also known as heo lo lat, is a notable native dish. It is grilled to perfection and incredibly delicious. If you plan your dining experience on the weekend, you absolutely must try the fries. They are out of this world. There’s a secret to this magical concoction but you’ll have to ask the Chef for the secret.

Another incredible dish you can expect is stew, “Cu Cai Nau Xuon” Braised Spare Ribs & Daikon over jasmine rice. The Daikon is fresh and local. One of “Mama’s” soups is a Bun Bo Hue, a Kauai-raised beef brisket, pork belly noodle soup with pork hock and lemon flavored soup. If you like Pho, you’ll love this specialty. Some other noteworthy dishes are com ga hoi an, cari chay, vegetarian curry, xoi ga, and a lo lat appetizer.

In the mood for Korean food? Check out Million Restaurant on Sheridan Street. This is a kid-friendly restaurant. The yakiniku grinds costs around $50 but it is well worth it. It’s a carnivore’s dream come true. When you order the set, sides come with it, such as kimchee, pickled onions, seasoned lettuces and fishcake. The rice is moist and you have a variety of sauces should you choose to spice it up a bit.

La Mer is an upscale French restaurant located on Kalia Road. It’s fancy so leave the kids at home and dress appropriately – there’s a dress code. This is definitely a great choice for a special occasion. When a meal starts with champagne, you know you’re in for a wonderful evening.

This restaurant deserves its five star rating. The service is impeccable and the atmosphere is extremely peaceful. Each entree is perfectly prepared and is in keeping with the French tradition, accompanied with a sauce that enhances the dish. The staff is knowledgeable and the wine pairings complete each dish. This restaurant is not cheap but well worth the splurge.

The lobster and beet medallion salad has a scrumptious lemony sauce. The escargot is cheesy and if you close your eyes when eating this luscious dish, you’ll feel like you’re in Paris.

Michel’s at the Colony Surf is a perfect romantic dining experience. You’ll need to make reservations. The menu is masterpiece featuring appetizers such as Michel’s famous lobster bisque with fresh Maine lobster meat flamed in Cognac right at your table. The Caesar salad is also prepared at your table and consists of baby romaine lettuce, hearts of palm, a creamy dressing topped with the anchovy.

The steak tartar is also prepared at your table and this raw sirloin is fresh and local. The Helix Escargot Bourgogne includes six snails swimming and a delectable garlic, herb butter.

There are many entrees to choose from including an island seafood cioppino that includes Onaga, salmon, lobster, scallops, prawns, clams, squid, and mussels in a rich Italian tomato base. If you’re in the mood for steak, the beef tenderloin Rossini is a prime cut of black angus served with an incredible foie gras, truffle and chutney Madeira sauce. Can’t make up your mind? Try the 6 course tasting menu. You can’t go wrong.

Save room for dessert! The cherries jubilee has fresh bing cherries soaked in amaretto and cognac served over vanilla ice cream and topped with mouth-watering chocolate shavings. A local favorite, the Hawaiian apple and banana flambe is prepared using bananas grown locally served over vanilla ice cream.

Chef Mavro is putting on a show at his restaurant located in beautiful Honolulu. This five star restaurant requires reservations and offers an array of exquisite food. Start your evening with a variety of caviar with a perfectly paired glass of wine.

Choose from the three course menu that includes scallops, and of course the perfect glass of wine. You’ll also be treated to a mango duckling brilliantly prepared, finished off with a coconut Calamansi. This wonderful dessert is made with fresh coconut mousse, calamansi-cherry coulis, served over an almond ice cream topped with candied lime leaves. The perfect pairing of a vintage port is the best way to finish an incredible meal.

Four and six course meals are also available.

Pho Bistro 2 is a Vietnamese restaurant located on Kalakaua Avenue in Honolulu. As one of the best restaurants in Honolulu, both locals and tourists will love this place. It’s kid-friendly and a comfortable atmosphere. Although they have a private parking lot, it’s small so take a cab or ride together if you have a large group.

The food is fresh and good. The summer and spring rolls are superb. If you’re not very hungry, the summer and spring rolls should be satisfying. However, if you’re really hungry, consider ordering the large combination pho. Great soup served with different spices, allowing you to control your spice level. You can order your beef rare on the outside and the soup is hot enough to cook it.

Hy’s Steak House is definitely one of the best restaurants in Honolulu. Its cuisine is continental and the decor and menu combines the cultures of European, Hawaiian and American. The main room resembles an English chateau reminiscent of a traditional gentlemen’s club. The main dining area is cozy and decorated to resemble a library. The walls are framed with books and art, the wood molding is exquisitely detailed, the Tiffany stained glass framed with dark mahogany paneling is unique and the chandeliers are simply extraordinary.

Walking into Hy’s Steak House, one of the best restaurants in Honolulu, is like walking back in time. The waiter stations are wood marvels topped with antique marble tops.

The seafood is cooked to perfection as is the steak, chops and everything else on the menu. The waiters wear tuxedos and prepare Caesar salads and desserts tableside. The steaks are prime cuts of beef and seared to perfection.