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Swept Away In Gran Canaria
First Published Online 10-10-2018
Also reappears within Mark's ESL Coaching Apps  with multiple choice questions

Located in the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is a captivating island that boasts stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and breathtaking landscapes, making it an ideal destination for couples seeking a romantic getaway. Besides its natural wonders, the island offers plenty of memorable sights and activities to do with your partner, ensuring an unforgettable vacation experience.

One of the most vibrant and captivating holiday resorts in Gran Canaria is Playa Del Ingles. There are so many breathtaking experiences and attractions you can enjoy while visiting this remarkable area. 

One of the must-visit places is the Maspalomas Dunes, a natural wonder located in the south of the island. Covering over 400 hectares, these spectacular dunes offer a perfect setting for romantic walks and camel rides through the sand.

Picture an enticing view of stunning sandy beaches, stretching for miles and offering a perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, or simply enjoying a leisurely walk along the shore. That's Playa Del Ingles. Add numerous water sports, such as surfing, paddle-boarding, jet skiing (and even skydiving into the Dunes from a light aircraft!), and this gem has something for everyone and will surely captivate adrenaline enthusiasts.

The warmth and hospitality of the locals, as well as their rich cultural traditions continue to thrive in this incredible destination. When the sun sets the vibrant nightlife in Playa Del Ingles awakes. Lively bars, clubs, and restaurants that come alive after dark catering for families, adults, LGBTQ+ visitors alike. Indulge in delicious local cuisine like Papas Arugadas (tiny, tasty salted Canarian potatoes) with Red or Green spicy Moijito Sauce, listen to live music and dance the night away, creating unforgettable memories.

After, why not take a late night (or early morning stroll) through the captivating Dunas de Maspalomas, a stunning sand dune landscape located just a stone's throw away from Playa Del Ingles center. This natural wonder presents an opportunity for hiking, camel rides, or simply enjoying the breathtaking panoramic views.

The Yumbo Shopping Center as a must-visit destination for avid shoppers. Providing a wide range of shops, boutiques, and markets, it offers an excellent opportunity to explore local crafts and purchase unique souvenirs by day and a plethora of eateries by night.

Another iconic landmark in Gran Canaria is the Roque Nublo, an over 80-meter-tall volcanic rock formation situated in the center of the island. The view from the top of the rock is breathtaking, making it an excellent spot to watch the sunset with your partner and a glass of local Honey Rum.

For those seeking extra adventure, hiking through the mountains of Tamadaba Natural Park is a great activity to enjoy the stunning views of the island's beautiful landscapes. The park is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including rare species of birds and animals.

Alternatively, you can visit Puerto de Mogan, a charming port town famous for its colorful buildings and flowers. Here, you can take a boat tour of the island, enjoy the beautiful views of the coast, and spend a romantic day with your love.

For foodies fancying a romantic dinner, Restaurante El Senador offers traditional Canarian cuisine and stunning views of the ocean from its cliffside location. Playa de las Canteras, one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, is perfect for a loving walk along the shore or snorkeling to see the marine life.

In conclusion, Gran Canaria offers a perfect getaway for couples looking for both relaxation and adventure, with its beautiful sights and a wide range of activities to enjoy with your partner.

The diversity of experiences, the breathtaking landscapes, and the vibrant atmosphere make it an exceptional holiday destination for travelers from all walks of life.

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Manila - A Gift From God!
First Published Online 01-11-2021
Also reappears within Mark's ESL Coaching Apps with multiple choice questions

The Philippines - said by many to be the location of the lost Garden of Eden - boasts the often loved / hated capital city Manila. If you have the stomach for bustle, heaving crowds coming at you from all sides, traffic, fumes and a cacophony of sound  then taking in the captivating history, remarkable heritage and must-visit tourist spots of Manila is highly recommended.

Come with me on this fascinating account of the iconic jeepney and its historical significance plus so much more! With a population of over 12 million people, Manila is rightly known for its lively nightlife, delectable cuisine, and splendid architecture. Pack your bags and get ready to explore the wonders of Manila!

This vibrant capital city of the Philippines, boasts a rich tapestry of history and cultural heritage awaiting exploration. From its beginnings as a small kingdom to its colonial era under Spanish rule, Manila has evolved into a bustling metropolis that proudly showcases its legacy through its historical landmarks and unique attractions.

Start your journey by visiting the captivating sights that offer a glimpse into Manila's past. Intramuros, a well-preserved Spanish-era walled city, built during the 16th century by the Spanish, stands as a testament to the country's colonial heritage. While exploring its cobblestone streets and ancient walls, immerse yourself in the stories of the Spanish conquistadors and trace Manila's transformation over the centuries.

Next, head towards Rizal Park, dedicated to the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. This sprawling park pays homage to his patriotic deeds and features stunning sculptures, gardens, and a grand monument that symbolizes the country's struggle for independence.

Manila's heritage sites showcase the fusion of various cultures that have shaped the city's unique identity. The San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands as the oldest stone church in the Philippines, exuding grandeur and tranquility. Admire its intricate Baroque architecture and wander through its awe-inspiring halls, feeling a sense of awe at the religious history ingrained within its walls.

The National Museum of the Philippines should also be on your itinerary. Its unrivaled collection of artifacts, art, and cultural treasures offer a captivating journey through the nation's history, providing a deeper understanding of Filipino identity.

No adventure into Manila is complete without experiencing the iconic jeepney, a cultural symbol that epitomizes the city's vibrant spirit. Originally repurposed World War II jeeps, these flamboyantly decorated public buses have become an integral part of Manila's culture and transportation system. Engage in conversations with friendly locals while enjoying a lively jeepney ride, and you'll discover firsthand the warmth and charm that Manila exudes.

Beyond its historical and heritage sites, Manila offers a plethora of must-see tourist destinations to enchant travelers. Dive into the bustling markets of Quiapo and Divisoria, where you can immerse yourself in local street food, bargain for unique souvenirs, and truly experience the city's dynamic atmosphere.

For a taste of authentic Filipino cuisine, Binondo, the world's oldest Chinatown, beckons with its delectable food tours. Feast on mouthwatering specialties like crispy pork belly, noodles, and dim sum while immersing yourself in the district's vibrant cultural ambiance.

Makati City, famous for its bustling nightlife, offers various options for bars, 'ladies of the night', clubs, and restaurants catering to different tastes while also housing the Ayala Museum, showcasing Filipino art and culture. All in all, Manila offers a unique blend of history, culture, and adventure, making it a destination worth exploring.

Manila's history, heritage, and tourist destinations make it an incredible destination for avid and strong-spirited travelers. Immerse yourself in the city's past at its historical landmarks and heritage sites, hop onto a jeepney to experience local charm, and explore the vibrant markets and delectable cuisine. Get ready to create unforgettable memories as you journey through the heart and soul of this wonderland.

Wishing you an incredible adventure!

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As a Published Freelance Travel, Tourism and International Property Writer for prestigious publications from the British hit Channel 4 TV show, 'A place In The Sun - Everything Spain, as well as ghost-writing countless articles for companies, tourist authorities and online, digital portals Mark is well placed  to craft short or long form pieces, interviews and first-person  perspectives. Specializing in sustainable travel, far-flung Asia - including The Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia - and with over 25 years experience as an International Property Marketing Director. To commission your piece or see examples of past work do get in touch!



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