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Tuesday, 3-Jul-2012 02:04 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Shanghai climbed five places

Tokyo has regained the unenviable title of the world's most expensive city for expatriates, while the eurozone crisis has made many European cities cheaper, according to a survey published on Tuesday wholesale jordans shoes.

At the other end of the scale, the survey by the Mercer group named the Pakistani port Karachi as the least expensive city, with living costs around three times cheaper than in the Japanese capital.

The report, published annually to help companies assess compensation allowances for expatriate workers, compared the cost of over 200 items in 214 cities, using New York as a reference. The items on the list included housing, food and transport.

Tokyo pushed the oil-boom Angolan capital wholesale jordans shoes Luanda into second place to retake the top spot in the survey. Another Japanese city, Osaka, came third, the Russian capital Moscow in fourth, and Geneva fifth.

Cities in the eurozone slid in the rankings as the euro has slid against the US dollar during the debt crisis. Paris dropped 10 spots to 37th, Rome fell eight to 42nd, and Athens tumbled 24 to 77th.

London slipped from 18th in the table one year ago down to 25th place.

Six Australian major cities are among the top 30 because of a stronger Australian dollar, according to Mercer.

The survey showed that the six cities had all experienced further jumps up the global list since 2011, with Sydney ranked 11th and Melbourne wholesale jordan 15th, whereas Perth and Canberra both jumped 11 places to numbers 19 and 23.

Brisbane rose by seven places to take 24th wholesale jordans shoes position while Adelaide moved up 19 places to 27th.

Australia now has three surveyed cities in the top 20 and all six surveyed cities in the top 30, Mercer said.

Sydney has become the most expensive Australian city for expatriates.

"Demand for rental properties has also increased significantly in all the Australian cities we rank," Mercer principal Nathalie Constantin-Metral said in a statement.

"Coupled with very limited wholesale jordan availability, the result has been very tight markets and increased prices."

Shanghai climbed five places to 16th and Beijing wholesale jordan moved up three places to 17th, overtaking Seoul.

Shenzhen rose by 13 places to 30th while Guangzhou was up seven places to 31st.

Tuesday, 3-Jul-2012 02:02 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Top Things to See and Do in Belize

Belize Zoo – One of the most popular attractions in Belize City is its Zoo. With the tagline “the best little zoo in the world”, you’ll be expecting this place to be impressive. The 29acre site is home to over 120 species of animal, all native to Belize. You’ll get to see jaguars, macaws, snakes, pumas and crocodiles.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve – Hol Chan is probably the most well-known marine reserve in the country and is located close to Ambergris Caye. The diving and snorkeling within the park are fantastic and include caves, coral and plenty of tropical fish to keep you amused. Head to nearby Shark Ray Alley for the chance to get up close and personal with sharks and rays around feeding time, you can pet and swim with them and some even allow you to hug them for a photo op!
Altun Ha – Head to the Mayan site of Altun Ha to experience its well preserved ruins. The main attraction of the site is the Temple of the Masonry Altars, dating from the 7th Century. The Temple is 54ft tall and a climb to the top rewards you with a panoramic view of the pyramids and plaza below. The site is located about 30 miles north of Belize City so expect to pay around $85BZD for a half day tour including transport, entrance fee, a guide and drinks.
Wildlife – Much of Central America is a wildlife observer’s paradise and Belize is no exception. The marine life on show at Hol Chan and the animals in Belize Zoo are just the tip of the iceberg. Birdwatchers will enjoy Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary with its world-class spotting opportunities, while those interested in big cats flock to the country’s most famous protected area Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, or the Jaguar Reserve as it is also know.
The Cayes - There are hundreds of small islands wholesale jordans shoes off the coast of Belize, many of them picture perfect and uninhabited. Two of the most visited cayes are Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Ambergris is the largest of the Belizean cayes and the most expensive tourist destination in the country, being popular with families on resort style holidays. However, its proximity to the barrier reef also draws in keen divers from all over. Caye Caulker on the other hand is not as touristy as Ambergris and has a more relaxed atmosphere which makes it popular with backpackers.
Caracol – Caracol is the largest Mayan site in Belize and was once one of the most powerful cities in Mayan times; consequently the ruins here are vast and impressive. Unlike Altun Ha, the ruins in Caracol are less restored and are in a jungle setting, which adds to the ancient feeling of the site. The site is full of reservoirs, louis vuitton handbags replica stellae, walls and tombs though the sites best attraction is Canaa, the Sky Place which at 141ft is the highest building in Belize.
Actun Tunichil Muknal – One of the most exhilarating, wholesale jordans shoes if not spooky things to do in Belize is to tour the cave at Actun Tunichil Muknal. The cave is home to the remains of victims of Mayan sacrifices and after a brief hike and trek, louis vuitton handbags replica you’ll come face to face with their skeletons. The site was discovered in 1989 and has been a popular tour since then. Expect to pay around $149BZD for an organised tour. It was one of my favorite activities.
Caves – Aside from Actun Tunichil Maknal, Belize’s other wholesale jordans shoes cave systems are also great for exploring. In ancient times caves in Belize were the entrance to the Mayan underworld of Xibalbá, the dwelling place of the Gods. As a result many of the caves contain relics from Mayan sacrifices and ceremonies.
Barrier Reef – The Belize Barrier Reef consists of a 186 mile long stretch of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, and is the second largest barrier reef in the world. The coral and magnificent marine life makes this Belize’s most popular tourist attraction. Divers and snorkelers can enjoy the reef within one of the many National Parks or take a boat tour out to the area itself. In 1996 the reef was designated as a Wold Heritage Site due to its natural beauty and diverse ecosystems.
Belize City – Although most tourists flock to Belize because of its diving and natural beauty, chances are you’ll arrive in Belize City at some point. The city is home to a quarter of the country’s population and this is a great place to see how diverse the Belizean people really are.
Nature Walks – Whether you go early in the morning or in the middle of the night, going out with a naturalist through the jungle is an awesome adventure. The morning is the best time to check out birds, while the night is host to new insects and wildlife.
Go fishing – Fishing off of the coast of Belize is a dream for many people. The variety of fish and the landscape is exotic and amazing. Going out with an island guide is almost a sure guarantee that you wholesale jordans shoes
Boat ride the Old Belize – Taking a guided ride on the river is great for seeing more of the country side and the wealth of wildlife here. You’ll see everything from dolphins, manatees, and iguanas, to crazy birds.
St. Johns Cathedral – Located within Belize city, this cathedral is the oldest Anglican Church in South America. Built from red bricks that were brought aboard English sailing ships in the 1800s, this is an awesome piece of history to check out.
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Tuesday, 3-Jul-2012 02:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Money Saving Tips for Belize

Fly mid-week – Airfare is cheapest on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Business travelers cause the prices to hike up on a Monday and the weekend is most popular with tourists arriving.
Travel off-peak – The most expensive time to visit Belize is between October and April. By traveling in the off-season, you can avail of significantly reduced prices for accommodation and usually flights.
Camp – Camping is a good way to save on accommodation costs when staying on the Cayes. Expect to pay $9BZD per night to pitch your tent.
Take the bus - Try to use the public bus system when possible rather than going on a shuttle service. The public bus is designed to reflect local income, whereas the shuttles reflect what tourists will pay!
Hitchhike - It’s common custom among the locals to simply hitchhike everywhere they need to go. You see old ladies, children, and families on the side of the road looking for a ride. It’s just what they do. My friends and I met great people thumbing it across the country without spending any money.
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Tuesday, 3-Jul-2012 01:51 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Typical Costs in Belize

Sandwiched between Mexico and Guatemala is Belize, one of Central America’s biggest tourist destinations. Belize’s barrier reef draws in scuba and snorkeling fans from around the world, while many of the country’s National Parks are a birdwatcher’s paradise. Those with an interest in archaeology will find the Mayan sites of Altun Ha, Lamani, and Caracol fascinating. There’s lots of good hiking and ruins to explore. The locals are very friendly, the weather pleasant, and the food good. I spent 3 very relaxing weeks here and would go back in a heartbeat.

City Guides for Belize
Caye Caulker Orange Walk Placencia San Ignacio
Typical Costs in Belize

Accommodation: For a single room in a hostel, prices start from $15 USD. In touristy areas, most cost around $20 USD. Budget hotels are usually around $30 per night.
Food: The cheapest way to eat is to eat local. By eating at local restaurants you can expect to pay around $4 USD for a meal. A nice restaurant meal will cost between $15 – 25 USD. Fruit is very cheap, costing less than a dollar.
Transportation: Public buses are by far the cheapest travel option in Belize, with fares costing between $1 – 10 USD, depending on the distance traveled. City taxis cost around $5 for a trip. Ferries to the islands are between $15-20 USD.
Activities: As in most Central American countries, entrance to Mayan Cites and National Parks is not too expensive, costing around $10 USD. However, excursions, especially diving trips start to mount up in cost with typical day costing $100 USD. Full day non-diving trips cost between $20 to 40 USD depending on if food is included, distance, and if entrance fees are included.
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