Category Archives: Asia

Qatar’s Uprising

Quatar's "Sea Stadium"

Qatar’s image and economy are improving – who talked about this country just two short years ago? They won a bid to host the world’s largest sporting event- the World Cup- and this small country will be the event’s first ever Middle Eastern host.

The stadiums don’t even exist for the World Cup to be held in 2022. Neither do the hotels, timeshares and resorts that will be necessary to house the 1-2 million people estimated to travel to world cups. This is a group comprised of not only the common football fan, but also press, TV crews and dignitaries.

Qatar has gone on a hotel building splurge across its tiny country. The government has planned to build over 90 thousand rooms by 2022. In 2011, only 15,000 rooms were built. Qatar’s government has also pledged $3 billion to renovating three stadiums and building nine new ones, bringing the country’s total to 12. English is spoken wildly throughout the country, as it is taught to youngsters in school. Foreigners are allowed to drink, but natives cannot even touch alcoholic drinks, so there are questions as to how tourists will be served.

There are cons. Qatar is a strict Muslim country, and some female press are complaining about having to wear burkas. The beaches are not clean and tourist friendly, but some of their press says they are a more liberal country than Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. Also under consideration is that in the Qatar summer, temperatures hover between 107-122 degrees Fahrenheit, conditions that would be deadly to footballers. The very nature of tourism must change, as Qatar carries a strict Visa system.

Traveling Asia on a Budget

Pha That Luang, Laos.

As Europe’s economy stabilizes, the euro’s value has increased against the dollar. With this in mind, many American tourists are looking at Asia as a viable place to get a great vacation on a budget. Here are some of the best places to get a big bang for your buck in Asia.


Countless miles of coastline as well as upscale shopping and lodging at budget prices put the Philippines at the top of our list. Add in a people receptive to American travelers and you have a great but uncommon destination.


More expensive to visit than Thailand but cheaper than Singapore, Malaysia also offers miles of beaches and friendly people. The food is excellent, and English is
widely spoken.


Laos is a backpackers dream. The kip has very little value against the dollar, and the relaxed pace screams vacation. The temples, natural beauty and peaceful vibe are a tonic to Westerners.


Many Westerners don’t know what to think of Cambodia. A rampant underground sex trade keeps many people away, but there’s more to see here than that. Investors around the world are building hotels here, and it has more of a modern feel than most of southwest Asia.


Visit the place that most Americans find exotic and dangerous, and you’ll it much more inviting than history would suggest. The current exchange rate is 16,000 dong to one USD, which means the best lodging, food and shopping can all be had for incredibly low prices. Throw in museums, nightlife and a vibrant, youthful energy and you have perhaps the best mix of cheap prices and exciting attractions in all of Asia.