Myanmar Welcomed 3.44 Million Tourists In 2017

Despite political instability, Myanmar had one of its best tourism seasons last year.

A new report shows 3.44 million people traveled to this Asian nation in 2017, an increase of 18 percent from 2016. While this number is slightly lower than the recent high of 4.68 million in 2015, it’s a strong sign for the country’s growing tourism industry.

Myanmar’s rise in the tourism industry has been nothing short of spectacular. In 1990, the country was only able to attract about 21,000 foreigners. Then, just five years later, about 120,000 foreign tourists took a trip to Myanmar.

The tourism numbers didn’t really take off until Aung San Suu Kyi was released from prison in 2010. In 2010, about 790,000 foreigners visited Myanmar. That number skyrocketed to 3.08 million in 2014 and has never gone below 2 million since. The only country that has had as impressive a rise in tourist traffic recently is Cambodia.

For those who don’t know, Aung San Suu Kyi is a major activist in Myanmar who has served in many important governmental roles. Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Some of the most popular sites in Myanmar include the ancient Buddhist temples of Bagan and the central Inle Lake. Many visitors also like to tour the Irrawaddy region and the capital of Naypyidaw.

Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, is located in Southeast Asia and shares borders with Thailand, China, India, Bangladesh, and Laos. There are 55.1 million people living in Myanmar, over 80 percent of which identify as Buddhists.

Foods to Try When Traveling Through South Korea

When visiting South Korea, there are many traditional dishes you will want to try. Classic South Korean dishes are meat, vegetable, and rice based. The most common spices used for cooking are ginger, soy sauce, dried red peppers, fermented bean paste, and sesame oil.

A favorite street food is hotteok. A hotteok is bread filled with sugar or something sweet. Street vendors, seen here, grill the stuffed bread and serve them to you hot. The ingredients are simple: yeast, sugar, milk, flour, and water. It is the various mixtures inside that make them unique. Some hotteok filling options are sugar and peanuts, or honey and cinnamon. There is a lot of sugar in this Korean dish. The estimated calories in a Hotteok is around 230 to 250, depending on the filling.

Korean barbecue is famous around the world, but tasting the original dish in its mother country is a must. The barbecue meat is chicken, beef, or pork. It is marinated then grilled. Bulgogi is a well known marinated. It is made of sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil. Galbi marinade is similar to bulgogi but infused with sliced onions. Jumulleok is the simplest of sauces. It merely is salt, pepper, and pure sesame seed oil.

Spicy fermented cabbage has been a staple in Korea for hundreds of years. Kimchi begins with cabbage and hot spices. Chili powder, garlic, and ginger kick up the heat factor. Vegetables and spices are married, and traditionally stored in the cool earth until fermented.

South Korea offers a culinary adventure from spicey to sweet. Any visitor to South Korea will find a new favorite dish.

Florida And Hawaii Dominate TripAdvisor’s New List Of The World’s Best Beaches

The travel company TripAdvisor just released its 2018 awards for the 25 greatest beaches in the world. All of the locations on TripAdvisor’s list were chosen using website user reviews over the past year.

It probably won’t come as a shock to most readers that the major beaches in this year’s list are either in Florida or Hawaii. Six of the top ten spots are in the Sunshine State and another three are in the Aloha State.

The award for the best beach of 2018 goes to Florida’s Clearwater Beach near Tampa. This 2.5-mile beach is lauded for its soft, white sands and its exceptional sunsets. In addition to lounging on the beach, people who visit Clearwater can ice skate at two exceptional rinks, visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and check out the famous vendors of Pier 60.

2018’s silver medal for beaches was awarded to Siesta Beach in Southwestern Florida. This 8-mile beach located in the Siesta Key region also has fine, white sands and tranquil waters. Siesta Beach is one of the absolute best beaches in the world for people who love collecting seashells.

Coming in third place is Hawaii’s Ka’anapali Beach on the island of Maui. The most famous area in this beach is a massive cliff called Pu’u Keka’a (aka “Black Rock”) which is of great spiritual significance for local residents. There are also some of the best snorkeling opportunities on Maui around this golden beach.

Counting down from number four to ten, here are the other big names from TripAdvisor’s 2018 list: South Beach/Miami Beach, Florida; Hanauma Bay Natural Preserve, Hawaii; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Saint Pete Beach, Florida; Hollywood Beach, Florida; Santa Monica Beach, California; Lanikai Beach, Hawaii.

Ted Bauman Provides An Insight into Major Problem Facing Bitcoin


Ted Bauman is an editor at Banyan Hill Publishing. Bauman also acts as an editor for Bauman Letter where he provides advice on investment strategies, asset protection among other current issues. Ted was born in Washington, D.C. He grew up in Maryland. Ted’s family migrated to South Africa. He joined the University of Cape Town where he graduated with degrees in Economics and History. He worked in the non-profit sector in different capacities for 25 years. He was involved in the fund management of low-cost house projects before joining Banyan Hill in the year 2013.


Ted recently shared his insights on the potential of bitcoin in growing economy in the Bauman Letter issue of December 2017. As a cryptocurrency, bitcoin only exist in the decentralized network. It implies bitcoin is private, transparent, and free. He explained that miners create new bitcoins through mining which is an intensive process. The network continuously processes bitcoin transactions. However, anyone intending to send bitcoins or receive has to wait until the completion of the mining process to transact.

Bauman argues that the process is quite slow when you compare to debit or credit processing time. For instance, Visa can complete 150 million transactions in a day or 24,000 transactions per second. On the hand, bitcoin network process approximately 6.5 operations every second. Additionally, on average a bitcoin transaction requires around 10 minutes to complete. Others take even more extended periods. Ted Bauman outlines that as bitcoin use grows, waiting time for processing a deal will get longer.

Ted argues that for bitcoin to succeed as a currency, the long processing time needs a solution. Bitcoin should provide a platform for people to transact business efficiently. Bitcoin networks need to solve the problem to grow exponentially and eliminate speculations of success.

Ted Bauman offers two solutions to bitcoin long processing time. He recommends reducing the data processed in mining blocks or enlarge data blocks to enhance processing of information at the same time. To speed up transactions, bitcoin miners hope to adopt technology that can reduce the size of blocks. However, Ted outlines that eliminating some data from blocks lowers the security bitcoin.

The emergence of bitcoin cash aims to enhance the scalability of bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash involved the creation of new transactions on the system using bigger block size. The more significant block size hopes to accelerate confirmation of trades in bitcoin. Bauman adds that bitcoin remains to hold potential growth in future. However, due to the volatility of prices and swings in markets, he is cautious about the market.

Bauman Letter

Ted is an editor for Bauman Letter. It focuses on investment strategies. Additionally, the monthly publication also provides advice on wealth, asset protection, and privacy. Ted also writes on stock trading to offer reader on developments in the stock market and provide useful information in profitable stocks.

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New Survey Reveals The Best Airports For Food In The World

RewardExpert just released its list of the top 15 airports in terms of food. Researchers used thousands of customer reviews to rank each of these airports on a scale of one to five, with five being a perfect score. They also revealed the best-reviewed restaurants in each airport.

The three major categories researchers analyzed when looking at these airports include food quality, price, and the diversity of cuisines offered. Each of these was also ranked on a scale of one to five.

Asian nations dominated this year’s list of the best airport food in the world. All four of the top ten spots on RewardExpert’s survey went to airports in Asia.

With a score of 4.77, the number one spot went to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (IATA: NRT). Reviewers gave NRT a perfect score for its food quality and price, but only a 3.46 in terms of diversity.

What really impressed RewardExpert about NRT was the amount of high-quality Japanese restaurants for extremely reasonable prices. The number one restaurant in NRT went to Sushiden on the fourth floor of Terminal 2.

Second place went to Taoyuan International Airport (IATA: TYE) in Taipei, Taiwan. Like NRT, TYE had a strong showing in terms of quality and price, but it struggled with diversity.

TYE’s overall score was 4.10, but it only garnered 2.69 in the diversity category. The number one restaurant in TYE was Chun Shui Tang, which offers a plethora of Chinese and Taiwanese dishes at reasonable prices.

Interestingly, the third spot on this survey goes to the third most trafficked airport in the world: Hong Kong International (IATA: HKG). Thanks to its high international clientele, HKG was a stronger diversity of cuisines than TYE or NRT. However, HKG’s restaurants struggled a bit in the cost department with a score of 3.35. Despite it’s plethora of options, however, HKG’s best-reviewed restaurants focus on Asian cuisine.

Here are the rest of the top ten airports starting from number four and ending with number ten: Singapore’s Changi Airport, Amsterdam Airport Schipol, London’s Gatwick Airport, Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith Airport, the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport, Munich Airport, and London’s Heathrow Airport.

11.4 Million Foreigners Visited Morocco In 2017

Last year was a stellar year for Morocco’s tourism industry. Newly released statistics from Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism reveal the North African nation welcomed an impressive 11.4 million international visitors in 2017.

This is the first time Morocco has posted a number higher than 11 million tourists in its long history. By comparison, 2016’s tourist numbers were 10 percent lower than the 2017 report.

In terms of revenue, the country brought in 69.7 billion Moroccan dirhams from tourism 2017. This is a significant jump from 64.2 billion dirhams in 2016. For point of reference, one dirham is worth 0.11USD.

Morocco’s tourism mecca remains Marrakesh near the Atlas Mountains. Hot sites for visitors in Marrakesh include the Koutoubia Mosque, Jardin Majorelle, and the Souks.

The cities of Fez and Tangiers also posted solid tourism numbers for 2017. One new city that has been attracting a great deal of attention recently, however, is the relatively quiet Saharan town of Ouarzazate.

Travel experts believe Morocco was able to break the 11 million mark last year thanks to increased interest from developing economies like Brazil and China. Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism also showed how people in nations like Germany and France continue to holiday in Morocco in high numbers.

Another reason for this increased tourism traffic may be due to the opening of new affordable flights into Morocco from major European countries. Royal Air Maroc is the nation’s top airline.

Besides agriculture, tourism is the most important industry in Morocco. The 2017 estimate for Morocco’s GDP stands at $300.1 billion and its main exports include textiles, fertilizers, and fruits.

Disney Announces New Rides At D23 Expo In Tokyo

The Walt Disney Company made a few major announcements at the 2018 D23 Expo Japan in Tokyo Disneyland. The highlights of this year’s expo came when Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chair Bob Chapek revealed some of the exciting rides and hotels planned for Disney Parks throughout the upcoming years.

Chapek first shared more information about the 2018 opening of “Toy Story Land” in Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. This park will measure 11 acres and feature a roller coaster named Slinky Dog Dash and a ride called Alien Swirling Saucers. There will also be a quick-service food & beverage location here inspired by everyone’s favorite cowboy: Woody.

2019 is set to be the “year of Star Wars” at Disney Parks. That’s the year the “Galaxy’s Edge” section of both Disneyland Park and Hollywood Studios are set to open.

Chapek said there will be two rides at both of these park sections: one where guests will get to fly an X-Wing and another where they will hop aboard the Millennium Falcon. Disney is also working hard on a Star Wars-themed hotel in California, but there’s no word yet when this will be completed.

To capitalize on the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy series, Disney will open a specially themed roller coaster at Epcot by 2021. This massive indoor roller coaster, which will be located where Ellen’s Universe of Energy ride used to be, is set to be the largest in the world.

Lastly, Chapek announced that the new ride “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” will take the place of the old “Great Movie Ride” in Hollywood Studios. Using the latest in 3D technology, guests will feel as if they’ve stepped inside a Mickey Mouse cartoon short on this ride. Chapek said “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” should be ready to open in 2019.

Five Great Countries To Visit In 2018

You can travel for years and still miss some of the incredible sights that the planet continues to change in one way or another. It’s hard to pick a city that has everything in terms of good weather, interesting attractions, quick travel time. So picking countries to visit is a process that involves research, conversations, and enough leisure time to enjoy what those countries offer.

That being said, here are five countries that won’t disappoint you in 2018.

1. Chile. Chile is in South America but the Andes Mountains keep it hidden from the rest of the continent. The Pacific Ocean is the country’s western border. And the city of Santiago lives up to its reputation as the “land of the poets.” The works of Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda are still alive and well in Chile.

2. South Korea. A visit to Seoul is a visit to modern-day Asia. The new Seoul-lo 7017 is a high-line park that has libraries, bars, cafes, and some of the finest Kimchi in the country.

3. Portugal. Portugal used to be the stepchild of Spain, but that’s ancient history. Lisbon is a cultural center as well as the launching point for the country’s beach destination, Algarve.

4. New Zealand. Australia is not the only place down under. New Zealand is the perfect country for adventure seekers.

5. Malta Malta’s lifestyle is almost too good to be true. It is the European capital of culture. The various international film festivals give the country a touch of modern culture that’s hard to ignore.

Michael Hagele Takes Sensible Approach to Business

Michael Hagele serves a range of companies dealing with technology in defense, internet, biotechnology and internet as general counsel. Hagele invests in and founded a number of hospitality and restaurant industry firms as well as investing in technology companies in their early stages. He is experienced in drafting, closing and negotiating technology, development agreements, licensing distribution, software, hardware and telecommunications.

Michael Hagele got the idea for his current services from seeing that small firms and sole practitioners frequently provide legal services that are affordable and high quality to those running businesses focused on technology. Hagele begins his day taking care of his technology clients needs typically through legal counseling related to intellectual property. He takes his clients to the basics of the contracts involved.  Learn more about Michael Hagele at for more info.

Hagele will take a break to road or mountain bike during the early afternoon, and usually returns with new ideas for handing issues for his clients. He finds the breaks allow him to feel refreshed and get a new perspective on things that staying in the office all day doesn’t allow. Michael Hagele spends the afternoons and early evening taking care of new issues that came up during the day while finding resolutions to existing matters. In the late evening he will talk to overseas investment partners to check on strategies and progress.

Michael Hagele believes the key to getting his ideas to become reality is not giving up. He is excited about the applications of artificial intelligence such as genetic programming. He advises and invest in a company that launched an application for identifying the most productive ways to use funds by non-profits. The machines learn algorithms to see data patterns and the relationships between them to gain insight into the impact of the program.

Hagele believes one habit that is most effective for entrepreneurs is to put customers first. The ability of an attorney to do their best is what the businesses of clients depend on. The worse job he had was washing cars in Chicago during the winter, it taught him that he wanted to do something meaningful which meant taking control of his education.



After Two Devastating Hurricanes, Puerto Rico Is Open For Tourists

Puerto Rico has always been a tourist destination. But after Hurricane Irma hit the country with category 4 winds, and then Hurricane Maria leveled the country’s infrastructure with 155 mph winds, no one was sure if Puerto Rico would ever be the same again. The United States did send help. But the help was slow, and that made the rebuilding process harder.

But Puerto Rico is a resilient country. People living in Puerto Rico are used to challenges. The country is showing the world what courage and the will to fight back really are. The tourists who come to Puerto Rico now are experiencing a new sense of confidence in the people of PR. They see a rich culture that doesn’t quit even though the battle to be the country it was before is just a memory now. The rebuilding process will change some of the established sites that tourist like to visit. But over 75 percent of the hotels are open for business, and Cruise ships are docking in San Juan’s port just like the old days.

There are 107 tourist attractions open across the island. Some of the favorites like the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Old San Juan, and Cueva Ventana as well as other favorites are still giving tourists the full Puerto Rico experience. Ground transportation is operating as it did before, and there are 70 commercial flights a day in and out of San Juan’s airport.

The tourist who take a chance and visit Puerto Rico now see an island that still has natural beauty, intensity, and the unique character it always had.