The Direct Travel Insurance guide to seeing the world, inspired by the Chinese New Year.
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Online PR News – 13-February-2013 – London – February 2013 ushers in the Chinese year of the snake. There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac and, while one of them is fictional, the other 11 are real animals which can be found or originate in some of the most unusual or amazing travel destination. Here’s the Direct Travel Insurance guide to seeing the world, inspired by the Chinese Zodiac.
The Rat – Deshnoke Temple, India
When most people go on holiday, the last thing that they want to see is rats! However, Deshnoke’s Hindu temple in Northwest India is famous for its rats. The temple’s rats are seen as sacred, with the rare white rats being the most revered. This ornate Hindu temple was constructed by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the early 1900s, as a tribute to the rat goddess – Karni Mata.
The Ox – National Bison Range, Montana, USA
Because an ox is simply a domesticated bovine used as a working farm animal, it is possible to see oxen all around the world, with the species of bovine differing between countries. One of the most majestic and fascinating of bovines is the American bison, which are now endangered. A trip to the National Bison Range allows visitors to safely see this huge creature in a place where it is protected from wolves and hunters.
The Dog – Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
If you visit any park in the UK, you’re likely to see someone walking their canine friend soon enough. However, for something a little more interesting, head to Botswana to see the African wild dog. This species of dog, which has a distinctive coat and hunts in packs, is now an endangered species and can be quite dangerous to humans. The Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana allows visitors to see this enigmatic creature safely.
The Monkey – Saint Kitts, Caribbean
Monkeys are known for their human-like qualities, intelligence and cheek, but the Vervet monkeys on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts really take it to another level, with their shameless quest for alcohol. These entertaining creatures have developed such a fondness for booze that they will steal an unsuspecting human’s cocktail!
The Dragon – Sydney, Australia
While you will be hard pushed to find a genuine, fire-breathing dragon outside of a book, you could visit Australia and see a pogona, or ‘bearded dragon’ in its scorching hot natural habitat. The species are found throughout Australia, and as they enjoy basking on rocks and exposed branches near human habitation, it’s unlikely that you will even have to travel to a remote part of Australia to see one in its natural habitat.
The Tiger – Bardia National Park, Nepal
While it is common to hear of ‘Tiger Tourism’ in Thailand, some feel that places such as the Tiger Temple, where monks have trained tigers to lie still for tourists, are cruel and of no benefit to the tigers, who must be docile and cannot live as they would in the wild. In Bardia National Park, Nepal, it is definitely not a good idea to get close to the tigers!
The Rabbit – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Home to the popular Holland Lop floppy-eared bunny, the Netherlands is no doubt a popular place for rabbits, given that Holland boasts 10,000 hectares of greenhouses, producing billions of pounds worth of vegetables, fruit, plants, and flowers. Culture vultures can enjoy a walk along Amsterdam’s stunning canals – still lined with 400 years' worth of gabled buildings.
The Pig – Pennywell Farm, Devon, UK
Pennywell Farm in Devon is home to the famous Pennywell Pig, or micro pig. Micro pigs are not only a hugely popular pet, but they are also high maintenance, requiring straw bedding, special food, and growing to the size of a medium dog once they reach adulthood.
The Horse – The New Forest, Hampshire, UK
The New Forest in Hampshire is famous for its ponies, which roam and graze freely. The best way to see the forest is actually to ride through it on horseback, as driving through the forest poses a risk to the ponies which live there. An ideal trip for equine enthusiasts!
The Sheep – Lakeland Sheep & Wool Centre, Cumbria, UK
In Cumbria, there are more sheep than people! So it should come as no surprise to anyone that in Cockermouth, there is a special visitor’s centre dedicated to sheep and wool. The stunning unspoilt countryside makes The Lake District one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations.
The Rooster – Oahu, Hawaii
Wild roosters roam freely on the island of Oahu in Hawaii and are part of the island’s rich history. In more agricultural and rural areas, wild chicken flocks can be so large that their inherent value as ravenous insect eaters can be overshadowed by their reputation as noisemakers and a nuisance.
The Snake – Jaipur, India
Although snake charming is reportedly falling out of favour, snake charmers are still commonplace in Jaipur in India. Watching a snake dance to the tune of a snake charmer is a fascinating sight and is also a safe way to observe snakes, as their poisonous fangs have been removed.
Notes for Editors
Established in late 1992 and trading since 1993, Direct Travel Insurance specialises in travel insurance for individual travellers, couples and families up to the age of 75. Direct Travel Insurance offers a range of cover options and added benefits including cover for over 100 sports and activities enabling customers to tailor their policies for single trip, annual multi trip, backpacking and winter sports.
All travel insurance policies are underwritten by AIG Europe Limited. Direct Travel Insurance and AIG Europe Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Please note that our policies do not cover undisclosed pre-existing medical conditions or travel to or through Afghanistan, Cuba, Liberia and Sudan.