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All you need to know before travelling to Azerbaijan

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Are you thinking of an attractive tourist destination? Azerbaijan is absolutely far from the first destination that will come to your mind. Surprisingly it is an excellent tourist destination rich in cultural and geographical gems. This country is located between the great former empires and the old silk road, and it has advanced rapidly in recent years due to its oil supply, writes Abhirup Banerjee.

Popularly known as the "land of fire," this country, the former Soviet republic, is a study in contrasts. Its capital, Baku, is reinvigorate modern, and it is filled with modern architecture, dreamy Caspian Sea landscapes, and ski resorts.

Language

Since the country gained independence from the Soviet Union, its official language is Azerbaijani, mostly known as Azeri-Turkic. It is part of the southwestern Turkic languages. Besides, the Latin alphabet is also used in Azerbaijan. While some people use Russia in Baku, English is mostly spoken by younger people, especially in places frequently visited by western tourists.

When to travel

The ideal time to travel to Azerbaijan depends on the region you want to explore because the climatic conditions vary with the country's various locations. You should visit the lowland areas near the Caspian Sea with clear skies and greenery abounding every day.

The wintertime is pretty mild, while the summer is scorching and wet. The hottest period is between July and August. It is an ideal time for you to head to the Mountains, which are often relatively accessible. The best month to travel to Baku is October. You should visit Azerbaijan in January and February if you are a ski fanatic.

Visa requirements

Tourist from the eligible countries should complete their Azerbaijan online visa application before departing for Azerbaijan. Only a few states can get a Visa on arrival, and even travelers from these countries are encouraged to submit their online applications to avoid waiting in line at the airport.

Unlike the traditional visa application method, evisa applicants are not required to go to a diplomatic mission to present their documents and again collect the approved visa. Instead, the process is online, and you can complete them from any place 24 hours a day.

Accommodations

It is easy to get a big chain hotel in big cities, and the standards are relatively high. It may also be challenging to get cheaper accommodation, and the youth hotels as these are relatively rare.

The currency

The official currency here is Manat. You can use credit cards at large hotels, restaurants, and banks in Baku, which cater to travelers though cash payment is always the preferred method. Ensure that you only use notes that are in good condition as others may be rejected. There are no problems with ATMs, and various international cards are accepted here, although it is still recommended that you carry US dollar notes or Euros with you to exchange as you need to.

Food and drinks

Snacks are very significant in the local culture, and they are influenced by many places like Georgia, Turkey, Iran, and many more. Many dishes are grown at home due to the varied climates, such as spices and vegetables. The seafood snacks are prevalent near the Caspian Sea, and the yogurt makes a frequent appearance in soups. Most dishes are paired with a piece of baklava or black tea.

Safety

Azerbaijan is considered a safe country to travel with deficient levels of crime. You should still exercise your average degree of common sense and caution, especially during late night. Refer to your country's travel and safety advice recommendations.

Transportation

Bus: There is a well-designed road network in the country with many mini-buses and buses traveling between Baku and other areas. They're relatively affordable. You must pay the driver in cash, and no schedule is followed.

Metro: There is a metro system that works smoothly and cost-effective method of transportation. You can catch a train every few minutes or the day except 1-6h.

Train: The rail network in this country is quite extensive. The trains are relatively slow, and it is recommended that you stick to road travel.

Taxis: taxis in this country are purple, and they must have a meter installed. Ensure that you agree on the price before to avoid scammers. The taxis are available in and out of the capital, but we are relatively more expensive outside the city.

You will enjoy your trip to Azerbaijan.  This country may not be the most conventional destination, but it has human, geographical, and cultural surprises around every corner.

Author Bbio

Abhirup Banerjee is an experienced content writer. He is associated with many renowned travel blogs as a guest author where he shares his valuable travel tips with the audience.

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Will mobile gaming continue to thrive in 2021?

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(Image via https://twitter.com/thefxtec)

Mobile phone gaming has never been so good. The games now on offer are more advanced than ever before, as are the phones we’re able to play them on. As a result, a large part of the world’s population is putting more energy into gaming on their mobile phone devices than ever before.

Many experts and gaming fans didn’t think mobile gaming would stand the test of time, particularly with the newly released Playstation 5 coming out. Surely the more sophisticated and graphically advanced games that a console of that type can host appeals more than playing a smartphone game with clear and obvious limitations? Apparently not. In fact, mobile gaming looks like it is very much here to not only survive but also thrive in 2021 and beyond.

Of course, for some, mobile gaming is simply incomparable to console gaming of any kind. In contrast, for others, the realisation that mobile phone gaming is here to stay is becoming a very real one. But why is this? Why is mobile gaming expected to kick on further in 2021? Here are a few reasons as to why.

Gaming on the go

Virtually everyone on the planet has a mobile phone these days, therefore opening up an array of entertainment possibilities in the process. Gaming on a phone is one of them as you have access to a comprehensive selection of games within a matter of seconds. The games on offer are diverse too, from the likes of blackjack online at www.mansioncasino.com/uk/ to brain teaser creations, coupled with more graphically advanced games like Fortnite PUBG Mobile. Then there’s augmented reality releases like Pokemon Go, too. These are the type of games which can be picked up and put down with ease. Console gaming, on the other hand, requires much more of a commitment. The games are generally a lot tougher, which, as a result, could put casual gamers off. Mobile games can be enjoyed on the go, while on the bus or on your lunch break. There’s a mobile phone game for an array of audiences too, opening gaming on a phone up to the masses.

Console-quality titles

Thanks to the continued advancements made with our mobile phone devices, the games we now have at our disposal are better than ever. Gaming options of old used to be with the likes of Tetris and Snake; now we’re inundated with releases on a weekly basis as games developers look to crack what is a humongous market. So much so, in fact, that many games companies make sure they release the mobile version of games simultaneously with the PC and console versions of games, once again highlighting the influence mobile phone gaming has had on the overall gaming landscape. On top of this, the gaming experience on a mobile device has improved dramatically also, with joysticks and VR headsets being used to help get the best out of specific mobile creations.

(Image via https://twitter.com/NinplayUK)

Cheap and free games

Console gaming isn’t cheap. When you factor in the cost of a console before even adding up the cost of purchasing a few games to go with it, it could be argued that it’s extortionate. In fact, many people have strayed away from console gaming for this very reason, especially when they realise they can get their gaming fix from their smartphone. All you need is access to Appstore or Google Play, and you’re good to go, with the option of trying out a whole host of creations without spending any money at all. Most mobile games are either cheap or completely free, therefore making them accessible to all.

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London businesses call for swift action to safeguard Eurostar's future

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London’s business leaders have written to the government asking it to ensure that the green gateway to Europe is safeguarded. A copy of the letter is published below.

 

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The best of 5G is yet to come  

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Executives from leading mobile operators have urged consumers to be patient with 5G, explaining more advanced capabilities and use cases will become available as the technology evolves.

Speaking at the recent industry conference CES 2021, Drew Blackard, VP of product management at Samsung Electronics America (SEA), told a panel that many current services including video streaming are merely “better on 5G”.

But he added more advanced “only-on-5G experiences” will become mainstream “more and more as the infrastructure develops” and the technology becomes more widely used.

Blackard noted SEA had “done a lot of development with partners to build out what these can look like”, pointing to a collaboration with AT&T to offer AR experiences for sports fans.

Ice Mobility chairman and co-founder Denise Gibson added “there is an element of patience” to realising 5G’s potential.

She said 5G “is a platform that will evolve”, explaining “it’s not solely about” geographic reach, but also provision of advanced capabilities and services on networks and devices.

Blackard added “partnerships are obviously essential”, noting 5G required “a group, an industry to bring that forward. It’s not a single player that can do that”.

Commenting on the issue Abraham Lui, Huawei's Chief Representative to the EU Institutions,  said  "In Europe, the best of 5G is yet to come. As 5G deployment gathers pace across the continent, users will appreciate the benefits of this game-changing technology in the near future".

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