Viewing entries in
Other Destinations

Tips for Visiting the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE

On a visit to Dubai you must visit the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.  The Burj Khalifa stands over 2,716.5 feet tall (828 meters) and has more than 160 stories.  The Burj Khalifa holds seven world records including the world record for being the world's tallest free standing structure.  Seeing the Burj Khalifa from a far is iconic.  The windows are curved and reflective like the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan.  The reflective glow makes the building sparkle day and night.  Its beauty makes it distinguished and the view from the top is magnificent. 

If you are planning a trip to Dubai, we are going to do a number of blog posts to give you some travel tips for the city.  Here are a few tips for visiting the Burj Khalifa.

1. Determine your tour options. When visiting the website you will find several options for tours.  I recommend booking the VIP tour (At the Top, Burj Khalifa Sky) if you want to go to the highest observation deck on floor 148.  This tour is also helpful if you are going in the evenings or on weekends when the lines can get to enter and exit the observation decks.  Otherwise, I recommend purchasing the At the Top Ticket to view the observation decks on floors 124 and 125 (those two floors are also included on the VIP tour). 

2.  Make your reservation in advance.  Each day the Burj Khalifa has a limited number of spaces for each half hour from approximately 8:30am - 11:45pm (actual times vary by date). I recommend going early if possible.  We were the first group up on a Saturday and the observation deck was more crowded by the minute. 

3. Book your tickets online. We visited on a saturday and had the first time slot. When we arrived, most of the morning time slots were taken.  The most popular time is before sunset, but anytime gives you spectacular views of Dubai.

4.  For sunset viewings book your reservation approximately one hour before sunset.  Most people think that they will breeze right in and go straight to the observation decks, but that's not the case.  If you have a general admission ticket, you may be waiting in the line to get to the observation deck.  Some people even missed the sunset completely.  Don't let that be you.  I recommend if you are planning a visit during peak season, make a reservation to see the sunset at the top.

5. Make time to visit the Dubai Mall. Burj Khalifa, is connected to the Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world. We ran out of time and did not see the mall in it’s entirety, but we enjoyed exploring.

Plan a trip to the Burj Khalifa and let us know if these tips helped you.

24 Hours in Honolulu

24 Hours in Honolulu

Bill and Maunda Land spend 24 hours in Honolulu, Hawaii before their family trip.  Here's what you can do with 24 hours in Honolulu.

How to Get a Taste of Japan in Orlando

 Senso-Ji Temple in Tokyo

Senso-Ji Temple in Tokyo

I love Orlando because I can always reminisce about my travels at a restaurant, theme park adventure or festival.  If you are missing Japan or just want to experience a little local flavor, please take a moment to stop by some of these places for a taste of Japan.

1.       Epcot.  Walt Disney World’s Epcot Theme park has the World Showcase where you can experience Japan first hand. There are 11 different countries to visit and if you only have a day, Japan is a great place to visit and dine.  There are several different options for Japanese digning at Epcot:  Tokyo Pairing ($60+ per entrée), Tokyo Dining ($15-35 per entrée), Teppan Edo ($15-35 per entrée), Katsura Grill (under $14 per entrée), Kabuki Café for desserts (under $14 per entrée), and the Hibachi Experience (over $60 per entrée).  All of these places are wonderful, but please try to make a reservation using the Walt Disney World app or calling +1 (407) 939-5277.  At any of these restaurants you should be able to hear the sounds of the live bands beat the drums and dance to the traditional Japanese music.  You can also view a performance During Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, booths fill the walkways with local foods to purchase (tapas sizes).  They always have a nice frozen green tea or sticky bun that is delicious.

 Front entrance at Epcot

Front entrance at Epcot

 Japanese food at Epcot

Japanese food at Epcot

2.       Disney Springs. Disney Springs has two opportunities to experience Japanese fashion and dining:

a.       Uniqlo is a Japanese department store with everything.  Bill loves the AIRism “innerware” (underwear), but they have classic styled dresses and clothing.  The Disney Springs Uniqlo has everything from kimonos to Disney clothing. It’s often open late (11pm or later) so it is a great place to visit after the parks or dinner.

b.      Morimoto Asia.  If you are in the mood for some Peking Duck, then look no further than Morimoto Asia ($15-35 per entrée).   Curated by Celebrity Iron Chef Morimoto, this Pan-Asian restaurant has beautiful décor including a jeweled jellyfish shaped chandeliers, two floors for dining, a bar and sushi counter.  While the Peking Duck was delicious, keep room for the fried rice and dessert.  They had a Japanese soda during magical dining month that was delicious. 

c.       Yesake.  This food cart offers hand rolls and sake slush drinks.  We haven’t tried it but for under $14.99 per entrée per person it is worth checking out if you are pressed for time or have a limited budget. 

 Entrance to the Uniqlo store at Disney Springs

Entrance to the Uniqlo store at Disney Springs

 Kimonos at Uniqlo at Disney Springs

Kimonos at Uniqlo at Disney Springs

 Dining Area at Morimoto

Dining Area at Morimoto

 Peking Duck at Morimoto

Peking Duck at Morimoto

 Japanese Soda at Morimoto

Japanese Soda at Morimoto

3.       Whole Foods in Dr. Phillips.  Can you believe that I found some Mochi (a Japanese dessert) at Whole Foods?  It is a little more expensive than the Mochi I found at 7-Eleven in Japan, but the experience of having this authentic ice cream dessert is awesome.   (1 mochi costs $2 and 12 are $24).

 Mochi at Whole Foods

Mochi at Whole Foods

4.       Other great eateries:  Kobe Ichiban Steakhouse is named after the Japanese city.  It is a hibachi style grill similar to the one that we experienced at the New Otani Garden Restaurant in Japan.  The steaks are good.   We also like Seito Sushi and Bento Cafe.  Both are good restaurants for decent Japanese food.  The freshness of the fish can’t compare to Japan, but it is still good.  My favorite Seito Sushi is in an Orlando Community called Baldwin Park, but the both Seito Sushi and Bento’s have locations in Dr. Phillips near Restaurant Row.   Finally, there is one local eatery off the tourist path for more authentic Japanese cuisine.  Sapporo Ramen has just what you think, good ramen and also good curry.  It’s on the west side of town and in the inner city, but if you want to venture off the beaten path for good Japanese food, this is the place to visit.

 Bento Cafe

Bento Cafe