Here you will find our regular travel blogs, blogging about destinations all over the world and handy travel hints to make your trips as exciting and drama free as possible.
Date: 2nd November 2017
Asia has several countries that have some
of the best scenic views in the entire world. Asia is known for its natural
landscapes, iconic landmarks, and large metropolises. Asian countries are
always some of the top tourist destinations in the world. You can truly
appreciate the scenery by taking an adventure to the best viewpoints.
Thailand – Ang Thong National Park
Thailand has a lot of famous islands that
attract visitors year-round. Many of these islands gained their popularity
because of the amazing views that can be seen from them. Ang Thong National
Park is an area that includes a collection of limestone islands. These islands
are topped with tropical forests with some of the best beaches in the country
along their shores.
Ang Thong National Park is known for its
beaches and marine life. It is recognized as a national park in order to
preserve its natural wonder. One of the islands within the park is Ko Wua
Talap. This island serves as the park’s HQ and tourist center. It’s also where
you can get the best view. You can hike up one the cliffs on this island to be
greeted with panoramic views of the entire park.
China – Longji Rice Terrace
A major part of China’s culture is its
agricultural practices and rice has always been a major crop grown in the
country. For most, the way of farming rice has been unchanged for centuries.
Many regions of China have hilly landscape so in order to still utilize the
land, farmers developed the technique of rice terraces.
One of the most popular rice terraces to
view in China is called the Longji Rice Terrace. It’s often referred to as the
“Dragon’s Backbone”. The rice terraces tier from the foot of the mountains to
the peaks. Taking a trip to the top of any of the mountains here will give you
a great view of the area.
Laos – Vang Vieng
A small town in Laos called Vang Vieng is
actually a frequent destination for tourists for several reasons. It’s
surrounded by many natural attractions such as mountains, waterfalls, and its
famous Blue Lagoon. The entire town sits in the valley which makes it a great
start point for hiking adventures.
The Phangern viewpoint is one of the best
viewpoints in Laos. It’s located at the peak of the Phangern mountain. This
viewpoint will give you panoramic views looking down to the town and all of
it’s surrounding landscapes. The Phangern viewpoint is a clear view over the
Vietnam – Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is recognized as a UNESCO World
Heritage Site and is one of the most popular places to visit in Vietnam. This
bay consists of thousands of small islands, some with beaches, other covered
with limestone cliffs and forests. Ha Long Bay is also a common place to find
cruises and sailing. It’s a great place to explore above and below the water.
The best island to get great views of Ha
Long Bay is on Ti Top Island. There are several tours available to hike up the
island’s main mountain. Ti Top island is located in the middle of the Ha Long
Bay to give you the best viewpoint.
There are countless viewpoints to visit in
Asia. Many of the viewpoints require trekking up high in the mountains but the
resulting views definitely make any trip worth it. A great way to experience
the viewpoints is to arrive at them in time for the sunrise or sunset. Tours are
usually provided and scheduled around these times. These viewpoints in Asia
give you great photo opportunities and are even more breathtaking when seen in
Author: Bryan Shelmon
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Date: 26th October 2017
Visiting Thailand is on so many people's bucketlist. And I can see why. Where else can you live like a king as a family of three on one income? Where else offers wild city-life in the city of Bangkok mixed with the chilled out vibe of Northern Thailand. Thailand has so much to offer families, if you are willing to give it a go.
Okay so many people do not associate family fun with Bangkok. Actually, although Bangkok has a wild side, a deep dark and secret side - the wild side is just that, a secret. If you want to find that darker side of Bangkok you need to go looking for it. On the other side of things Bangkok is a wonderful city with so many options for families. You can explore nearby old cities on a day trip, travel near and far on a budget and stay in luxurious hotels for a fraction of the cost that you experience in Europe.
When visiting Bangkok make sure to visit the famous Khao San Road, go a little earlier in the day and it is absolutely fine for children and a great place to pick them up some new clothes at the Khao San Road market. Enjoy cheap Pad Thai, a family of three can eat here for less than 100 baht... or you can always rely on McDonalds if they kids aren't very adventurous. Stay nearby at the Wild Orchid Villa to get a little more quiet but still be in the best location in the city.
If you are not in Bangkok for long, but want to enjoy a beach escape from the city then you should head to Sri Racha. It is only 1 hour and 30 minutes by bus from Bangkok's Ekkamai station - and costs less than 200 baht per person. Sri Racha is a lot less smoggy than Bangkok, so you can feel the heat of the sun a lot more, and can enjoy this on the beach or at one of the wonderful serviced apartments in the city which boast a rooftop pool. Check out Citadines Grand Central in Sri Racha for a homely apartment with everything you need to look after yourself.
Sri Racha is also right beside the smallest island in Thailand, which is literally walking distance from the centre of Sri Racha. Enjoy a day exploring the tiny island and then let the kids burn off the rest of their energy at the enormous play park before the bridge to the island.
Chiang Mai is one of the best locations for anyone living on a budget. You can rent an apartment, with security, gym and a pool for up to 14,000 baht per month - amazing. Chiang Mai also offers a lot to families including an enormous zoo, aquarium, monkey schools, snake zoo and a night safari. The options are almost limitless in this incredible city. In the Old City you can rent a budget room for less than $10 a night, eat for 60 baht per meal and travel in Songthaews for 30 baht per person (small people are free usually.)
Chiang Mai is also full of expats making it a great place to meet other travellers or long-term residents of the city. You can find co-working spaces almost everywhere and the internet connection is the best compared to other areas of Thailand.
It is no secret that Thailand boasts some amazing islands, and some of them are not even expensive to live on. Sure, the weather can be rainy at some points of the year so make sure you plan in advance of your trip. The islands offer unlimited beaches, which of course means snorkelling, beach volleyball and football and lots of space to build sand castles.
You can enjoy extreme sports at minimal cost, take boat tours, visit secret gardens and enjoy beautiful hikes with extremely rewarding views.
Thailand is a great place to visit as a family, and you can do it on a budget, or as a luxury traveller. Decide what kind of atmosphere you seek for your family and research the different areas and what they have to offer - Thailand has it all...
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Date: 26th June 2017
Cycling around Bagan, Myanmar is like pedalling back in time.
Bagan was founded in the first century and it was during the 9th and 10th centuries that it flourished and the temples we see today were constructed. These days they still stand, although crumbling, and retain their silent elegance.
Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, it is the largest and most concentrated collection of Buddhist religious structures in the world. Although tourism in Myanmar is currently growing, it still has a lot of historic charm and remains largely unchanged.
It is possible to get around Bagan via horse and cart or even mini-van if you are craving modern comfort – but what’s the fun in that? If you are a true adventurer, biking between each of the temples is the most exciting way to explore.
The area is mainly flat, so the only challenge is dealing with the heat. A cycling trip around the temples will keep you fit and healthy and will also allow you to take much more in. Here are some tips that you should know before you begin your journey:
1. Get Up Early
If you can drag yourself out of bed earlier, you’ll not only enjoy riding around in cooler temperatures before the sun begins to bake the plains – but you will also have the chance to see the temples against the beautiful backdrop of the sunrise. It is a good idea to rent your bike the night before, as the bike rental place may not be open early enough.
2. Drink More Water Than You Think You Need
The heat can reach incredible highs, especially during the summer months, so make sure that you are drinking water throughout the day. Drink more than you think you need, because it is sometimes difficult to realise when you are dehydrated. Also, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.
3. A Sarong is Essential
A sarong is one of the best items you can bring with on your Bagan trip, as it is lightweight and serves so many purposes. You can wear it as a headscarf to keep you cool and shield your scalp and face from the sun. You can wrap it around your shoulders or legs in order to be respectful and not show too much skin when visiting a temple. You could even use it as a picnic blanket if you stop to have some lunch.
4. Test Your Bike First
There are several bike rental places around Bagan where you can rent bikes cheaply – but make sure you give your bike a short test ride and an inspection before you pay for it. Some of the bikes are old and may be in poor repair, which is not something you want to notice when you’ve already paid and started pedalling and it’s too late.
5. Relax, It’s Not Possible to See All of the Pagodas
At its zenith Bagan had around 13,000 temples and these days you’ll see around 2,200 left standing. You’d have to be able to cycle at light speed to be able to see all of them on your trip, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself and rush between them.
It’s better to choose a few temples you are really interested and explore them in detail, noting the exquisite carvings and statuary. These really are gorgeous buildings and a lot of time and effort went into making them as beautiful as possible.
Have you cycled around Bagan? Let us know about your travel tips in the comments below.
Kelly Dunning is a Canadian freelance travel writer. She lives a nomadic lifestyle with no fixed address – working from the road for the last 5 years with her partner Lee, a web-designer from England. They have traveled to over 40 countries and they offer travel tips, stories and inspiration on Global-Goose.com.
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