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Pocket Travel Guide - Poland
19th February 2019

Pocket Travel Guide - Poland

Poland, located in Central Europe, celebrates its 30th anniversary of escaping communism and Russian superiority this year. The country expanded greatly over those years in many areas, such as economy and global relations, but it’s still...

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  • Pocket Travel Guide - Poland

    Pocket Travel Guide - Poland

    Date: 19th February 2019

    Poland, located in Central Europe, celebrates its 30th anniversary of escaping communism and Russian superiority this year. The country expanded greatly over those years in many areas, such as economy and global relations, but it’s still underappreciated in the tourism spheres.
    90% of the people I talk to about Poland are surprised to hear how much it has to offer. And polish people, on the other hand, are surprised to hear that our own Mazury made it on the National Geographic’s list of Top Places to visit in 2016.
    Even though it does not offer blue oceans and tropical weather, it has something for everyone- access to the Baltic and SPA resorts to the North, breath-taking rocky Tatra mountains to the South, and a land of blue lakes in its North-Western part. In addition tourists can explore strongly European architecture, experience vibes of 1000+ years old cities, eat great food and listen to a very distinctive language.
    So whenever you decide to be one of those who visit this small country, I hope you will fall in love with it, and you may find some of the basic travel information below helpful. 



    1. Transport

    Poland has developed great public transportation, not only within the cities but also across the country. In every big city, whether it’s Warsaw or Cracow, a bus, tram or train will quickly and easily get you to every attraction.
    If you decide to visit a bigger chunk of the country and move from one city to another, the best and easiest way is to use a train (called PKP or Intercity), which would take you e.g. from Gdansk to Cracow in 7-8 hours for about 20 GBP, and there are over 15 times during the day to choose from.
    A cheaper but longer option would be a bus, and there is a variety of buses and times to choose from. Air travel within Polish territory is not very good and super expensive.

    2. Money and prices

    Poland’s currency is the Polish Zloty (PLN), which stands for ‘gold’. Currency Exchanges are very common, usually marked with a big word KANTOR, but do not worry about getting too much cash, 98% of stores, restaurants etc will take a card. To be honest, more places accept cards nowadays in Poland, than e.g. in Germany. You should, however, gear up in cash when visiting farmers markets, or village stores. Also be aware that some smaller stores may have a minimum card amount, usually 10-20 zlotys (~2-4 GBP). I’s say prices are fairly cheap. To give you an idea, some of the prices in a touristy area are:

    -A meal for 2 in a good restaurant with drinks ~100 zlotys (~20 GBP)

    -Pint of beer in a pub ~8-14 zlotys (1,60-3 GBP)

    -Basic cup of coffee ~6 zlotys (~1,20 GBP)

    -Loaf of bread ~2,50 zlotys (~ 0,50 GBP)

    3. What to eat

    Poland offers different types of regional food in different areas, meat-lovers will be especially happy there, but there is bunch of vegetarian options as well. Some of the must-try’s are:

    ·Pierogies (dumplings with filling; cheese and potatoes- ‘ruskie’ are the most common)

    ·Oscypek (found in the South, a smoked sheep cheese)

    ·Flounder and 20+ types of spiced herring (found in the North, regional Baltic fish)

    ·Toruń gingerbread cookies

    ·Zurek soup (regional Southern soup, but can be found everywhere, made of fermented cereals often served in a bread bowl)

    4. Hidden gems (outside of the big cities everybody knows about)

    - Zakopane (a ski resort in the Tatra Mountains)

    - Sopot (Baltic sea resort with the longest wooden pier in Europe)

    - Malbork Castle (a 13th century Teutonic Order castle)

    - Biskupin (open-air museum with a real size model of an Iron Age settlement)

    - Toruń (a home of Nicolaus Copernicus and a capital of Polish gingerbread)

    The more I think the more I could expand that list, but it’s best to just come and discover it for yourself! 


    About the Author

    My name is Klaudia and I am an Archaeology and Anthropology student at the University of Bristol. I am a passionate travel blogger and photographer, who during the 23 years of her life visited 24 countries and dreams about a career in the travel writing industry.

    Link to my blog: https://adventurnik.com/

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  • Jerusalem – The Holy City of Tourism

    Jerusalem – The Holy City of Tourism

    Date: 13th February 2019

    Jerusalem is the holy city to three major religions – Christianism, Judaism, and Islam. But there is so much more to this unique city, an exciting destination for religious AND non-religious tourists alike!

    What to Visit

    You will not be disappointed with Jerusalem. This is a fascinating city, with a lot of history. Be sure to explore:

    • The Old City: Take your time walking around this walled area, where history comes alive. Divided into four quarters (Muslim, Christian, Armenian and Christian), here you will find:
    • Western Wall
    • Church of the Holy Sepulcher
    • Via Dolorosa
    • Dome of the Rock
    • Tower of David
    • Machane Yehuda Market: So many different tastes and smell! Make sure to try what you can here. Delicious and authentic Mediterranean cuisine, cheaper than most restaurants.
    • Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center: free entrance and an experience you will not forget. It takes at least a couple of hours to walk through the whole museum, so plan ahead.
    • Mount of Olives: get breath-taking views of the city from this holy place.


    Tips to Visiting the City

    1.IT IS SAFE!

    Rest assured, Jerusalem is completely safe. Because it is a high conflict region, you will see a lot of Israeli soldiers everywhere you go, which might be a bit of a shock, but you get used to it. They are around to make sure you are safe. Of course, you should do a little research ahead, and make sure they are not currently going through a period of special tension. But other than that, the everyday tourist has nothing to worry about.

    2.PRICES ARE A BIT SALTY

    The Israeli Shekel (₪) is not worth much (1£ = 4.7₪; 1€ = 4.1₪; 1 US$ = 3.6₪), however Jerusalem is overall an expensive city throughout the year. You will probably find better deals staying in hostels, many of which offer private rooms. The best places to stay are in or near downtown (near the streets Ben-Yehuda and Yaffo), where you will find good a variety of restaurants, while still being near the Old City.

    3.DURING SHABBAT, THEY REST

    Jews rest during the Shabbat, which goes from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. This will likely impact your travel plans, because all public transportation stops. You will also encounter many restaurants and shops closed. It is a good time to walk around the city that will be less busy than usual.

    4.GETTING AROUND

    If you arrive in Israel through the Ben-Gurion Airport, your options to going into the city are:

    ·Train: costs 23.50₪, takes only 28 min.

    ·Public bus (line 485): costs only 16₪ but takes about 50 min.

    ·Shared taxi (your best option during Shabbat). You will find these minivans once you exit the airport. The “Sherut” will take you to wherever you need to go, and costs around 60₪ per person. It is still much cheaper than a private taxi (that will cost something around 280₪), unless you arrive in a group and can share a private taxi. Be aware that the Sherut only leaves after filling the whole minivan (around 10 seats), so you might have to wait a bit.

    The transportation system in Jerusalem is very good. You can get around the city using the light train or city buses very easily. They display information and make announcements in both Hebrew and English, so you will not be completely lost. Most Israelis will also speak English, so when in doubt, ask around!

    SAFE TRAVELS!

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  • India - A Feast for the Senses

    India - A Feast for the Senses

    Date: 21st February 2018

    India is a country you’ll never forget. Once you step out of the airport and hear the distant echo of beeping rickshaws and bustling cities, the country begins to take its hold on you. Despite its reputation of being a dangerous, dirty country, perhaps too chaotic for some - those who take the time to get to know the magical lands often fall in love with it.

    India makes you feel alive. It’s intense, surreal, and vibrant. Sometimes it’s even unfair, it’s challenging, and you’ll see things which will change your perspective forever. Around every corner is something new; a rainbow of colours, fragrant smells of herbs and spices, the buzz of bazaars, diverse cuisines and patterns of beautiful fabrics.

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    You’ll see rickshaws twisting and turning through the windy roads, just missing someone at every swerve.Your eyes will glimmer in the colorful bright fabrics, beads and textiles. The beauty of the Taj Mahal will look different than the photos you’ve seen so many times before; its white marble walls will shine brightly in the sunshine, commanding your attention. You’ll stare in awe at the mountain views and lush, green landscapes across Kerala and the tropical blue beach paradise of Goa.


    But not everything you see will dazzle you with joy. You’ll see the crowds of homeless people sleeping at busy Indian train stations. People will squeeze onto a chair class carriage as they embark on a 48 hour train journey with no room to sit down. Maybe, as you walk down the side streets of Kolkata and see hoards of homeless, hungry children, you’ll realise how lucky you really are.

    You’ll hear the endless beeping and revs of tuk tuks and scooters. Chatter in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and English will flow past your ears as you walk through crammed streets. You’ll get used to sound of aggressive shoppers haggling at busy bazaars, the beating thumps of women doing laundry and the passion in religious chants.

    Then you’ll bask in the calmness of the birds singing in the empty mountains. You’ll listen to the faint sounds of water rippling while boating through serene backwaters. And as you fall asleep in the desert of the Golden City, you’ll hear nothing but the breeze.

    india_201_20_1_

    You’ll smell the sweetness of Jasmine flowers which delicately decorate women’s hair, representing hope and spirituality. Cinnamon, ginger, coriander, bay leaves, masala and every pungent spice will fill the air as you pass by a bazaar. The savoury scent of samosas and bhajis, or freshly brewed chai sold by busy street stalls are bound to tempt you.

    For every good smell in India there’s a bad. Fish rotting in the burning sun, mounds of rubbish piled high, and walls which reek of urine will be common occurrences. But there’s no need to worry - these smells are quickly masked by the pleasant smell of musky sandal and lavender incense burning from every temple, street corner and house.

    You’ll taste diverse, rich and spicy food with interesting contrasts at every corner of the country. Vegetarians will feel like they’re in food paradise and relish in the endless meat-free choices. The varied taste of thalis, homely taste of street food, and curries packed with spices will feed your soul. You’ll find yourself addicted to Indian food, which is always infused with passion.

    There’s nothing more heart-wrenching than the touch of an Indian child beggar grasping at your hand or banging on your window for food or money. As you stroke an Indian street dog or cat, you’ll feel their bones poke through their fur; not an inch of fat on their bodies.

    A trip to India will change your perspective, it will make you feel lucky, and it will make you want to help. You’ll be inspired by Indian’s hope and joy in the smallest of things, and their humble lifestyles will make you think twice. India - a country of sensory overload.

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  • Join The Travel Diary Revolution in 2018

    Join The Travel Diary Revolution in 2018

    Date: 2nd January 2018

    Adventurelogue is more than just a travel diary. It's simple, collectable and practical design is perfect for any adventure. And we have a design for every journey. But more importantly, it's the travel diary with a soul.

    Our diaries are sourced and manufactured ethically in South Africa. And for each one sold we donate 10% of sales to a charity in the same region of the world as your diary is for.

    So make the world a better place whilst seeing it at the same time.

    Check out our store for more details, and to get yours today.

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  • Best Viewpoints in Asia

    Best Viewpoints in Asia

    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 entire valley.


    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 person.

    Author: Bryan Shelmon

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  • Thailand With Kids

    Thailand With Kids

    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.


    Bangkok

    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.


    Sri Racha

    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

    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.


    The islands

    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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