Take the Road Trip of a Lifetime: Wayanad Guide

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Kerala is immensely popular for the holy trinity formed by Munnar, Kochi, and Allepey, thrusting Wayanad into the shadows. This is a good thing as it saves the place from experiencing a tourist stampede.

The area experiences decent tourist traffic with great hotels in Wayanad, but it is still considered as an off-the-beaten destination in Kerala. Are you thinking of a road trip? Then, Wayanad has the perfect balance of sports, hiking, adventures, and sightseeing to make the trip a once in a lifetime event.

The Travel Basics

One of the very first things you should know before you set out to Wayanad is that it’s not a town or a city, it is actually a northern Kerala district. The area is largely covered by forest and is located in the southern end of Deccan plateau.

In addition, you also need to know that visiting Wayanad means that you will be visiting either Sulthan Bathery, Kalpetta (Wayanad’s capital) or Mananthavady towns. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be able to sample all that Wayanad has to offer you in a single weekend. So, carefully choose what you really need to see and do!

Planning Your Trip

Unless you intend on visiting the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, you should make Kalpetta your base. Kerala and Karnataka State Government buses can take you there from Bangalore and Mysore. There are no airports in Wayanad district, but you can use those in Kozhikode or Bangalore.

One of the best things about Wayanad is that it offers visitors an excellent local network of buses that are both frequent and very cheap. In fact, you can visit just about any tourist destination on public transport – the perfect solution for the solo backpacker.

Top Attractions in Wayanad

Sulthan Bathery is what can be considered as Wayanad’s gateway town, and the best location to stay if you intend on visiting the Mathunga Wild Life Sanctuary. The town’s name means the place where the king stationed his ammunition and army. Some of the top things to do and see in Sulthan Bathery include:

  • The Jain Temple
  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Edakkal Caves

Kalpetta town offers you a bittersweet symphony of life that includes attractions like:

  • Chembra Peak, which looks over the Wayanad territory – but you’ll need permission and tickets from the forest department
  • The Banasura Dam, which also happens to be India’s largest earth dam and number two in Asia

Mananthavady town is home to Paskhipatalam, which is a protected forest area as well as a sanctuary for several bird species. The park is located in the Brahmagiri hills and is only 8km from Thirunelli, allowing you to enjoy two activities in a single itinerary item. Trekking reveals sweeping views of the Nilgiri hills as you pass through clear water streams, wild grass, and pristine forests.

The Thirunelli temple is another noteworthy ancient place of worship attraction in Mananthavady that features Kerala architecture. According to the locals, the presiding deity here is Lord Vishnu, and it’s also an important pilgrim center in northern Wayanad.

Locals believe that taking a dip in the close by Papanasini river takes away all your sins while freeing you from any karma debts you have. Literary translated from Sanskrit, the name Papanasini means the destroyer of sins.

Conclusion

Wayanad is the perfect way to catch a glimpse of rural Kerala with waterfalls, woods, and wildlife. The vast mountains covered in mist, blue lakes, unending green meadows and wild forests make Wayanad a true “God’s own country!” In addition, it’s the perfect place for those looking for a break from the fast pace of city life.

White Sand And Blue Sea – What To See And Do In The Maldives

The Maldives – just the name conjures up images of white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters that stretch on for as far as the eye can see and decadent coconut drinks, all enjoyed simultaneously as you kick back on the vacation of a lifetime. Sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it? But aside from beaches, what else is there to do in the Maldives? A surprising amount you will be excited to know! Here is a roundup of some of the island’s most favourite, famous and enjoyable activities and excursions that will have you beaming from ear to ear as you while away your days in this exotic island locale. We can almost guarantee that after reading this you will be rushing off to book your ultimate Maldives holiday.

Beaches

This one probably goes without saying, but beaches are probably the biggest draw as to why people come from around the world to visit the Maldives. With stretches of white sand beaches that seem to go on for miles coupled with the seclusion that some of the country’s most remote islands provide it’s no wonder that this is one of the most ideal locations for honeymooners looking to get away for some alone time. The beaches all across the Maldives offer both white sand and turquoise seas, almost reminiscent of those images conjured up by such classic tales as ‘Treasure Island’. One of the most popular activities for visitors to any of the islands in the Maldives is to arrange a private picnic on one of these secluded beaches, usually available from your hotel if you ask. Aside from picnics, the beaches in the Maldives are generally ideal for just kicking back with a good book and sunbathing with the occasional dip in the beautiful waters of the Indian Ocean to cool off.

Sunset Cruises and Other Boat Trips

Nothing quite beats the feel and experience of taking a traditional Maldivian boat, known as a Dhoni, on a sunset cruise over the open Indian Ocean. Watch as the turquoise of the waters and the white of the sand give way to twilight shades of oranges purples and deep hues of pink. If you’re lucky, you may catch the sight of a pod of dolphins swimming alongside your boat. Some cruises may come with dinner options, so check ahead to see what suits you and your budget best. This is ultimately one of the most luxurious and enjoyable experiences you can have in the Maldives – just you and the open waters as the day gives way to the shades of night.

If boats are really your thing, you can also get away and out on the water with fishing trips to try your hand at a little deep sea fishing. This enjoyable sport will see you possibly landing some great catches including tuna, wahoo, sailfish and barracudas. Oftentimes you will get to barbecue up your catch with the fishermen once back on shore for a truly enjoyable experience. Nothing quite beats whiling away the hours on the deck of a beautiful boat out on the Indian Ocean with like minded people all hoping for a taste of the fish that call these pristine waters home. Snacks, drinks and the like are normally included in the price of a fishing trip and most can be arranged through your hotel.

Diving and Snorkelling

Beaches mean diving and snorkelling and often the two go hand in hand. Even if you aren’t a diver you can often catch a ride on diving boats to dive sites to snorkel at with a slew of divers looking for adventure. Qualified divers will find that the Maldives have a huge array of underwater delights to see and experience including turtles, moray eels and even shipwrecks. Yes, shipwrecks! There are a number of wrecks that you can dive that are found at a variety of depths so if you want to experience all of the wrecks you should be qualified to descend to around forty to fifty metres for best results, with most wrecks being at a depth of around twenty metres plus. The Maldives Victory and Kuda Giri are two wrecks that are located off the Male atoll and have good coral with decent fish life. For better fish life, check out the wrecks of the Liffey and Utheemu 1 and 2 off the coast of Kudahuvadhoo Island.

Not qualified? No problem. Many dive centres and resorts can take you on fun or introduction dives which means you have a qualified instructor/guide with you the whole time to check up on you and ensure you’re safe, so you just have to sit back, relax and watch the imagery float on by.

Snorkelling on the other hand is an easy activity even the kids can do if you’re travelling with family. All you need is snorkel equipment in the form of a mask and breather and away you go. Some people use fins but they aren’t necessary. In many cases you can rent this equipment from your hotel for a nominal fee for day use (or longer) or some may provide it free of charge on snorkelling trips and the like. Snorkelling is a great way to explore the reefs and marine life without needing to get deeper in the water on a dive or feeling pressured to get qualified just to enjoy the things the sea has to offer.

As a general rule of thumb, the Banana Reef in the North Male Atoll is one of the best reefs for beginner divers as well as snorkelers of all levels. It’s rich with sea life and corals and is just an all around great spot for those who want a lazy snorkel with lots to see.

The Cultural Side

Even if you’re on a luxury holiday at one of the Maldivian prestigious resorts it can be a great opportunity to get off the resort for awhile and explore the real life side of this unique, beautiful and welcoming island chain. There are a number of so-called “home islands” or “local islands”. It’s on these islands you will find the real heart beat of the country, set amid working towns and villages with real people who make this place their home. It’s in these places you will find great dining opportunities to try dishes of all kinds from breakfast to dinner and beyond. Dance the night away to the Boduberu – a traditional local musical experience that can be found in amongst those who live here.

So if you’re looking for the ultimate island experience with lots to take in amid luxury resorts offering everything from boating trips to fishing, beach picnics to spa days, you can rest assured that you will have the experience of a lifetime exploring this gorgeous part of the world for whatever reason brings you here be it a family vacation, a couples getaway or a honeymoon.

 

Planning to Visit Igatpuri? Know Best Travel Tips that You Must Follow

Igatpuri is a hill station in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Igatpuri is a land of hills and Dhamma Giri Vipassana Centre. Tourists visit from around the world to explore the natural beauty of this hill station. If you are a photographer and nature admirer then Igatpuri is totally a place for you. Bhatsa River Valley, Vaitarna Dam, Camel Valley, Ashoka Waterfall and Dhamma Giri are some of the major destinations in the town of Igatpuri.

When should I visit Igatpuri?

A lot of tourists visit Igatpuri throughout the year. Although, the monsoon is considered as the best time to visit Igatpuri as during this time weather is quite wonderful. During monsoon season, the entire region of Igatpuri turns green. Winter is also a pleasant time to visit Igatpuri. People avoid visiting in summer season as summer is quite hot in the town of Igatpuri.

How can I reach the town of Igatpuri?

Igatpiri is located at the distance of about 120 km from Mumbai which hardly takes 3-hour by car. Mumbai, Aurangabad and Pune are the nearest airports to Igatpuri town. From the airport, various transportation facilities are available including local bus, taxi and train to reach the destination that is Igatpuri.

What are the best resorts in Igatpuri where I can stay with my family or friends?

You can check online various best resorts in Igatpuri for a luxurious and affordable stay.  You can also look for hotel or homestays. Taloli Tents Resort, The Grand Gardens Resort, Mystic Valley Resort, The Herb Farm and Manas Lifestyle are some the best hotels or resorts recommended by the travel experts and located in or near the town of Igatpuri. It is wise to book your stay beforehand so that you do not face any problem later on in getting a stay of your choice.

What are the places in Igatpuri that I must explore?

Camel Valley:

The Camel Valley is located near the Bhatsa River Valley in the town of Igatpuri. The major appeal of this camel-shaped valley is the waterfall which gushes down from a height of around 1,000 ft. The valley offers an astonishing view. The valley looks more beautiful during the season of monsoon. Don’t forget to take your camera to capture this scenic place which offers wonderful views.

Bhatsa River Valley:

Bhatsa River Valley is a picturesque place which has much to offer to the visitors who visit from around the world. At the end of Thal Ghat, this river valley is aesthetically located. The hills, the shining foliage, the woods and the river make it a must spot for visitors. Photographers and nature lovers cannot afford to miss this place. Bhatsa River Valley is in very close proximity to Camel Valley. Do not forget to take your camera for capturing wonderful shots.

Dhamma Giri:

Dhamma Giri is one of the major attractions in the town of Igatpuri so you can not afford to miss it. The large Golden Pagoda is the entrance for Dhamma Giri Vipassana Centre which you can easily spot from a far distance. This world’s largest meditation center was founded by S. N. Goenka. Dhamma Giri is surrounded by the Sahyadri hill range. The Vipassana International Academy offers 10 days course and the course is offered free of cost. The meditation techniques benefit your mind, body and soul. These techniques taught by Buddha in India 2500 years ago. The Vipassana Centre is open all days of the week.

Ashoka Waterfall:

Ashoka Waterfall is a season waterfall located at the distance of around 13.5 km from Igatpuri town. The waterfall is surrounded by the dense forest and also known as Vihigaon Falls as it is located in the Vihigaon village in Thane district of Maharashtra. The waterfall is cascading down from an altitude of about 120 feet into a pool. This is a must visit place for rappelling, hiking and bird watching. This place is known for many shots of Asoka film, starring Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor. This is an ideal spot for a picnic for spending some quality time with your family or friends.

Conclusion

Igatpuri has much to offer to the tourists who visit from around the world. This is a must visit place for the nature lovers. Don’t forget to take your camera for capturing wonderful memories of Igatpuri.

Browse best resorts in Igatpuri; you will get a long list of various resorts. Make sure that your resort is in close proximity to the major attractions in Igatpuri so that you do not have to incur a lot of time and money in reaching your destination. You can choose any of the resort as per your affordability and time. Also, book your resort as soon as possible.

Have a wonderful trip to the town of Igatpuri!

What to Do In a Day Trip To Bangalore?

Bangalore or Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka, is a melting point of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Nowhere else in South India will you find such beautiful hangouts, warm people or such pleasant weather. Palaces, art galleries, cafes, theatre, pubs, parks, malls – Bangalore has it all. If you’ve already done your Mumbai to Bangalore flights booking, then all you need to do now is decide how many of these places below you’re going to visit in a day:

  1. The Lalbagh Botanical Garden

The Lalbagh botanical garden, which literally means ‘the red garden’ is spread over 240 acres. This garden was created by a very famous ruler of old Mysore, Hyder Ali. The garden is a home to diverse tropical plants, aquarium and a lake. The main attraction the botanical garden is the glass house. This one has been modelled after London’s crystal place and is designed by John Cameron. The botanical garden hosts annual flower shows on two national occasions – one being republic day and the other is on Independence Day. This lush and expansive garden is an ideal place for the peace-seeking city dwellers and tourists alike. The garden is very picturesque making it a perfect location for all the photography enthusiasts. The garden is open to public every day from 6am to 7pm. Entry is free between 6 to 9 in the morning and 6 to 7 in the evening.

  1. Nandi Hills

If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Nandi Hills or Nandidurg is the place to be. Located 60kms from the Bangalore city, a drive to Nandi is indeed very rejuvenating. The climate here is delightful, and it’s a favourite among both young and old people. The best time to visit Nandi is before sunrise. The view from the hill is mesmerising and is the best view of the sunrise in Bangalore.

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium

For all the astronomy enthusiasts, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium is the best place to be. The planetarium has these shows daily:  ‘dawn of the space age’, ‘our solar system’ and ‘Mars-the red planet’. Apart from these daily shows, the planetarium hosts various workshops, lectures, exhibition for activities for both students and teachers. Arrangements of telescopes in the open area of planetarium are made for the public to use. The planetarium also hosts special workshops for the physically challenged students.

  1. The Bannerghatta Biological Park

This National Park was established in 1971 in order to meet the demands of eco-tourism and conservation. Ever since, it has been home to a large variety of flora and fauna. Bannerghatta national park is located 22 km away from the Bangalore city and is spread over an area of 104 sq km. The park has various units like butterfly park, Children Park, the zoo, a safari and rescue centre. These units provide a unique learning experience for both adults and children. A wide range of wildlife – elephants, leopards, jackal, fox, sloth bear, spotted deer – are easily spotted here. For all the nature and photography enthusiasts, this national park is definitely a treat.

  1. Cubbon Park

The city of Bangalore is popularly known as the garden city. Cubbon park- the lung space of the city is spread over 300 acres of land. The design of the park is aesthetically very appealing. The statutes of famous personalities and the rich flora found will amaze you. Cubbon Park does not only get the attention of tourists but also the residents of Bangalore. Nature lovers, botanists, peace lovers and fitness enthusiast frequently find their way to Cubbon Park. The park has other major attractions like the museum, library, tennis academy, toy train and the second largest aquarium in the country. It is home to more than 6000 trees.

Now, all there is left for you to do is to find an agent to do a Mumbai to Bangalore flights booking (which shouldn’t be hard at all). You can also buy a flight ticket directly at the airport counter and come to Bangalore for at least a day to see for yourself what the hype is all about.

Have some fun in the Bangalore style!

The best events and activities for expat families in Singapore

Moving to Singapore with your family is a chance to truly immerse yourself in a culture that is vibrant, ever-changing and brilliantly unique. There is so much to see, do and learn, making the city a popular choice for expats. And for good reason: Singapore ranks second in the Safe Cities Index 2017 (beaten only by Tokyo). In 2014, Bloomberg highlighted its healthcare system as the most efficient in the world, citing it as the place that healthcare costs go furthest (most expats choose to take out global health insurance). Here are a few of the incredible events and activities that expat families can visit and take part. We hope this inspires you to make the most of your new home.

Delicious events for food lovers

The annual Singapore Food Festival is a must for expat families. Since 1994, the Singapore Tourism Board has held the festival to show off the city’s diverse culinary culture. Entry is free, which is ideal for large families with lots of hungry mouths to feed! It is a great chance to sample local delights and multicultural cuisines – from abacus seed (yam gnocchi) and kimchi popiah (spring rolls) to rojak (a local salad with fruits and vegetables). If your kids are finding it hard to settle into their new home, or you just want to keep them engaged with the local culture, then exploring the different stalls and dishes of the Singapore Food Festival might bring back their appetite for the city.

Festivities that show off Singapore’s multicultural character

Chinese New Year is an annual celebration that you absolutely must experience in Singapore. From bright red lanterns and gold money cats lining the streets, to spectacular dragon processions and delectable smells of oriental spices wafting from the city’s restaurants, Chinese New Year is a treat for the senses. It’s also an important part of Singapore’s culture, as the Chinese community makes up more than half of the city’s population. Singapore does not do the celebration by halves: the annual River Hongboa takes place on board a floating platform with colourful fireworks and Chinese zodiac lanterns. The Chingay Parade involves sparkling dancers, wondrous dragons, magnificent stilt walkers and vibrantly decorated parade floats.

The Hindu festival Thaipusam is also an important date in Singapore’s cultural calendar, and is a spectacle for people of all ages. It’s a two-day festival that begins at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and finishes at the Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple. The colourful procession travels just under three miles and is an amazing glimpse into the traditions of the Hindus, who prepare spiritually for one month on a strict vegetarian diet. The most committed devotees put skewers through their tongues (which can only be done once the mind is free from material longing and the body is exempt from physical pleasures) and carry spiked kavadis (altars). Others balance wooden kavadis on their shoulders with flowers and peacock feathers, and some simply carry a jug of milk.

Colour, sound and sensation!

Whether you’re living in Singapore with your baby, toddler or teenager (or family members of all ages), you might also enjoy a trip to Sentosa to see the Wings Of Time performance. This is an outdoor night show set against the backdrop of the sea that features lasers, water displays and music. While little ones will no doubt be mesmerised by the bright colours and dancing lights, older children may enjoy the magical story. It is popular with tourists and expats alike who want to escape to a fantasy world for the night.

Staying healthy

There are many ways to have fun and stay healthy in Singapore. From yoga and meditation classes to jogging and going to the gym, there are a lot of widely available fitness options. For kids, there are plenty of swimming pools to splash around in and parks where they can let off steam. As a treat, attractions like the water park Wild Wild Wet are popular for families that want a fun day out that involves lots of exercise and fresh air. Combined with a healthy diet – high-protein, low-fat foods with lots of fibre are widely available in Singapore – it’s possible for all the family to stay fit and healthy while living in the so-called ‘garden city’.

Fun family learning

While you’re getting settled into your new lives in Singapore, consider educational trips to boost your children’s confidence about going to school in a new country. The Science Centre is a popular trip for expats as there are lots of interactive exhibits to inspire budding young scientists.

For parents who want to teach their children about the local culture, the Singapore Discovery Centre could also be worth a visit. It has information about the birth and development of the city, galleries that highlight unique Singaporean quirks and an exhibition that explains the vision for the city’s future. All this makes the Discovery Centre a truly educational experience that could help expat families to feel more in tune with their new home.

These are just some of the exciting events and activities in Singapore that you and your family can explore. From food and culture to science, history and entertainment, you should be able to find activities to inspire family members of all ages and help everyone settle into their new life abroad.

Traveling Southeast Asia

A first-timer’s guide on what to take

Before traveling anywhere, you’ll need to do some research on what to pack. Chances are the climate, culture and amenities are all going to be completely different to what you’re used to at home. If you’re heading to Southeast Asia, here’s a basic guide to what you’ll need as a Westerner.

Medication

A couple weeks before you leave, you’ll almost certainly need to start a course of anti-malaria tablets, which you’ll also take throughout your stay.

You’ll also want diarrhea medication – tap water might be ok depending on where you are, but your body will take a while to adjust. Even if you don’t drink tap water at all, a bad curry could have you man-down for a couple days. Pack the meds and hope you don’t need them.

Clothes

Most of Southeast Asia is hot and humid. Pack loose, comfortable clothes – shorts and t-shirts are probably best, a swimsuit is essential. Take your sneakers for the days when you’re doing a lot of walking, as you definitely will. Flip-flops and comfortable sandals are also on the must-pack list.

Also bring a raincoat or poncho – at some point you will get caught in the rain. When it rains there, you don’t always get much warning. This is another reason why you should pack lightweight, quick drying clothes so that you won’t run out if a couple pairs get wet. The same goes for shoes.

Toiletries

Tissues, tissues and more tissues – you’ll be hard pressed to find a public restroom with toilet paper. You can pack tissues or toilet paper beforehand or buy on arrival, but they’re likely to become one of your most prized possessions, at least after your first encounter with the bum-gun.

Bug repellant. Mosquitoes are pretty prolific and probably bigger than the tiny nuisances you’re used to. Take bug-spray or a stick of repellant and don’t forget to use it.

Deodorant, preferably an antiperspirant. You’ll still sweat but you’ll feel a little more comfortable and you won’t smell quite so bad.

Planning

Hang onto your notebook, phone – whatever has your trip plan in it. If you need to contact places you’re staying or people you’ve made travel arrangements with, it’s your go-to method for planning. If your accommodation falls through, or you’d just rather not have to worry about it, consider renting an RV from a reputable website.

What not to take

Valuables – camera, ok, diamond necklace, not ok. Anything you can’t replace, don’t take with, you’ll survive without it.

Don’t take anything across the border that you didn’t pack yourself. I recently heard a horror story of a woman whose ‘friend’ asked her to collect some books while she was in Taiwan. The books were a ploy to smuggle heroin out of the country and she spent 16 years in jail – in Taiwan.

Even if you don’t speak the language, struggle with the currency and can’t sleep because of the heat or the bugs, it’ll be an amazing experience. Take lots of pictures, eat strange food, meet new people. Dive into the culture and come home with some amazing stories.

6 Best Hot Springs in Japan You Need to Visit

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With over 3,000 hot springs, Japan is the undisputed land of amazing hot springs. Locally, they are called onsen and it is one of the most indulgent ways to pass your time when in Japan. Eager to experience the best the country offers? Here are some of the best that you should not miss.

  1. Takaragawa Onsen

Located in Gunma, Central Honshu, this riverside hot spring is considered one of the best in Japan. The clue is in the name – Takaragawa means “treasure river” – and it indeed houses a wealth of beauty.

The outdoor onsen has four slate-floored pools that are a few hundred meters from Tone-gawa. The water is alkaline and is believed to aid in treating fatigue, nervous disorders, and digestive problems. All the pools are for mixed bathing except a single ladies-only bath. The setting is enchanting, surrounded by a forest, pathways, wooden huts, and statues.

  1. Kiroro

Enjoy a hot spring bath in this onsen situated in Kiroro Town. Large and surrounded by nature, this is a caldera hot spring that comes from Akaigawa Village. It presents an utterly relaxing experience as you soak in a wonderful tub of hot bubbling water. The views are so mesmerizing you will forget the passing time.

  1. Hakone Yuryo

Only three minutes from the Hakone-Yumoto station, this is a beautiful outdoor onsen that is embraced by forests. The pools are large and shaded by trees, allowing bathers to feel close to nature.

  1. Oedo Onsen Monogatari

There is no need to go far to find a worthwhile hot spring in Tokyo. Check out this inner city onsen in Odaiba Island. The setting is super cool since it’s located right after an Edo period town.

Moreover, there are a slew of activities that can be done here. On top of the list is the hot spring, of course, but you can also go for massages, spa treatments, restaurants, relaxation rooms, and various shops. You can opt to stay here for an entire day and never get bored.

  1. Kinosaki

If you are truly crazy for hot springs, there is no better place to be than the town of Kinosaki. Located in northern Kansai, it offers the best onsen ryokan experience. There are seven public baths and numerous onsen ryokan. Most of the hotels have their own baths to indulge in but nothing should stop you from going onsen-hopping in the many public baths in town.

  1. Lamp no Yado

Hidden in the Noto-hanto peninsula in Central Honshu, this sanctuary is as secluded and indulgent as a hot spring can get. From the seaside, a country road leads to a narrow path that opens to a switchback hill that you climb on foot. It sounds like a lot of work but it’s all worth it as the onsen is to-die for. The private outdoor pools are stunning and the view of the Sea of Japan is unrivaled. While the trip may be a bit costly, it is certainly well-spent once you’ve experienced its beauty.

How to choose the perfect tour of Vietnam

Vietnam's bustling streets are an assault on the senses

Vietnam is an incredible country to visit. It has all the mystery of Southeast Asia, the familiarity that comes from its colonial history and the scars and stories of a hard-fought war. If you want to go on a holiday to Vietnam make sure you catch its history and incredible natural beauty.

All-inclusive tour packages

There are two ways to look at how to choose the best Vietnam tour. The first is to consider what you’re getting for your money when you book to go on a holiday to Vietnam. There are huge variations in prices, but also in the quality of the package you get.

Smart travellers, or those visiting the region for the first time, usually appreciate an all-inclusive package that takes the stress out of holiday planning. Choose well and you can get a deal which covers all of your international airfares, all of your domestic transportation, departure taxes and current fuel surcharges. A good tour operator will also deal with all of your accommodation, visa fees, meals and any entrance fees, guides and daily tours.

Where to visit when you go on a holiday to Vietnam

The second consideration when choosing a great tour of Vietnam is exactly where your guides will take you. Vietnam is a country of extremes so choose carefully and you can get the perfect experience for your tastes.

Going to Hanoi is an amazing experience for the senses. It has 1,000 years of history to enjoy as you soak in the echoes of its position as the seat of Vietnam’s imperial power. Motorbikes and traders buzz through the streets and there’s lights, smells and curiosities that will keep your mind aflame and your feet on the move.  The Old Quarter should be on everyone’s list to see at least once in their lives – it’s full of ancient, narrow streets and there’s gorgeous street food wherever you turn.

The Cu Chi tunnels are a poignant flashback to Vietnam’s history of conflict. The tunnels of Củ Chi run forward and back across a huge area underneath Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and form part of a much larger network of underground pathways. These passages were the core of military campaigns during the Vietnam War and served as an important base for the Viet Cong. Be prepared to get muddy as you walk in their shoes and experience the trails yourself.

Vietnam’s best tourist sites

The Mekong River is part of the lifeblood of Vietnam and is a green and luscious location for a tour stop. It’s a treasure trove of life and photo opportunities and there are still unique animal species being discovered in its flora, fauna and expanses of water. You can take a boat trip, or jungle hike, through its orchards and rice paddies and see the industry that produces one-third of the country’s food.

This is just a taste of Vietnam’s delights. There’s still the wonders of the temples at Angkor, the rice terraces of Sapa, and the stunning vistas of Halong Bay. Choose wisely and Vietnam can be the best trip you’ve ever taken.

Awesome Malaysia Road Trip Tips

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With all the travel options out there, a road trip is probably more therapeutic if you think about it. Driving across states and cities, allowing you to see the little details that you might miss when you are on a plane – that is what you will experience when you go on a drive. It would not even matter if you bring an SUV or a family car, just as long as the trip goes smoothly.

For this to happen, you need to prepare well for it. A road trip is not just a simple drive to any destination, it has to be carefully planned. Of course, just because you need to plan it well does not mean you need to stick to plain road trips. If this is your first road trip, make it count and do it in Malaysia. Here you will experience seeing different kinds of places, from spectacular beaches, small French villages, the city centre, and even old-world architecture. These are the details you want to see on your first driving trip.

Here we have listed down tips to make sure your Malaysian road trip will be an awesome experience.

Choose the perfect car for the trip

In Malaysia, the objective of the road trip is important because it tells you which car should be brought. For instance, if you are going with family, an Innova might be the best choice. If it is a city trip, maybe you can choose a more fuel efficient car like the Camry Hybrid. It would be useful to know that Toyota cars are actually cool road trip companions because it offers lots of leg space and awesome features, so you might want to choose their cars for the trip.

After renting a car, make sure that it had been completely serviced – engine check, cleaning, and other maintenance services. This will ensure that your drive will remain safe during the trip.

Research the local food

One of the best things about Malaysia is their food offerings. In almost any corner you turn, there will be hawker centres filled with the most delectable local dishes. Try the char kwayteow, nasi goreng, laksa, and lamban when you visit one of the hawker centres. Make sure to learn about the regional specialities as well.

Bring essential items with you

Essential items include power banks, snacks, and drinks. The drive going from one destination to another might take you hours or even days, so make sure you have everything that you will need to stay connected, like an energy bank to look things up on Google, and something to eat and drink.

Map out your drive

Another thing people like about driving in Malaysia are the different destinations you can go to. You can plan a path from Kuala Lumpur up to the Cameron Highlands District. You can also carve a path from the beaches of Langkawi to the Colmar Tropicale French Resort.

Create an awesome playlist

Of course, a road trip will not be complete without an awesome playlist. Take this opportunity to listen to popular Malaysian songs and immerse yourself more in the culture. You can look up the playlist for Malaysia’s #1 Hits from Spotify like: https://open.spotify.com/user/sonymusicmalaysia/playlist/2SMHhx2EZg3RPhGitzIw6L.

These tips will hopefully ensure that your road trip will be an awesome journey across all of Malaysia and will add to the unique driving experience that you will have. So pack those bags, get driving, and have the best time of your life in one of Asia’s most beautiful places. Enjoy the trip!

5 Amazing travel locations for those who love to shopping until dropping

Some people travel for the experience, some for leisure, and others just to plain-see. And there are those who travel for the purpose of shopping. And for shopper-travellers, there are those who shop to their heart’s content to the last penny, and those who make the most out of their money – the more affordable, the better.

If you’re itching to shop for the holidays, you may want to check first some of the best travel money cards to secure your shopping costs especially when you’re out of the country. And here are some of the best destinations to start.

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Hong Kong. This top Asian shopping destination also boasts to be one of the cheapest there is. Hong Kong offers bargain shopping unlike you’ve ever seen before. Tourists who visit here are left with a handful of items, giving the shopping region an incredible satisfaction rate.

If you’re an experienced shopper, persistent clerks could mean a great deal. They will mostly show you the ropes, so if you know what you want, they’ll tell you and even follow you around until you find what you’re looking for. Don’t get intimidated by a persistent clerk; they’re paid to be like that.

Madrid, Spain. Madrid offers more than 50, 000 boutiques. There’s a variety of goods to satisfy your shopping desire. Big department stores, up and coming designer boutiques, weekly flea markets, and others. If you’re a haggler and a bold shopper in general, don’t miss El Rastro, Spain’s biggest and most diverse flea market that takes place every Sunday. Regardless, at any given day you could just visit every store in the area, but be reminded that smaller stores close from 2 to 5 in the afternoon for their Spanish siesta custom.

Tokyo, Japan. The capital of Japan offers everyone a piece of everything, from clothing, modern electronics, and yes, all your fashion needs while being easy on the pockets. The Globe Shopper City Index reported Tokyo to be Asia’s fourth cheapest city and an affordable shopping destination.

Head over Harajuku for an easy on the pocket yet trendy clothing. Visit Ameyoko Arcades for a variety of street shops and bargain stores where you can get discounted garments, shoes, and even exotic spices. Souvenirs and other novelties come cheap yet stylish at Hasegawa.

Bangkok, Thailand. Apart from its good accommodations and tourism, Thailand’s biggest city, Bangkok is also an affordable shopping mecca. Big markets, some only open on the night or during the weekend, shops of all types – handicrafts, clothing, electronic gadget – everything! They have it, and these goods are all sold at clearance-like prices. The trick here is not to accept the first price because you need to bargain for an even better deal.

Mexico. Shoppers from all over the world are looking for a nice bargain flock in Mexico. It may not be as big a manufacturer as China is, but Mexico is just as awesome as a place to find designer goods that are manufactured locally and are available at cheap wholesale prices. Also, the quality of their handmade products is unique and can’t be found anywhere else. Cheap and you get your money’s worth. What more can you ask for?

Remember: It pays to do your research in order to find the best travel money card online to accompany your spending while shopping for all the things you need (and mostly just want) abroad. Have fun!