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.

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!

The Solo Travel Guide To Vietnam – For Women

 

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Heading out on an adventure to a far flung country can be exciting and a bit terrifying if you’re going solo, especially if you’re a woman. It can be dangerous out there in the wider world for women travelling alone, and in some places women on their own is significantly looked down upon or an invitation for unwanted attention. This isn’t the case everywhere though and some places like South East Asia are actually ideal places for women to travel solo, due to its fantastic connections to other areas and also the laid back atmosphere which is great for meeting other fellow travellers – something that happens almost seamlessly if you’re travelling solo. Check out the rest of this article for the woman’s solo guide to Vietnam.

Getting In and Ho Chi Minh

Depending how you want to start your trip, the most likely city you will fly into is either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). Additionally, depending how you’re getting into Vietnam it’s likely you’d start in either of these cities – Hanoi to the north, perfectly located for those coming from China or northern Laos, and Ho Chi Minh to the south, ideal for those coming from Cambodia and the Philippines or Malaysia. Most people would probably come from the south, so this is how we will approach it.

Ho Chi Minh is a great place to start off, it’s a bustling, busy city but no more than Bangkok or other cities in the area, which means it’s easy to get around and renting a scooter for yourself is probably one of the best ways to do this. Likewise, motorcycle taxis are popular – literally a scooter or motorbike you hop on the back with to go to your destination (not advisable with all of your bags, but still doable). Stick with a regular taxi if you’re carrying a lot of bags.

If you’re looking for some secluded island life, Ho Chi Minh offers ferries to a lesser known Vietnamese island of Con Dao – a small clump of islands off the south coast which boasts luxury and budget places. This is likely to be off the tourist trail by quite a bit, so it’s worth checking out if you want something off the beaten trail, quiet and pristine.

Ho Chi Minh is a great city to get lost in – it’s got a large collection of fantastic buildings, museums and boasts some great “foodie tours” – literally a walking tour you can join that takes you around to some of the street stalls selling delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Don’t miss the fresh spring rolls!

Da Lat and Further North

Da Lat is a small city a bit further north and slightly inland – it’s on the tourist trail, so you won’t be able to miss it, unless you choose to. It’s home to the “Crazy House” – literally a guest house made out of a tree house and other strange building, and acts as an art installation by day that welcomes visitors to have a poke around. Da Lat is a beautiful city, with a lake right in its centre and is significantly more laid back than Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city. It’s a place that travellers like to stop off at to relax for a day or two before hitting the road towards Hoi An and Da Nang, so you will likely run into other travellers at some of the local bars and hangouts.

The Coast

Heading further toward the coast you will find the smaller, beautiful coastal centres of Hoi An and Da Nang. It’s likely that you will want to stop off before Hoi An if you’re driving yourself – perhaps in the smaller centres of Qui Nhom or Tuy Hoa – both around five to seven hours drive from Da Lat. Regardless of how you do it, Hoi An and Da Nang are two places that command a few days on any journey through Vietnam. Hoi An particularly is a beautiful coastal stop, and is fast becoming the “it” place for travellers of all kinds. You will likewise find a number of expats here who have fallen in love with it and chosen to stay to teach English and the like. Maybe you will, too!

Hanoi and Beyond

Hanoi is in the very north of the country and is the next logical main stop after Da Nang and Hoi An. It’s a bustling, busy city, similar to Ho Chi Minh. From Hanoi it’s possible to head to a number of other locations (China, Laos), and also to do tours of Halong Bay. Tours can involve a cruise over the course of a few days, or just a couple hours around the bay, it just depends on your budget and what you’re looking for. From Hanoi, instead of having to go back to Ho Chi Minh City, it’s possible to get flights onward either to return home or to head to other further away locales in places like Malaysia, India, China, Philippines, etc so make sure you look into the possibility of flying out of Hanoi or heading onwards from there or flying back to Ho Chi Minh on one of the local airlines that would make it fairly cheap, depending on how much time you have.

So there you have a great travel guide to Vietnam for women. Vietnam is a great place for solo female travellers – it’s interesting, safe and welcoming and is a hot spot for travellers and tourists that you can meet and enjoy the company of. Always remember to exercise common sense and general safety such as not accepting drinks from strangers or leaving drinks unattended. By following your own code of safe conduct but being open minded and open to new experiences and meeting great new people, you will surely have the most amazing time on your own in Vietnam.