5 Truly Vietnamese Coffee Drinks to Try in Hanoi

It was the French that brought coffee and coffee culture to Vietnam, but the Vietnamese have found ways to make it well and truly their own. The country is known for its strong robusta coffee, a bitter and intense coffee variant that most locals temper with the taste of sweetened condensed milk in a drink called cà phê nau in the north and cà phê sữa in the south.

Indeed, Vietnam has become a mecca of sorts for people who love their cup o’ joe, but the country has so much more to offer by way of coffee drinks. If you love coffee in all its forms, a visit to its coffee capital of Hanoi on a combo tour package with Traveloka should prove both meaningful and enjoyable. Book one today by visiting https://www.traveloka.com/vi-vn/packages/vietnam/region/ha-noi-city-10009843 and read on for some of the best Vietnamese variations on your favorite beverage.

Cà Phê Sữa Đá (Iced Milk Coffee)

Iced drinks are prevalent in Vietnam, where the climate is somewhere between sultry and temperate. The most popular coffee-based beverage in the country is cà phê sữa đá (known as cà phê nâu đá in the north), where Vietnamese-grown coffee meets sweetened condensed milk, ice, and water. This is also the basis for many other Vietnamese coffee drinks.

Why condensed milk? In the old days, fresh milk was hard to come by in Vietnam. The dairy farming industry was only just getting started, and access was restricted to those who could pay for the privilege. Additionally, condensed milk can be stored for a long time without spoiling, which used to be an advantage in a hot and humid country. It also was—and still is—the perfect counterbalance to the extremely dark and strong robusta coffee and the way it’s preferred by many Vietnamese: coarsely ground and filtered through a phin or a French drip. The result is extremely concentrated and almost impossible to drink without sweetening. Vietnamese iced milk coffee is sold everywhere, from the major cities to the coastal towns. Just nip into any establishment that sells coffee, and it should be the first listed item on the menu.

Cà Phê Trứng (Egg Coffee)

Cà phê trứng is a uniquely Hanoian specialty, an improvised concoction borne out of necessity in 1946, during the Anti-French Resistance War. Hard times brought on a milk shortage in the city, which forced a bartender named Nguyen Van Giang to devise an innovative solution to continue serving his regulars at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel. He added whisked chicken egg yolks as a milk replacement, and it proved enough of a hit that the drink continues to be served all over the city even today, long after the end of the war.

Modern cà phê trứng has come a long way from its frugal origins. Robusta coffee is topped with whisked eggs, sugar, and condensed milk to create a beverage that is closer to a sip-worthy indulgent dessert reminiscent of custard or Italian tiramisu. Certain establishments even go as far as to serve cà phê trứng with other creamy ingredients such as cheese and butter, further upping the “dessert” factor. In Hanoi, it is said that this coffee is made best at the Giang Café, which is owned by the family of its inventor.

Cà Phê Dừa (Coconut Coffee)

In this variation, robusta coffee is blended with condensed milk and coconut cream to create a beverage that’s distinctly tropical in flavor. There’s nothing more refreshing if you order it with ice or as an ice-blended beverage on a hot day in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

For the best cà phê dừa or cà phê cốt dừa in Hanoi, head to The Note Coffee in Hoàn Kiếm, a well-respected establishment when it comes to Vietnamese coffee. There’s also Spacebar, a co-working space-slash-café, if you’d like to get a bit of work done while enjoying your cup. Coconut coffee is also well-enjoyed as a beachside drink For the best cup and a phenomenal view, head to Cộng Café in Da Nang, where it is one of the specialties.

Sữa Chua Cà Phê (Yogurt Coffee)

Yogurt was also brought to Vietnam by the French, and it has been incorporated into many a dish and dessert here. Vietnamese yogurt is creamy, rich and luxurious, making it the perfect base for toppings such as fresh fruit or granola. In Hanoi, however, an 83-year-old café has mixed it with coffee, and thus sữa chua cà phê was born.

Created in 2012 by the proprietor of Duy Tri Café, sữa chua cà phê is a straightforward concoction that consists of a full glass of thick yogurt topped with a layer of coffee that’s black as night. You can have it with ice if you so choose, but the yogurt has already been frozen beforehand, so all you need to do is stir and enjoy.

The establishment creates their own special blend of coffee by roasting their own mix of robusta andarabica beans, setting them apart from other shops in the area. Visit them in Yen Phu or just search for sữa chua cà phê—they’ve become so popular for this drink that Google maps will lead you straight to them.

Cà Phê Bạc Xỉu (Saigon-style Coffee Milk)

Described as “coffee for people who don’t like coffee,” cà phê bạc xỉu is a variation on the more famous cà phê sữa đá. The ingredients are the same: dark robusta coffee, sweetened condensed milk, water, and ice. What differs is the proportions; where cà phê sữa đá is still recognizably a cup of coffee, cà phê bạc xỉu is better described as a glass of condensed milk, flavored with a bit of coffee and loaded with ice. The specific ratio is about 3 parts condensed milk to 1 part coffee—or even less.

Bac Xiu is a truncated Chinese expression commonly used by the people of Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City. The full expression is “Bạc Tảy Xỉu Phé,” which roughly translates to “white glass with a little coffee.”  It’s a good start for people who aren’t yet fond of the beverage, and is often given to little children. You can order it anywhere you can order a regular iced milk coffee.

With so many cà phê variations in Hanoi alone, no coffee lover will ever be bored—perhaps just a touch over-caffeinated. Be sure to drink plenty of water between your cups of Vietnamese joe! Also, keep in mind that most traditional Vietnamese coffee shops do not serve food; the local custom is to eat elsewhere and then relax and unwind at a café after a meal, so fill up before heading out.

Author: I’m  Jaylin: SEO Expert of Leelija Web Solutions. I am a content manager, and the author of travelforu.info and a full time blogger. Favorite things include my camera, travelling, caring my fitness, food and my fashion. Email id: editor@leelija.com

Spectacular Places You Must Visit When In The Philippines

If you have not been in the Philippines yet, it is time that you visit the country today. Worry not as much though as getting visa going to this beautiful country is not too hard to accomplish. Actually, there are a lot of countries around the world that do not require a visa to land on this beautiful island, so there is no reason to hesitate going here.

Accommodations

There are so many accommodation options to choose from in the Philippines, from luxurious 5 star hotels to simple low key motels. Most of the accommodations offer free WiFi so you can still play your favorite slots at online casinos or their sister sites or connect with your families back home.

Weather in the Philippines

There are just 2 seasons in the Philippines, wet and dry. March to May sometimes extending up to June, the weather is humid and hot while the rest of the months is cold and rainy. Choosing the month to visit the island will all depend on your preference and the places and activities you want to experience when there.

Spectacular Places You Must Visit When In The Philippines

There is actually a place for you anywhere you are in the country, Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao. Just to help you choose a specific place to visit, check on the spectacular places in the Philippines you must visit when there, in this article.

El Nido

If you love the sand and the sea, there is no other place to go in the Philippines than in El Nido. Experience different water sports activities like kayaking, diving and swimming, relax and sunbathe on the beach fine, white sand, shop in their local outlets and tons of other activities that can make your holiday complete. This will never disappoint honeymooners, group or even solo travelers.

Banaue, Ifugao

Banaue, Ifugao on the other hand is a perfect spot for people who want to enjoy a peaceful and serene. Located far north, Banaue offers its guests with picturesque view, you think only possible in postcards. This place will never disappoint nature lovers and those who want to feel cool and fresh breath of air.

Sagada

If you are already in Ifugao, going straight to Sagada is a must. After 3 hours drive, you will reach this popular yet secluded province in Luzon. This is a place to see the rice terraces, hanging coffins, beautiful lakes, and enjoy their rich culture and heritage. Just an additional tip, it is best if you go to Sagada early in the morning, as transportation going to the province is hard more so at night.

Zoobic Safari

Thinking of experiencing African adventure while in the Philippines, going to Zoobic Safari in Subic, Zambales is a must. Getting close encounter with different animals would never be the same here at this popular tourist destination. If you are traveling with your children, going to Ocean Adventure must be included in your itinerary.

Mayon Volcano

The perfect cone of Mayon Volcano in Bicol would simply put you to awe. Just to warn you, it is still active, hence make sure to get a picture perfect photo of its tip before it gets too late.

Donsol

Want to swim with butanding and whale sharks? Donsol is a place for you. If you are in the Philippines, swimming with these gentle giants is must. Do not worry though, as long as they are not threatened they will keep their good conduct intact.

With so many places to visit in this island, for sure, your Asian holiday experience will be the best.

How to mix the old and new on a Japanese holiday

Japan is a juxtaposition of ancient and modern life. From zen gardens and Buddhist temples, to flashing neon signs and bullet trains. The culture in this magnificent country is truly unique as the old and new blend seamlessly into one another. If you’re travelling to Japan in the near future or you’re looking for inspiration for your next holiday destination, you’ll want to make the most of everything the country has to offer. There’s a multitude of Japan tour packages on offer, so it’s not always easy to decide.

Below we’ll look at how you can get the perfect mix between ancient culture and modern living in some of Japan’s top destinations. This guide will discuss the must-see sites, best dining experiences and the perfect places to stay during your visit. Read on to learn more about this cultural, and equally futuristic nation.

Visit ancient historic sites

In order to get a feel for the culture of Japan, you absolutely must visit some of its best ancient and historical sites. Below are just some of the temples, landmarks and cities you should visit in order to experience traditional Japan.

  1. The Atsuta Shrine

The most important shrine in Japan, the Atsuta Shrine can be found in the city of Nagoya. Attracting more than five million visitors a year, this religious site dates back to the first century and is most famous for its preserved Imperial insignia.

  1. Hiroshima Peace Memorial

While technically classed as modern history, you’d be hard pushed to find someone who hasn’t heard about the horrors of the Hiroshima bombing back in 1945. The city has since been rebuilt and there has been a memorial placed at the centre of where the bomb exploded, to commemorate all those who lost their life on that fateful day.

  1. Kyoto

The city of Kyoto was unspoiled by WWII and as a result has remained relatively unchanged over the last 1000 years. For this reason, it attracts more than 10 million visitors each year. You can really get a feel for Japanese culture here as you explore the old streets and traditional architecture of the Imperial family.

  1. Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace can be found in the nation’s capital, Tokyo, and is one of the most famous landmarks there. Dating back to the 17th century this beautiful palace is surrounded by parks, walls and even a moat.

  1. The Island of Miyajima

You’ll need to take a ferry from mainland Hiroshima, but Miyajima Island is well worth a visit. Known as the Shrine Island, it is home to the Itsukushima Shrine built for the princess daughters of the wind god Susanoo. Many of the buildings here are built up out of the water and the shrine itself dates back to the eighth century.

  1. Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle was built in 1586 by Japanese warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi. At this time the castle would have been the largest and most important fortress in the country. Though it has since been rebuilt, what you see today stays true to the original building.

Experience modern life in Japan

In contrast with the ancient and historical sites, you should also visit some of the modern wonders of Japan. Again, we’ll outline a few of the must-see spots and experiences below.

  1. Akihabara

Also known as ‘Electric Town’, Akihabara is a haven for electronics and second-hand gaming stores. When it’s all lit up at night you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that it resembles the giant billboards and big lights of Times Square.

  1. Shibuya Crossing

The busiest intersection in Japan can be found in Tokyo. With as many as one thousand people crossing at any one time, you can imagine just how bustling this area of the city truly is. This is the pinnacle of modern life in a busy Japanese city and you can watch in awe as the sheer number of people pass each other almost seamlessly going about their day. It’s also been featured in many movies, including Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift.

  1. Tokaido Shinkansen

This is the name given to the high-speed ‘bullet train’ which runs between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Travelling up to 200 kilometers per hour this is one of the most iconic feats of engineering in Japan. Despite its speed, it is famous for being extremely safe to ride.

  1. Naoshima Island

Naoshima Island is also known as ‘Art Island’ and is a remarkable hub for arts and architecture. Covered in sculptures, museums and installations you can experience the nation’s most creative forms of expression.

Experiment with cuisine

Whenever you visit a country that isn’t your own it’s always nice to try the traditional and local cuisine. It’s no secret that Japanese food is delicious, the growing popularity of sushi and other dishes across the world speaks for itself. But how you dine when in Japan can really give you a taste of the old and the new.

Of course, you should try traditional dishes such as sushi, yakitori, miso soup, tempura and ramen, but you can enjoy these in very different ways. If you don’t fancy anything too crazy, just a traditional Japanese restaurant will do. However, in true Japanese style you can also dine in some of the most eccentric and unique experiences the world has to offer. The country has everything from high-tech dining with iPads and conveyor belts, to robot run restaurants and railway themed eateries where your food arrives on a model train.

Mix up your accommodation

You can even mix the old with the new when it comes to choosing your accommodation. Why not spend a few days in an authentic Japanese inn called a Ryokans. There are plenty of these all over the country, so you won’t struggle to find one you love, but these are the perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture.

What’s more, as with the futuristic (and just plain crazy) dining experiences, there are some pretty unique places to stay in Japan too. You can stay at a Godzilla themed hotel, or a hotel in which you’re checked in solely by robots, and these are either female androids or a scary dinosaur. But if it’s relaxation you’re after there are also a number of eco-friendly hotels out there that offer quirky and tranquil stays.

Written by Sarah McCann, Blog Editor at MyBaggage.com a luggage delivery company who have helped many travelers make their trip to Japan stress-free.

4 Ideal Locations for a Family Vacation in Indonesia

Source: Unsplash | Christopher Alvarenga

Family vacations are great. Family vacations abroad are even better! Not only do you get to bond and create new moments to remember, you also get to explore new places.

That being said, one of the most popular destinations for Southeast Asian families going on vacations abroad is Indonesia. It has ancient monuments, natural wonders, exotic flora and fauna, and, of course, plenty of gorgeous beaches. It doesn’t matter if your family is laid-back or adventurous, or if the children in your group are younger or older. Indonesia is a country where every member of your family can enjoy.

Here are some suggestions for places to see on your next family vacation in Indonesia.

Ocean Park BSD Serpong

If you’re looking for a no-fuss, fun-filled day in the pool with your little kids, Ocean Park BSD Serpong in Tangerang City is the perfect destination. This water park (or waterboom, as they’re called in Indonesia) is more or less just 45 minutes away from Terminal 3 Soekarno Hatta Airport, so you can immediately jump in and have some fun! It’s a little smaller compared to similar attractions in Indonesia, but you’ll get more attentive service in return. What’s more, the place rarely gets crowded so you can enjoy the pools, slides, and rides better. There’s a wave pool, too, if you prefer bouncing with the water. Meanwhile, young children will have lots of fun in the huge splash area. Finally, to satisfy your hunger pangs, there’s a food court with personnel walking around and carrying copies of the menu. You can order directly from the staff, and they’ll “deliver” the food you ordered.

Borobudur Temple

Does your family love touring historical and cultural sites? Then Borobudur Temple is arguably the best place to visit in Indonesia for you. Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Indonesia’s most visited tourist destination. It’s also a popular pilgrimage site during Vesak, drawing thousands of Buddhists from all over Indonesia. Made of volcanic stone, it was built in the 9th century under the Shailendra dynasty. Borobudur has nine platforms and three tiers: the base, body, and superstructure. These three tiers match the spheres of the universe according to Buddhist cosmology: kamadhatu, rupadhatu, and arupadhatu.

On top of the temple is a central dome surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each with their own stupa. Other decorations include 2,672 bas relief panels, considered to be some of the most elegant in ancient Buddhism. These bas reliefs depicting mythical beings in the Buddhist tradition and various facets of daily life in 8th-century Java have all been used as references for research.

Pemuteran Beach

Bali is world-famous for its many beautiful beaches, which means the island can get a little too crowded with tourists at times. Don’t fret, though. There are parts of Bali that aren’t as “touristy” as other beaches. This includes Pemuteran Beach on the northern coast. This black-sand beach is home to the largest artificial Biorock reef project, which aims to help restore coral reefs, protect the seas against global warming, and prevent beach erosion, among others. On the western end, you can climb a small peak to catch a view of the coastal area. Other popular activities in Pemuteran include snorkeling, diving, and even hiking in the nearby hills.

There’s also a Monkey Temple just a couple of kilometres to the east of Pemuteran. The monkeys here are quite friendly and, if you want, you can try feeding them with fruits. Just be careful to hold your bags firmly since the monkeys can be quite naughty and are known to snatch people’s belongings to play with them! Your family may also want to participate in regular clean-ups of the beach, where tourists pick up trash left on the beach. This is a great activity to help instill in your children the value of taking care of nature.

Green Village

For a more educational vacation, you can visit Green Village. Located by the Ayung River in Bali and founded by Canadian artist John Hardy, Green Village is a compound with 13 bamboo houses and villas. All of these are hand-constructed by the IBUKU architectural team using black and white bamboo. Everything in these structures are made from these sustainable materials, from the floors and walls up to the ceilings and roofs. These houses and villas are also designed to withstand both sun and rain and have been treated with boron, a natural chemical element. This makes the bamboo inedible to insects.

While at the Green Village, you can also visit PT. Bamboo Pure or the Bamboo Factory, where you can see how bamboo is prepared to become strong materials for building sustainable houses and furniture. There’s also the John Hardy Jewelry Factory, an open-air workshop where artisans create beautiful jewelry.

As you can see, there’s something for everyone in Indonesia. It’s indeed an ideal location to treat your family to a fun and worthwhile vacation. So what are you waiting for? Book that trip now and have a blast with your family!

Top Things to see and do in Thailand

Renowned for its gracious royal palaces, tropical beaches, and baroque temples magnified with images of Buddha and ancient ruins, located in the Southeast of Asia, Thailand is indeed a beautiful country. The country hosted over 22 million visitors and holiday makers in 2018 alone which connotes that Thailand is a destination for everyone seeking fun, recreation and educational trips.  Below is a quick guide on top activities for everyone planning their next trip to this paradise.

1. Visit the Elephant Nature Park

Situated in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, the Elephant Nature Park is a rehabilitation centre where elephants and other animals are rescued and bred with the full support of volunteers and visitors. Being the largest and best managed sanctuary in Thailand, it is actually a place for every fun seeker to witness. Elephant riding is highly prohibited in the park unlike other sanctuaries that chain the innocent animals to be ridden on.

Some of the elephants have been subjected to cruel upbringings so the sanctuary protects them against any form of unkindness. Some of the memorable activities tourists could engage in include- walking side by side with elephants, feeding and bathing them, learning about their behavioral patterns, give them medicines.

2. Stopover at the Floating Markets

Ever seen a market that floats on water?, then make a quick stop at the floating market. The market is literally filled with ramshackle boats loaded with beautiful and colourful local produce such as yellow longan, pungent durian and custard apples. There are three famous floating markets in Thailand namely-

  • Amphawa Floating Market, Samut Songkhram
  • Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi
  • Taling Chan Weekend Floating Market, Bangkok

Visit any of them quite early before they get rowdy, also bring your camera along to take some pictures

3. Tour the Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw

Located in Bangkok, this magnificent famous palace was built in 1782 and had been home to Thai Kings for over 150 years. It is undoubtedly a glittering wonder every tourist must see before leaving Thailand. Don’t forget to keep your camera by your side for the best memories

4. Have a Cocktail at the Sky Bar

Call it the 8th wonder of the world and you wouldn’t be wrong. It stands high over all the swanky rooftop bars in Thailand and acclaimed to be the world’s highest open-air bar. Situated on the 63rd floor of State Tower, the sky bar has a perfect 360-degree panoramic view of the entire city of Bangkok. The 820 ft tower springs above countless number of skyscrapers and it’s an ideal spot for every tourist as it host live outdoor music

5. Jungle Fishing In Thailand

Your vacation in Thailand is basically incomplete if you fail to do jungle fishing in Thailand. Thailand has the biggest fish species in the world so be sure to carry one of those fishes in your arms, but this can be achievable through an experienced Thai fishing guide. Beyond every reasonable doubt, the River Monsters Thailand have proved over the years to be the best guide any tourist would need; their lake is filled with the biggest fishes such as 3 metres long Arapaima, 200lb Carp, Redtail and Chayo Praya Catfish etc. Comfortable accommodation spaces and professional services are also guaranteed.

Give Yourself A Chance To Explore Asian Places And Their Culture

Source: Wikipedia

Asia is one of the biggest and most populated continents of our globe. Also, the continent that has experienced a vast number of historical events.

Other than this, Asia is the continent that has a vast number of culture and places which a person will surely desire to experience. And I was one of those who really want to feel the Asian culture and learn about the history and mystery related to these places.

So, to satisfy my inner bugs, I made a list of places to visit and experience their culture. Then, I pack my bag, made my air Canada booking (you can also select other flights) as per your travel route. In case, you too traveling on the same flight then I advise you to first go through the air Canada baggage information, Flight information, and policies regarding your travel.

So here I share some of the places from my list you should visit once to experience the various cultures around the globe:

 

Songkran Festival, Thailand

 

There is a Songkran festival in the south of Thailand, called Maunnak, which is a big event taking place every five to six months, but it’s the southern part of Thailand, as it is called.

In the past, it was known as the Phuket Festival, but now it is called Songkran. It’s a big one! The songs sung around the day of the festival are the local culture, but they’re also the culture of the Chiang Mai island.

Songkran festival has a different atmosphere, and you will get to meet some lovely folk and visit some beautiful places. Don’t be surprised if you spend a lot of time just watching with your favorite person.

 

Terracotta Army Museum, China

 

The Terracotta Army Museum is one of Beijing’s oldest cultural institutions. Visit the Terracotta Warriors exhibit in the Chinese consulate. It holds some fascinating stuff. This is the only place in the world to see all of the Terracotta Warriors (from front to back side) in one place:

The Museum provides an incredible overview of the ancient world and is the best place to learn about the history of the Terracotta Warriors. This unique collection of ancient sculptures have been studied and researched since the mid-1970s and are still used in China today.

The Museum also maintains the largest and most complete knowledge base about the history of the Terracotta army. The Terracotta Warriors represent all of China’s glorious past that is hidden behind the facade of history.

Visiting the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors in CHINA will bring an unforgettable historical experience with world-renowned and spectacular pieces of ceramic making history. The Museum has a unique collection of historical artifacts which are the result of hundreds of thousands of years of preparation.

 

Holi, India

 

The festival Holi in India is a famous festival for all Indians, which celebrates both Hindus and Buddhists. In fact, one person can be considered the ultimate king of India.

This festival is also a spiritual and cultural landmark as some people can become gods of their respective states.

I started to look around to find a festival that was more than simple traditionalism. So I chose Holi in India and found this interesting festival with many different aspects. This festival will provide a warm welcome to all.

So, for one day and night, you will be able to celebrate the Holi tradition with friends, family members, and even strangers. Here is what you need to know.

 

Bali, Indonesia

 

Bali is beautiful. And when you’re there, you get to experience the entire Indonesian archipelago to its fullest potential. The beautiful Bali region is a beautiful and remote region of Southeast Asia that’s really the epitome of a country, of a culture and a place.

If you want to explore every culture and history on this island, you can. From the jungle of Papua to the caves of the North Island, Bali is home.

Bali might be the most photographed island in the world, but that doesn’t mean it offers the best experiences. If you’re looking for a quiet, beautiful island to spend some time for a week, then Bali is the home country.

If you’re looking for an easy way to visit Bali with your family or friends you shouldn’t have to spend a significant amount of time there. As the locals know, a simple visit can help everyone relax!

 

La Tomatina Festival

 

La Tomatina Festival. It’s free, it’s beautiful, and it’s got everything you could wish for! It’s La Tomatina Festival! And that’s great. But don’t let that lull you into your shell. This is truly an extraordinary festival for a reason: It’s fun.

Every year, thousands of people from around the world come to explore the island of La Tomatina, live music and festivals, food and cocktails, and the incredible beauty and nature all around it. If you’ve ever been to La Tomatina Festival, I sincerely suggest you try it out!

The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival held by the Boryeong Province Tourism Administration (GRTA) and has about 30 attractions. The festival was launched in 2003, but there are still thousands of visitors during its three festival days.

It makes the Boryeong Mud Festival a wonderful and unique event for visitors of all ages and experiences and makes this will be the best chance to discover Boryeong’s unique tradition in a whole new light.

Last Words

Our globe is an amazing place that holds various histories to mysterious, mountains to beaches, different weathers, cultures. Traveling is a beauty that every person once experience and believe me guys; traveling will bring various cultures in front of you. So, pack your bags and explore the ASIA.

Enjoy your Journey!

Amazing Asian Destinations For First Timers

Travelling to far flung, exotic and unique places in Asia is often times high on the bucket lists of many people. Who wouldn’t want to traverse unknown places, explore bustling cities, try new and strange food, see beautiful sights and more? It’s one of the most time honoured traditions that has luckily become more accessible to the masses these days thanks to cheaper flights, more competition with hotels and great travel deals to be had all over the globe. Sound like something you can get behind? Here’s a list of our favourite destinations for the traveller who wants something exciting, challenging and unique – whether it’s their first for fiftieth time abroad.

Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries in South East Asia, with stunning coastline that runs the length of the country, unique rock formations in Ha Long Bay and bustling cities brimming with tasty opportunities to try local cuisine either through food tours or cooking classes. Don’t miss out on some of the historical side of the country with many different ways to learn about the Vietnam war, either through visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels, countless museums or some of the battlefields themselves, such as those near Da Nang.

Japan

Easily one of the most desired destinations for travellers to Asia, Japan has it all, a bit of something for everyone. Visit in the springtime to experience the deeply loved tradition of ‘hanami’, the enjoyment of picnicking under the sakura blossoms or its night time equivalent, ‘yozakura’. Whether you like modern and futuristic vibes or traditional culture, you’ll find something to tickle your fancy in Japan. Dine at a robot restaurant or sing karaoke in a neon lit karaoke room before touring the bright lights and strange sights and sounds of both Shinjuku and Harajuku. If you want a real physical challenge, you can try climbing Mount Fuji, or for those who want relaxation, kicking back in some hot springs is just what the doctor ordered. Whether you want tradition or modernity, Japan has it all.

China

China is a vast country with a whole host of interesting landscapes, regions and things to see and do. Whether you want a nature based experience in the likes of Yunnan province with its green, lush mountains and lakes or you want to stroll through the bright neon districts of Shanghai or Hong Kong, China is a great mixture of East meets West. For the real adventurer, check out Western China and even further into Tibet – a place that few people seem to go.

Indonesia

Beaches, bikinis and boarding is a great way to sum up Indonesia. Parts of it anyway. On the island of Bali you can laze the days away on the beach just chilling out or you can hit up beach parties, swim with turtles or explore ancient temples. For some of the best beaches, check out Gili Trawnagan island. The best temple experiences are arguably on Java island near Yogyakarta. Whatever you decide, you’ll be in awe at the beauty, nature and adventure you can have in this nation made up of a string of islands.

Wherever you decide to head for your Asian adventure, one thing is for sure – you’ll be tempted back to the region time and again. Enjoy!

Manila: The Hub of Southeast Asian Life

The Philippines is an important part of South-East Asia and its capital, Manila is growing rapidly. The city is quite populated and holds the title of the most populated city in the world. This quality has created a lot of problems but they have also created a rich culture for themselves. Along with the modernity, there is a historical part of the city that tells us its Spanish origins. The city is just by the Manila Bay and the Pasing river flows through the city. It does have gone through drastic changes in the past and now the city has stabilized even after their rift on pollution and poverty.

Manila is connected to the rest of the world through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. You can get Dubai to Manila flights, Delhi to Manila flights, Qatar to Manila flights and much more. Bookings can be easily done through online websites.

When you are in Manila you will often be frustrated by the traffic. But we can assure you that the city has several places that you need to visit. So, here are some places that you should visit in Manila:

  • Binondo: If you love food and want to visit the oldest Chinatown in the world, then you have to visit Binondo. There are several fast food centers that provide you with the original experience. You can also visit Divisoria if you are good at bargaining and want to get your hands on some wholesale stuff. The Chinatown is in Old Manila so you wouldn’t have much trouble finding it. But do remember that it does get crowded.
  • Intramuros:This is the “walled city” and it forms the history of actual Manila. You can see the Spanish architecture and it is an amazing place to know about the history of the city. The place does provide a guided tour for people who are interested in it. Another fun way to explore the place is by a Bambike, which is a bicycle made from bamboo.
  • Poblacion, Makati:The hub of culture is often seen in the places of socialization. Poblacion is the old downtown area which is a major business district of the city. You will get several dining and entertainment based places around this area. The best thing is that most of these places have an outside area so you can actually be a part of the jostling city.
  • Mall of Asia:If you want to experience the modern side of the city then you have to visit MoA. It is regarded as one of the biggest malls present in the whole of Asia. It is situated by the Manila Bay so you can actually enjoy that view while having a drink at a comfortable bar. You will get different brands and amenities in this mall and it actually speaks a lot about the emerging culture of the Philippines.

Manila is a great city even after the humongous population and the traffic jams. We should always look forward to its rich culture and hospitality when we are paying them a visit.

5 Steps to Having the Best Holi Experience

So, you finally decided to give Holi a chance. This vibrant festival which has been getting loads of global attention should be on your top lists of festivals to visit. Not only does it show the culture of India, but it is also one of the only rituals where anybody can participate, regardless of where they are from.

A trip to India on Holi is not an easy task. You always need to keep your eyes open for things that might be culturally insensitive. Or about the dresses you should wear on Holi. Also, Holi has a vibrant culture of drugs surrounding it which is something to keep in mind.

So, here’s five ways you can step up your Holi experience.

  1. Book your hotels in advance.

The best vacation planner makes a world of difference on Holi times. Remember, the places you visit during Holi, be it Varanasi, Vrindavan or any other place, are all popular with locals.  Book your holidays in advance if you want a place to stay.

Pro-tip? Always keep in mind where you have to travel from the hotel in India. Be smart, walk for the most parts. In ancient places like India, you’re likely to find something beautiful at every corner.

  1. Leave the DSLR at home

Unless you are at a specific place where watercolors are banned, Holi is a nightmare for electric appliances. Keep your phone close, but, your camera needs to sit at home when you indulge in colors.

Don’t worry; these colors don’t fade in a day or two, so you will still get the chance to take as many selfies as you want.

  1. Don’t drink bhang

Bhang, a part of the ritual of Holi, is a controlled substance. So, unless you have specific experience with it, avoid the drink at all costs. In replacement, you can get as many Holi sweets as you want.

A kind reminder that bhang is also not legal in most of India, so, if you get caught in possession, you might face significant jail time.

  1. Leave the water to the pros

Gulaal or powdered color was how the traditional Holi was played. The colors that most parties in India use are usually filled with heavy metals and can be toxic when ingested in large quantities. It is probably on the safe side to stick with dry colors.

Also, now, most of the people in India are switching to herbal colors in the public spaces, ask about them if you are unsure about what to buy.

  1. Be respectful

Holi is religious, so, if you don’t understand a particular part of the ritual, or feel uncomfortable, don’t fight it. Walking back to a hotel is a better idea.

Have some friends as a back-up if you just want to ask questions. They will also help you find the best Holi parties in town where you can just let your hair down.

So, that is it. Get yourself ready for the most colorful vacation you will ever have. Maybe, you will find something has changed within, who knows?

Why Not Try Somewhere New

As we start to enter holiday season again it’s time to look at some of the new emerging places in which to take a trip. Each year it seems new countries become more available to the average traveller and everybody is going to new exotic locations. The old one-week trip to Europe is no longer enough as travel becomes more affordable and our understanding of countries becomes clearer. They are no longer the distant scary places they once were, but are now easy to access, exotic and with a whole host of new experiences to offer us. This year is no different and in this article, we hope to look at a few countries which are more easily accessible than before, and which might spark your interest to travel further afield than you once might have had. We’ll look at some of its cultural and tourist hotspots to give you a flavour of some of the things these countries have to offer.

Colombia:

A country with a troubled past, it is a country quickly emerging as a hugely popular tourist location. As vast swathes of the country become more accessible to the public there are plenty of things to do and see throughout the country. You can experience the thrills of the cities of Medellin, Cali and Bogota, the jungles of the amazon and the beauty of the coast. All accessible through cheap airfare and a good transport network. The people are incredibly open and welcoming making them the main driving force behind this truly stunning country.

India:

A country and a continent in one. What better way to spend your holidays than attempting to transverse this astounding country. You can test your taste buds and strengths against the thousands of herbs and spices available throughout the country and visit manmade and natural wonders. Although some locations remain difficult to reach that is a given in a country so vast. Plan your trip carefully and you will be amazed with the differences and similarities that such a country can display to you. So go on a holiday to India.

South Africa:

One aspect of this country has been popular for a while now, but it has so much more to offer than simply a safari although this is a once in a life time event. South Africa is an ever changing and emerging country with a rich history to offer its visitors. Yes, some places would require extra caution but his is part and parcel when visiting any country be it your home country or somewhere completely new. Discover the history of the townships, the community development and of course the natural beauty of the country with its mix of European and African history mixing together.

Getting out of your comfort zone and visiting new countries is something everyone should do at least once. Maybe it will spark an increased interest you didn’t realise was there before or maybe it will be a once off, but either way a trip like this will not be something you forget to easily.