The best spots to visit in Vietnam

Vietnam is best-known as one of the true backpacking paradises in South East Asia. The famous route from the north to the south or vice-versa leads the travellers to the best spots of the country. With an interesting culture and incredible landscapes, Vietnam is a destination to fall in love with. The images of the locals with their traditional hats and their street food characterize Vietnam. With cheap accommodations and night-buses, the country is made for budget travellers. From the food to the people and the attractions – Vietnam does not disappoint.

The route through Backpacker paradise

The most convenient way for Backpackers to travel the country of Vietnam is taking the route from the North to the South, or from the South to the North. It leads all along the coast and includes all the highlights, which cannot be missed. By bus or by motorcycle – this route is a must for any traveller that truly wants to connect with the culture and not miss any spot in Vietnam.

The Top of the best spots to visit

In Vietnam, Backpackers can experience the culture and the background of the country in multiple ways. The busy life in the city with the millions of scooters offers a totally different perspective than the quiet rice fields or the limestone mountains. However, all those places together form the country Vietnam – one that needs to be on your bucketlist.

The Ha Long Bay

One of the most famous places in Vietnam is the Ha Long Bay. The bay is actually one of the 7 wonders of the world of nature and therefore cannot be missed on the backpacking trip through the country. After a 3-hour drive from Hanoi the countless limestone mountains greet the visitors. The bay can be best experienced with a boat trip, which takes you in the middle of the unique place.

The Ha Giang Loop

For those Backpackers who are dreaming of a multiple day motorcycle tour, the Ha Giang Loop is the place to go. Located in the very north of Vietnam, this route takes you to the rural areas. You come across the boarder to China and get unique insights into the life in the villages. With rice fields and mountains, this area is often seen as the most beautiful the country has to offer.

The city of Hoi An

Maybe one of the most beautiful and scenic cities in South East Asia: Hoi An. The ancient town is a part of the UNESCO world heritage and mainly known for its millions of lanterns. By night the city is one big colorful spectacle. By day, you can rent a bike and explore the old streets and get lost in the unique vibe.

The Old Quarter in Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and most likely to be the start of your adventure. The most beautiful part of the city is the Old Quarter. With the beer street and the old houses, this area tells the story of the city. It is also the best place to get to know the local food and enjoy the Vietnamese highlights on the menu. Make sure to also visit the train street and taste lots of coconut and egg coffee.

The viewpoint in Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is just a few hours away from Hanoi and the place where you will finally see the green rice fields which characterize Vietnam. You can rent a bike and explore the area by yourself. The best place for sunset is the viewpoint on the temple. You can overlook the whole area and watch the sun setting behind the mountains.

The desserts of Mũi Né

Most Backpackers do not expect to see a dessert in Vietnam. Mũi Néi s therefore a huge surprise for the travellers. With two giant sand dunes, one in white and one in red, Mũi Né offers a totally different experience. Watch the sunset or take a quad tour in the sand. This place is truly unique and should not be missed on the route along the coast.

The island Phú Quốc

It would not be a backpacking destination, if it hadn’t one of those paradise beaches everyone dreams about. In Vietnam, they can be found on the southern island of Phú Quốc. Enjoy the paradise, have a cocktail and go snorkeling. This is the perfect end of any trip through Vietnam.

A must for any Backpacker

Vietnam remains one of those destinations, that any Backpacker has to visit one day. If you are now planning your route around the country, visit the German website Backpackertrail for more information and professional planning.

Must Visit Attractions in Bali

Are you flying from Hong Kong to Bali? Have you planned your trip yet? Bali is Indonesia’s main tourist destination, a popular island destination rich in natural beauty, culture and history. It is famous for its highly developed arts, dance, sculptures, leather, music and metalwork. The island’s essence is captured in this list of must visit attractions that anyone would enjoy.

1. Ubud Monkey Forest

Ubud Monkey Forest (Mandala Suci Wenara Wana), is in fact a sanctuary and natural habitat of the Balinese long-tailed monkey, named Macaca fascicularis. It is a temple, lush forest and home to about 1049 monkeys. There is no fence in the forest and monkeys are allowed to roam freely. The natural charm, fresh cool air drawn tourists all over the world and enjoy the company of playful monkeys throughout the visit.

2. Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple is nestled at the edge of a cliff high above the sea. It has more cultural value than what you can see. Tourists can learn local culture and customs in one visit. Remember you should respect the local culture – bring some clothes to cover your shoulders and knees if you are a woman; also keep your personal stuff safe as monkeys here are notorious for stealing items! If you are going to the Uluwatu Temple, I recommend arriving just before sunset, find a spot on the far right side of the temple on the wall and get ready for the best sunset of your life.

3. Seminyak

Seminyak is one of the most touristy areas of Bali. Tourists can find everything from small and humble traditional shops to high-end designer boutiques. Seminyak is also famous for its busy and stunning beach, and also a good place if you are a beginner at surfing. The sea can get busy easily but the beach is so big there is plenty of space for everyone to catch their wave. After surfing, sit down at one of the vibrant beach bars, enjoy food and drinks while listening to live music and watching the sunset over the beach.

4. Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Bali is famous for its natural beauties and the terraced rice fields in Tegalalang is one of the most famous and iconic sights you should not miss. It offers tourists a splendid sight of nature and the local’s valuable culture and customs. The rice field is just a short 20-minute drive from Ubud. There is no entry cost but you will find local farmers who ask for a small donation to protect the environment and keep their farm running. Visit in the morning to avoid the crowd, breathe fresh air and explore the location and its neighbourhoods.

5. Besakih Temple

Besakih Temple is also known as the ‘Mother Temple of Bali’. It is not just one temple but more like a complex of temples, set on the slopes of Mount Agung. The complex comprises at least 86 temples but some of them are closed to the public for private occasions. The main temple is called Pura Penataran Agung (the Great Temple of State). Many locals and worshippers actively participate in rituals every day. Each year, numerous religious ceremonies or celebrations are hosted here and attended by Hindu devotees all over the island. This temple is however a bit far from other points of interest, so it may take you some time to get there.

6. Mount Batur

Mount Batur is an active volcano that last erupted in 2000. It is also one of the island’s sacred sites. To best appreciate Mount Batur, sign up for an early morning trek tour, as you will need a registered coach to summit the peak. Excursions usually depart 2 or 3 am in the morning and climbers will then make the 2-hour journey to the top of the volcano while it is still dark. This looks like a tiring activity but your effort will pay off with amazing sunrise views of Mount Agung and the surrounding mountains.

7. Munduk Village

Munduk is a tiny town in northern Bali. It is a great place to visit if you would like some fresh cool air, green environment and charming natural attractions away from the bustling Ubud. The waterfalls and hills in Munduk are world-class, making the village one of the most popular trekking destinations in Bali. It was also the Dutch’s favourite place to retreat during the colonial era, the historic episode decorates the location with European architecture and historical buildings.

8. Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach may not be the best beach in Bali but it is one of the beaches located close to the airport. Many tourists often head there right after they land in Bali. It is not hard to understand why – the beach is a lively spot that offers countless fun activities, from dawn to late at night.It is also one of the favourites for young travellers who surf or would like to learn surfing. The west of the beach makes it one of the best spots to admire sunset and if you are here for a sunset walk or sunset photo shoot.

9. Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul Temple is a traditional spring water temple not far from Ubud and the Tegalalang rice terraces. It is a sacred place for Hindus and locals believe the water flowing at the temple has healing power to cleanse their body and soul and when visiting you should dress in appropriate temple attire. There are several pools in the temple and while soaking in the spring water, you can enjoy the serene and beautiful surroundings. Even if you are not going to bathe in the holy water, it is still a great place to look at the surrounding Hindu temples and architecture to see the traditional side of Bali and the Hindu region, and simply walk around the area and enjoy the serenity and tranquility.

Are you ready to begin your journey in Bali? Book the flight now through Cathay Pacific. Our mission is to make the most out of your travel…this applies when you fly from Hong Kong to Bali. Book your tickets now on http://www.cathaypacific.com

GETTING TO KNOW ATHENS

More or less most of us feel very confident when it comes to suggesting a place to a tourist or if it is just us or our family who are about to have lunch out or go for a drink with friends. I am sure that this is the case with most of you when we have to do with your place or hometown. But how about a whole different city or even country? Are you that familiar? So, in the lines to follow we will meet Athens, the Greek capital. We are going to talk about its restaurants and its cafes-bars.

THE BEST DINERS AROUND

To begin with, here are some of the top Athenian eateries. The first one which is recommended for its marvelous breakfast is Tudor Hall. It is famous all-around Greece for its location on the rooftop of King George hotel. The coffee, tea and the sweets offered there are of the highest possible quality so you have to give it a shot. Of course, most of the wine list is pretty pricey but you can just have your breakfast, enjoy the view to the Acropolis and leave the place more than satisfied.

Moving on with lunch, it is for sure that there are plenty of options and you will definitely find yourselves spoilt for choice. A rather stimulating choice could be Jaipur Palace. It is adjacent to the center of the city of Athens in a region called Neos Cosmos. It is open from 1pm through midnight so you will get a table at an hour of your selection. That diner serves Asian, Indian and vegetarian dishes so you had better be ready for a “trip” to new flavors and traditions. Its unique decoration and the vintage pans and plates which are used help you to immerse into it. The freshness and the uniqueness of the ingredients is amazing. A must-try!

Last but not least, one of the best restaurants in Athens, Greece. It is called Dinner in the Sky and if you have never had the fantastic chance to be there, I feel sorry for you. It offers an evening and a night choice of dinner depending on your preference. The first one takes place at 7.30pm and the other one at 9.30pm. The meal per person costs 135€ but the fantastic view, the friendliness of the staff and the stunning dishes will leave you speechless wondering where this had been all these years. Well, it is set quite high and you get even higher. That is, once everybody is tightened on their seats a mechanism moves all of you high above the ground so as to feel like flying while dining. There is nothing like this in Greece and only Athens offers you that option!

HOW ABOUT A COCKTAIL?

If you love beverages or alcoholic drinks, there are no worries. Let’s start immediately with an ideal place for your needs and taste. It is called Aethrion and it is located in Hilton Hotel. It is well known for its magnificent wine list as well as its cocktails. Make no mistake though-it is one of the most expensive in the city, but you get what you pay for, right?

Couleur locale is another exciting choice whose menu includes all kinds of wine and cocktails. The Acropolis is so close and in front of your eyes that you feel, you will touch it if you stretch a bit. You see it is located in Monastiraki so it cannot get closer than that.

If you are more old-school though, you will appreciate The Lazy Bulldog Pub. It is more like an English pub rather than a Greek café which is not bad at all. In fact, most of the meals served are pretty fatty but delicious, well prepared and carefully presented. Its dishes start from 5€ each so you will not have getting something suiting…your wallet and flavors.

5 Tips for Traveling During Busy Seasons

Traveling during a busy season obviously brings increased odds of battling crowds and paying higher prices, but sometimes, it is necessary. No matter what the reason, maybe you recently purchased one of the New Orleans houses for sale, or a home in another city, and want to make an escape to relax after moving in and it just happens to coincide with the Christmas holidays, there are ways to make it more enjoyable. 

Book Well in Advance and Be Flexible

If you’re not in the situation above, looking for a last-minute getaway during the busy season, try and book well in advance. The farther ahead you can book, the better the deals you’ll find on flights and accommodation, and the less likely coveted tours and activities will be sold out. Being flexible about your specific departure date can potentially save you hundreds of dollars – avoid flying on a Friday, Sunday, or Monday, looking for less convenient departure times such as early in the morning or late at night.

Plan to Arrive Early

If you’re the type of person who always arrives early, you’ll be in a much better position for traveling during busy seasons. Remember, there will probably be more traffic on the roads, lines will be longer and check-ins slower. Allow yourself extra time to get anywhere to ensure you don’t miss your flight or any other bookings. When sightseeing, the earlier you can be at the main tourist attractions, the better too for avoiding the biggest crowds.

Get Through Security Faster

US government-approved services like Global Entry, CLEAR, and TSA PreCheck will help you get through security at the airport much faster. That means a whole lot less stress during the busy season as security lines can be horrendous, and could even cause you to miss your flight – in fact, a 2018 survey reported by Forbes noted that one in every seven travelers had missed a flight in the past 12 months due to long airport security lines. CLEAR, available in select airports, uses biometric data from your fingerprints or eyes to verify your identity, and once you’ve been cleared, you’ll be escorted to the front of the security line. TSA PreCheck allows travelers to pass through an expedited security lane without having to remove your laptop, shoes, liquids, etc. Global Entry provides expedited clearance to low-risk, pre-approved travelers when they arrive in the U.S., however, it requires a rigorous background check and in-person interview before one can be enrolled. 

Avoid the Most Popular Destinations

If you can, try to avoid going to the same places everyone is going to. For example, Paris is popular year-round, and during busy seasons, it’s going to be even more crowded – why not head to a lesser-known spot like Lyon, renowned for its food scene while avoiding high numbers of tourists? The more remote and less-traveled your destination, the less you’ll have to worry about being there during the “busy” season. 

Accept the Inevitable

If you’re going to travel during a busy season, the best thing you can do is just roll with whatever happens, especially if your destination is a popular one. Prepare for the worst, assuming there are going to be crowds and high prices – if it’s not that bad, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, far better than had the opposite occurred. 

WHY YOUR NEXT TRIP SHOULD BE TO FUKUOKA

When you want to go on a trip that will give you a fresh experience and not just another cliché, you should book a flight to Fukuoka. It is the capital city of the larger Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan and also the biggest city in the island of Kyushu. This city provides you with a unique travel experience that you’ll definitely remember for years to come. With a wide array of activities to choose from such as surfing, bird watching, nature walks, and fine dining, coming up with the perfect itinerary might be quite the tedious task. In order to help you avoid sifting through tonnes of information, here are some of the reasons why Fukuoka should be your next travel destination.

Exploring the numerous shrines

Fukuoka is known for its numerous shrines that have stood for thousands of years. Visiting these historic sites is a great way to learn about the culture of the locals. Hakazaki Shrine is known to be one that has great importance in the history of Japan. In 1274, Mongolians invaded the city and burnt down the original shrine, since then it has been rebuilt and attracted many tourists from around the world. Another shrine to visit is the Atago Shrine. It is located on a hillside and provides a nice view of the whole city all the way to Hakata Bay. As a bonus, this is also the area where storks are known to nest which attracts many bird watching enthusiasts. Sumiyoshi Shrine is another one of the many shrines found in Fukuoka. It is located near the Naka River and was not constructed in the normal Buddhist style.

View the city from the Fukuoka Tower

Standing tall at a height of about 234 meters, it’s no doubt that the views from the Fukuoka Tower will leave you in awe. The tower also has a restaurant on its top floor that gives you an amazing dining experience with the panoramic vistas it offers. The tower is also considered as one of the national symbols of the city of Fukuoka.

Speaking of dining in the sky, Cathay Pacific provides the most comfortable experience that can be likened to it. Cathay Pacific has world class comfort that will ensure you get value for your money. On top of that, their in-flight entertainment promises a flight that is far from boring. With their return trip fares going for quite pocket friendly price, Cathay Pacific promises a wonderful flight experience that will leave you refreshed and ready for your vacation without breaking the bank.

Go Surfing

If you like an adventure that also incorporates a workout, surfing is the way to go. Fukuoka has numerous beaches dotted around city that provide amazing surfing conditions. You can visit these beaches during the summer when the waves aren’t too big if you’re only a beginner.

Watch a sumo match

If you’re like many visitors of Japan and you’re looking to immerse yourself in the culture of the locals, then watching a sumo match should be part of your itinerary. Fukuoka is the best place to experience this amazing sport especially around November when the season is at its peak. Some of the popular wrestlers can even be seen on the streets promoting their fights.

Check out amazing robots at Robosquare

When visiting Fukuoka, you should definitely explore Robosquare to see and interact with some cool robots. You’ll also get to see some of these robots being built and repaired. In addition, there is a gallery where you can learn about the mechanics behind some of the robots. This place beckons cybernetics enthusiasts and is also ideal for younger visitors since it provides an avenue for them to learn about robotics.

Checkout the roof garden at ACORS Building

The ACORS Building is located in the wider Tenjin Chuo Park and is especially popular for its roof garden. The garden hosts up to 75 different species of trees with a total of about 35,000 plants. The best time to visit the garden is in the morning when you can catch the plants glowing during sunrise. Unfortunately the park closes at 4pm which doesn’t allow for the plants to be seen during sunset.

The 5 Hottest Travel Destinations in New Zealand

New Zealand is undeniably one of the most charming countries in the world. The country is a relatively small island tucked away in the Pacific Ocean, with a population of approximately 4.5 million people. Its location far away from Australia and other continents makes it one of the go-to places for tourists that are looking to explore some of the world’s most sacred treasures.

In March 2018, New Zealand played host to over 3.8 million tourists. Picturesque landscapes, laidback Maori culture, and vibrant festival scenes are the primary highlights of a holiday in New Zealand. This post shall highlight the top spots you might consider visiting whenever your dreams take you to this glorious country.

1. The Fiordland National Park

The Fiordland National Park is New Zealand’s largest national park. The 12,607 square kilometers park occupies the southwestern region of the South Island and is a significant park within the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.

The fastest means to access the park is through a road drive from Queenstown to Te Anau, along the SH6 and SH94. You may also fly into airports located within Te Anau or other nearby towns, such as Milford Sound and Manapouri.

Vegetation in Fiordland National Park is predominantly dense forests with hundreds of plant species, including ferns, shrubs, and silver beech. There are also numerous wild animals to sight, mostly the endangered native animals and birds. Examples include possum, red deer, and dolphins, as well as birds like kakapo, mōhua (yellowhead), and takahē.

Besides game watching, Fiordland is famous for its refreshing boat tours to nearby points of interest like the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory.

Camping in Fiordland National Park allows you a more intimate encounter with its natural wonders. Some of the most popular campsites around the park include Fiordland Great Views Holiday Park, Getaway Te Anau, and more. Visit HitTheRoad.Rentals to learn more about camping in New Zealand. The brand works with over 83 Campervan providers in North and South New Zealand all with real customer reviews.

Another great way to explore Fiordland National Park is by taking a boat cruise to Milford Sound, which is the most spectacular fjord within the park. Other activities in and around Fiordland include hiking, tramping, trout fishing, and mountain climbing.

The best time to visit Fiordland National Park is during the warmer months of December through April.

The pristine waters of Fiordland

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2. Taranaki

Taranaki is located on the western coast of North Island, midway between Auckland and Wellington. The easiest way to get to Taranaki is to fly in, but the most exciting way is to take a road drive along New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail, the Forgotten World Highway SH43.

Taranaki is the ultimate adventure destination, featuring activities that suit travelers of all kinds. Popular things to do include surfing, hiking, snowboarding, mountain climbing, and watching the beautiful sunsets.

One of the special recommendations is the Pouakai Crossing, a full-day hiking tour that passes through the Pouakai Tarns. If you go on this hike on a calm day, you can see the magnificent reflections of the enormous Mount Egmont in the water. Most tourists prefer to head directly to the mountain for a full outdoor adventure, which includes mountain climbing, chartered flights over the mountain, and skiing, which happens between June and October.

If you’re into surfing, you can cruise the Surf Highway 45 and explore Taranaki’s top surfing destinations. And while you’re at it, you might consider visiting the Sugar Loaf Marine Park to swim with the seals and other marine animals.

February to mid-April is the ideal time to visit Taranaki.

3. Whangarei Falls

Whangarei Falls is arguably the most popular natural feature in Whangarei city. Nestled within Whangarei Scenic Reserve, the falls are an excellent destination for those who cherish the wild side of nature.

The 26 meters falls is located within a 10-minutes’ drive from downtown Whangarei or 2.5-hours’ drive from Auckland.

Besides sighting the mighty falls, the scenery is also perfect for photography, which makes it a preference for most honeymooners. There’s an opportunity to climb in behind the falls, and if you’re lucky to be there early enough, you can behold the rising sun as it hits the pristine waters, leaving your body covered in rainbows.

Climbing the slippery rocks around Whangarei Falls is an adrenaline-pumping adventure. However, the thought of getting behind the falls to enjoy a clearer view of the rolling landscapes and the sprawling Whangarei city makes it worth the risk. Are you afraid of heights? No need to fret, as you can still enjoy picturesque views of the waterfalls by taking a 30-minutes loop walk. Or, you can follow the trails down the Hatea River for a short but fulfilling walking safari.

The ideal period to visit the Whangarei Falls is during the summer months of December through February.

Cascading waterfalls

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4. Muriwai Beach, Auckland

Muriwai Beach is a top destination to include in your travel itinerary of New Zealand. Located within a 40-minutes drive from Auckland, this beach is famous for its enormous black sand dunes, incredible surfing opportunities, and surreal sunsets. The Muriwai Surf School, located close-by, offers lots of surfboards and sand yachts for hire, as well as surfing tuitions.

Apart from surfing, other watersports activities include hang gliding, paragliding, and fishing. However, ensure you check with the local authorities for the most suitable areas to go fishing or paragliding. Aptly named the Wild West Coast, Muriwai can get really wild during stormy days.

If you’re a nature lover, you might consider bushwalking along the Hilary Trail. Towards the southern end of the beach is the Muriwai Regional Park, a haven for golfers, cyclists, and horse riders.

A notable nearby point of interest is Maori Bay, located far south of the beach. The bay is famous for its steep cliffs and rocky terrain, which offer nesting spots for the region’s only colony of the Australasian gannets.

You can visit Muriwai Beach during the driest months from November to March. However, January till March is the ideal period for swimming at the beach, as the waters are calmer then.

Piha

Piha is a chic town situated along the rugged coastlines of Waitakere Ranges. It’s rather secluded location makes it ideal for travelers looking to escape the bustling city life.

The town is within a 40-minutes’ drive from Auckland city and is renowned for hosting international surf competitions. Piha is actually the most popular surfing spot in New Zealand. Its powerful waves make it a preference for seasoned surfers. As a beginner, you can take short surfing lessons at the Piha Surf Academy before hitting the water.

But surfing isn’t Piha’s only claim to fame. The beautiful black sandy beaches, incredible sunsets, and massive wilderness walking trails are more reasons to visit this quiet town.

While driving to Piha, remember to stop by the Piha Lookout along Piha Road to sample the town’s picturesque views from a vantage point. The Lion Rock, located in the middle of Piha Beach, also offers sweeping views of the pristine waters of the Tasman Sea.

Piha is also endowed with one of New Zealand’s most iconic waterfalls – the Kitekite Falls. The 40-m high cascading waterfalls are located within the town’s native forest in the Waitakere Ranges, making it ideal for hiking and walking safaris.

The best period to visit is from January to March when the temperatures are moderate, and rainfall is limited.

A surfer gliding amid raging waters

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There go our top recommendations for the most exotic destinations in New Zealand. Provided you visit any of these spots during fair weather, there’s no limit to how much fun you can experience.

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

Day Tours from Perth

If you are looking for something exciting to do while in Western Australia, don’t forget there are many exciting opportunities available to tourists just a short drive from Perth. Western Australia hosts many festivals and special events every year; here are some highlights for the remainder of 2019 and tours ready for 2020 that are all day trips in Perth:

Collie River Cruise Day Tour

Short drive from Perth to Eaton to board the “Elandra”. Cruise the Collie River where the dolphins, birdlife and many forms of wildlife unique to South Western Australia are abundant. Elandra explores many hidden spots, that other vessels cannot reach, taking passengers drifting by modern day mansions, then back through time. After the cruise enjoy lunch and free time in Bunbury WA’s third largest city with almost 70,000 people.

Christmas Fruit Picking Day Tour

Driving south on this short drive from Perth this morning heading along some beautiful National Park countryside we will be heading to Caraholly Orchard to pick our own Nectarines, Plums and Cherries, all the magnificent stone fruit in time for December’s Christmas feasts. On the drive home we will stop into the Pinjarra Bakery for a well-deserved gelato before heading back into Perth.

Manjimup Cherry Festival Day Tour

With an early start with the Day Tour departing Perth travelling to the picturesque town of Manjimup, set within the Jarrah / Karri Forests of the South West of WA, offers an authentic country destination with a rich experience to all who visit. Manjimup is the place to be during the cherry season. The town receives thousands of visitors during the annual Cherry Festival, providing the opportunity for the community of Manjimup to celebrate the cherry season and harvest. The Cherry Festival Carnival is held on the Saturday, including displays, markets & stalls and much more. In the afternoon there is free time to wander the Manjimup Timber Museum and historic gardens.

End of Year Christmas Mystery Day Tour

Less than two weeks short of Christmas day we celebrate the end of the touring year with a special Mystery Day Tour from Perth. Including a visit from jolly old bell chiming, big belly, big beard old mate Father Christmas, Morning Tea and Hotel Lunch. This is a great day tour to catch up with past traveling companions and enjoy summer in the Australian bush.

Summer Fruit Picking Day Tour

Driving south this morning from Perth for this unique Day Tour heading along some beautiful National Park countryside we will be heading to Caraholly Orchard to pick our own Nectarines, Plums and Cherries. At the Orchard they have a market selling a number of other local products and produce. On the drive home we will stop into the Pinjarra Bakery for a well-deserved gelato before heading back into Perth.

Penguin Island Wildlife Cruise Day Tour

A short drive from Perth down to Shoalwater for morning tea on the foreshore before we board our first ferry to transfer to Penguin Island. On the island we get up close with the penguins in the discovery centre and keep a look out for the other wildlife of the island. Later board a glass bottom boat for a cruise of the Shoalwater Bay wildlife sanctuary, taking in the rugged islands, nesting bird life and the rare Australian sea lions basking on the beach and frolicking in the water. Return to the mainland to wander the redeveloped Rockingham foreshore and City Centre.

Arizona Itinerary: A Perfect Trip to the Grand Canyon State

Are you dreaming of a not-so-white Christmas? Are you planning a summer vacation around sunshine, heat and gorgeous scenery? Then Arizona has you covered.

The Grand Canyon State is a perfect blend of dramatic landscapes, bustling cities, comfort food and exciting activities. But you need to know how to do it right. If you go to Arizona without a varied itinerary, you can end up missing a lot of what makes the state special.

In this article, let’s dive into all that Arizona has to offer. The five stops that follow make up the perfect itinerary, whatever time of year you plan on going.

Hike the Grand Canyon

You can’t go to the Grand Canyon State and miss its titular attraction, nor would you want to. The best way to experience this American treasure, though, is to get out of your car and walk around.

There are numerous hikes to be experienced in the Grand Canyon, but the most celebrated are the South Rim Trail and the Bright Angel trail, both near the South Rim. If you’re afraid of heights, this might just be the tonic your brain needs – the sweeping, descending rim offers a bird’s eye view of some of the most beautiful formations in the Canyon.

Learn History at the Heard Museum

American Indian culture is on impressive display at this must-see Phoenix museum, located conveniently on North Central Avenue.

For a modest $15 admission, you get an engrossing tour of the native art, craft and history. There are always new exhibits cycling through the museum, so if something on the website piques your interest, consider planning your Phoenix trip around current exhibit dates.

Go Axe Throwing in Scottsdale

Scottsdale, just east of Phoenix, is a gem in its own right, but the real highlight here is the plethora of activities, chief of which is axe throwing. Before you head out for a night on the town, go axe throwing in Scottsdale and get the true frontier experience.

Drop-ins are welcome, but in order to secure a spot at an axe throwing facility, it’s best to book ahead. Whether you go axe throwing with friends, as part of an axe throwing bachelorette party, or just solo, this is can’t-miss Arizona experience.

Soak in Tucson’s 4th Avenue Hipness

The hippest street in all of Arizona (a claim that many Arizonans might argue) is 4th Avenue in Tucson.

Grab a coffee at one of the many cafes, grab a drink at one of the many (hip) dive bars, and take in the Avenue’s art. Close to the University of Arizona, the Avenue skews young, but it’s inclusive of all walks of life.

Take Pictures at Monument Valley

Why buy a postcard when you can just take a picture at the source. Monument Valley, one of the most iconic landmarks in the Southwest (if not the entirety of America) is beautiful any time of year.

Whether you’re looking to create the perfect Instagram post, or you just want stunning pictures for your personal collection, the mesas and rock buttes of Monument Valley deliver in spades.

If there’s one takeaway from this post, it’s this: visit Arizona. The heady mix of natural beauty, culture and exciting activities makes the Grand Canyon State mandatory visiting for anyone interested in the American Southwest.

Top 7 Reasons to Visit Dalmatia in Croatia

If you are thinking about your holiday destination, we recommend you Dalmatia region in Croatia. The name Dalmatia exists ever since the first century and its named by the Delmats (Dalmatians), a tribe of the Illyrians. Today it is one of the most popular destination in the world where you will spend your dream vacations. Beautiful nature, rich culture, vivid lifestyle, Adriatic Sea and coast, Mediterranean climate, islands and historical cities will charge your batteries for the whole year. Let’s talk about Dalmatia!

Weather

If you don’t like the cold, come to Dalmatia and feel the benefits of the Mediterranean climate. Dalmatian winters are mild, and summers are hot and dry – the best combination for excellent vacation. You have probably heard that the island of Hvar is the sunniest island in the Adriatic Sea, with more than 2,700 hours of sunshine a year. In Dalmatia, many people swim during the winter, so do not hesitate to do the same. Only Bura, the cold and dry northwest wind, can stop you. Thanks to the great Dalmatian climate, you can have an active holiday fulfilled with Sun throughout whole year.

Dalmatian Coast, Sea and Islands

One of the reasons why a lot of tourists come to Croatia is the Dalmatian coast which is becoming more popular from year to year. That long coast is backed by mountains with a lot of islands. You can choose between secluded places or some trendy hotspot such as the Hvar or Novalja. The connectivity between the land and islands is excellent so you can visit it all in short time. Islands are a lovely destination for a fabulous and unforgettable vacation. You will make the best decision if you reserve accommodation in a villa with a private pool and make many side trips. There are Southern, Central and Northern Dalmatia, and every part of it is exciting and have a rich history. You will find everything that you need for a perfect holiday – beautiful nature, viewpoints, promenades, great restaurants, long and secluded beaches, and more.

Dalmatian Cuisine

One of the most essential things and questions for Dalmatians is what to eat! Maybe the secret of their beauty is superb and healthy food. Dalmatian cuisine includes the best of the Mediterranean way of cooking. Start with seafood and meat. Try fish meals like a baked octopus, different kind of grilled sea fish, fish stew (brudet), black risotto etc. You should also enjoy in lamb, pasticada with gnocchi, Dalmatian ham, cheese, olive oil, soparnik… If you relish sweets, you should choose a local dessert like fritule, krostule, rozata etc. If you order dry white wine such as Posip or a red one like Dingac, you will certainly not go wrong. Bon appetite!

Old Cities

The Dalmatian coast is home to many old, historic cities. As you maybe know, Croatia has 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, eight of them are cultural sites, and two are natural. From Zadar to Dubrovnik you can visit many, smaller and bigger, charming old towns that have its own unique flair. You’ll see cathedrals and churches, spacious squares, massive walls, and a romantic promenades. Some reflect the Roman Empire and some Venetian Republic; some have a multitude of modern cafes and bars, some are quiet and romantic. The old city centres of Split and Dubrovnik, which are protected by UNESCO, are ones of the most visited in the Dalmatia. Ston is a small town with the longest stone wall in Europe (5,5 km).

Cultural Events and Nightlife

Dalmatian people like to party a lot. This region has become one of the favourite places for those who are in search of the best party destination in Europe. You can enjoy unforgettable parties and festivals such as Ultra Music Festival. There is a lot of clubs where you can chill and drink your cocktail.

In Dalmatia, you will find many traditional events during summer, like fishermen’s evenings, holiday celebrations, traditional festivals, theatre festivals, film screenings and street entertainment.

Peljesac Peninsula

Peljesac is the second largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. It is the perfect place to indulge in food, red wine, gorgeous lovely sandy and pebble beaches and ancient history. This peninsula is in the south corner of Croatia. It offers some unforgettable experiences and adventures like olive oil tastings, wineries tours, food (oysters from Ston), history, countryside, beaches, biking, diving…

Dalmatian Hinterland (Zagora)

Dalmatian hinterland or Zagora is located not far away from the coast. There you can enjoy in traditions dating back hundreds of years (e.g. in Sinj), adrenaline tourism, natural beauties (like Blue Lake and Red Lake in Imotski), unique indigenous wines and gourmet delights. It’s, also, a perfect place to escape from the daily hustle and bustle. If you need peace and quiet – a place to give your body and soul chance to recover, come to Zagora.

No matter what you are looking for, you can find a perfect place for you in Dalmatia and forget all your worries.