Written by Michael

4min read

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drinks in bangkok
The best bars in Bangkok

The Bangkok nightlife is an integral part of any trip to Thailand. As well as this the country is one of the top tourist destinations in the world and with good reason. Activities like fishing trips, scenic scuba dives, world-class massages and the plethora of Thai cuisine ensures the Southeast Asian nation is a paradise for visitors.

Of course, yet another reason to visit Thailand is its Bangkok nightlife. In Bangkok alone, there are a number of different bars in Bangkok that visitors can experience. Below are just some of the best establishments.

Maggie Choo’s

Maggie Choo's bar
Maggie Choo’s Bar

Occupying the basement level at Novotel Fenix Silom Bangkok, the Bangkok Post describes this bar as having a chic-mystique ambience. That’s because the bar is decorated with hanging paper umbrellas, tasselled lampshades, and faded photos that give off a retro Chinese cabaret vibe.

It even has its own noodle shop, as well as roasted duck on rice, chicken and prawn-stuffed fried wonton, and crispy pork with soy noodles all for 310 baht (£8.29) or less. Turning to the bar, one can have the punch for 340 baht (£9.09), a fruity concoction of Bombay Sapphire, Shiraz and Cointreu or a deceptively potent cocktail called the Golden Pixie. Combined with its unique atmosphere, Maggie Choo’s solidifies its place as a Bangkok Nightlife must-visit.

Vesper Bar Bangkok

Vesper Bar
Vesper Bar

Named after James Bond’s famous martini, Vesper exudes class and sophistication. Since its transition from a bar and restaurant to a cocktail bar in 2017, Vesper has gained local and international recognition. Green marble, plush leather bar stools, and subdued lighting create the perfect vintage European bar aesthetic, and their cocktails have inspired aficionados all over the city. Its Art Book cocktail concept series was especially noteworthy with the bar earlier this year offering art-inspired cocktails using a combination of locally grown ingredients and cutting-edge culinary techniques. A great place to visit if you want your drinking experience to be both unique and sophisticated. 

The Clubhouse Sports Bar & Grill

The Clubhouse Sports Bar & Grill
The Clubhouse Sports Bar & Grill

Watching sports is very popular in Thailand and a big part of the culture. While many people think that Muay Thai is the top sport, other international sports are becoming even more popular with the locals.

An extensive Expatbet’s feature on sports betting in Thailand details how watching live matches and wagering on the results is a popular pastime in the country.

With most forms of wagering banned in Thailand due to strict gambling laws, many Thai’s indulge in their love of sports betting by placing bets on international football and basketball matches.

This has led to the rise of good sports bars in Bangkok where Thai’s can combine their love of food and sport in one place, and the best place for doing so is The Clubhouse Sports Bar & Grill.

Part of Clubhouse’s appeal is the wide variety of sports it shows, with no less than 11 HD TVs at the venue. Its spaciousness also offers a pleasant departure from the claustrophobic and dark wood-lined walls of so many of Thailand’s ‘British’-themed pubs.

Its solid international menu is backed by its selection of local beers, as well as imported offerings. 

Brown Sugar 

Brown Sugar Bangkok
Brown Sugar Bar

Around since the mid-1980’s, this venue is a staple in the Bangkok nightlife scene. Yet age doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant- -even today Brown Sugar remains one of the best jazz bars in the city.

No band ever seems to play at the venue twice and the sounds only get funkier and upbeat as the night goes on. 

Though there’s an emphasis on the music, the menu holds its own and offers both Thai food and Western dishes. Classic cocktails like a Long Island Tea cost 280 baht (£7.48), local beers go for 160 baht (£4.28) and imported beers for 250 baht (£6.68).

Together with its standout music, Brown Sugar is the perfect place to dance the night away with friends in one of the best bars in Bangkok.

Tuba Bar

Tuba Bar Bangkok
Tuba Bar

Part antique gallery and part bohemian hangout, Tuba Bar is definitely an eccentric place. 10Best’s review of Tuba Bar details that many of the antiques, paintings and retro furniture are even for sale, making it perfect for art aficionados.

The Thai-Italian menu boasts a mouth-watering selection of pizza, calamari and sea bass. Afterwards, it can be washed down with a wide selection of beers. For the more daring though, there’s the option of trying their goblet-sized cocktails. 

Written by Michael

6min read

3 Comments

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains of Southern Spain’s Andalusia region, Granada is not just a hidden gem, but a treasure trove of diverse ethnic groups and cultures. Exotic, breathtaking and serene, the old Moorish city is a cultural delight with its rich history. Striking Islamic architecture and beautiful Arab influence contrast against Spanish heritage, and renaissance and gothic aesthetics.

Tapas, wines, cheeses, jamones, flamenco, art, and history. There is no shortage of activities and sites to see, every corner is bursting with flavor and character. Here are a few highlights that are a must for any visitor.

1. The Alhambra (including Generalife, Nasrid Palace and Alcazaba)

Alhambra granada Spain
Alhambra granada Spain

Set against the backdrop of the stunning Sierra Nevada peaks, The Alhambra is an imposing fortress that sprawls across the hilltop.

The site includes royal palaces, peaceful gardens, patios, fountains and impressive Islamic architecture.

It is the greatest surviving relic of Andalusia’s 800 years under Moorish rule, built between the 8th and 15th centuries.

Once a walled citadel where Sultans resided, Alhambra is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is little doubt as to why this is the most visited monument in Spain, at times attracting over 6,000 visitors a day

This amazing structure is divided into 3 parts: the Nazrid palaces, the battlements or Alcazaba, and the gardens of Generalife . Dont panic, but there are five different types of admission tickets to choose from. 

  1. 1.Alhambra General (includes everything – the Nasrid Palaces, Generalife gardens, Alcazaba)
  2. 2.Gardens, Generalife and Alcazaba
  3. 3.Night Visit to Nasrid Palaces
  4. 4.Night Visit to Generalife Gardens
  5. 5.Combined Visit Alhambra and Rodriguez-Acosta Foundation

Tickets will sell out quickly during peak tourist season. But dont worry, you will be able to purchase tickets to the Alhambra between two hours and four months in advance.

Purchase tickets:

  • On the Website HERE. If you don’t have your own printer, visitors can print the tickets at one of the vending machines next to the Alhambra entrance using the reservation number. 
  • By Phone (+34) 858 953 616, information 958 027 971. 
  • At the ticket office on the same day if any are still available.

  • Note: You should schedule at least four hours for a trip to the Alhambra. 
  • By Bus: You can take the red minibus Alhambra Bus C30 or C32, which leave every 8-12 minutes from Isabel Catolica Square to the Alhambra. The stop where you need to get off is called ‘Alhambra – Generalife 2’. 

2. Granada Cathedral and the Royal Chapel

Granada Cathedral Spain
Granada Cathedral

In the heart of the city stands a most magnificent cathedral. This massive sanctuary was commissioned by Queen Isabella I in the early 16th century. This was immediately after the conquest of Granada and was constructed on the site of the Main Mosque. It is not only the fourth largest cathedral in the world but the first Renaissance cathedral in Spain. 

Immediately upon entrance, visitors are struck by the beautiful circular design and unique walls of the main chapel. A visit to just the main chapel alone would be worth the trip.

Right next door is the Royal Chapel, the burial site of two of Spain’s most notable historical figures, Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II. The ornate burial tombs were all hand carved by sculptors from marble and are the real highlight of this monument.

The Granada Cathedral and the Royal Chapel each have a seperate entrance fee. Tickets can be purchased directly at the ticket office of the Granada Cathedral. 

  • General admission, individual or groups: 5 euros (audio guide included)
  • Students and people with disabilities: 3,5 euros 
  • Children under 12: free entry 
  • Note: Photography is not allowed inside the Royal Chapel of Granada.

3. The Sacromonte

  • By Bus: You can reach the Cathedral of Granada using Granada city buses, routes 4, 8, 11, 21, 33 (the bus stop is ‘Gran Via 1’ or Cathedral), routes C31, C32, C34 (the bus stop is ‘Plaza Isabel Catolica’). 

This bustling neighborhood is home to Granada’s Roma community – a 15th century gypsy quarter with many cave dwellings and whitewashed streets to explore.

Youll spend hours roaming the district, being transported back into a place frozen in time. Thanks to the steep streets, the views from the top are picturesque, with panoramic views across the neighbouring towns. 

Sacromonte region buildings
Sacromonte region

The Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte consists of eleven cave houses, giving visitors a tour steeped in customs and history. It takes about one hour and costs 5€ per person. 

While in Sacromonte, allow yourself to be seduced by the strumming of the Spanish guitar and the clicking of flamenco dancers.

It is here that you can witness and experience the most authentic long-standing tradition of flamenco performed by the Spanish gypsies (Gitanos or Roma).

The Gitanos mix the traditional Spanish flamenco with Arab belly dancing and shows are still frequently held in cave homes. 

  • By Bus: You can reach the Sacromonte from Plaza Nueva by bus number C34. The buses have an average frequency of 20 minutes. Duration of the trip is about 15 mins.

4. Granada ancient Arab baths

A hammam is an Arab bath – hot steam bath followed by a massage. Heavenly. In Granada, thanks to the Arab culture influence, visitors can explore the Ancient baths and experience the pleasure in some of the new, modern ones in the El Albaicín district. 

Ancient Arab baths Granada
Ancient Arab baths Granada

El Bañuelo is the most famous of the hammams in Granada and provides a glimpse into Moorish life and history.

While there is no longer any running water, these 11th century baths have been maintained and are some of the few Moorish buildings that were not torn down after Granada was seized by the Spanish Kings.

The original brickwork and windows have been maintained and are an absolute marvel. Visits cost 2 euros per person and are free on Sundays. 

After checking out the old baths, head over to one of the modern ones that are managed by professionals and treat yourself like a sultan with a relaxing bath amid spectacular decor while sipping on mint tea. 

  • By Bus: You can reach the Bañuelo by Granada city bus routes C31 and C32, the bus stop is ‘Banuelo’, or walking. Bañuelo is close to Plaza Nueva. 

5. Painting Excursion

Painting Granadas streets
Painting Granadas streets

Granada is undeniably breathtaking and unique. Between the stunning mix of culturally diverse architecture, steeped in rich history and the magnificent natural scenery of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background, Granada is awe-inspiring.

No wonder artists of all types have fallen under Granada’s spell and found their inspiration in the ancient Moorish city. For those looking for their muse, a painting retreat in Granada would be a unique and unforgettable holiday. 

About the author:

Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani is a behind the scenes Dota 2 professional Jack of All Trades. A freelancer, journalist, reporter, and travel writer for uptrek.com, Cristy is an avid reader and passionate cupcake baker. 

Written by Michael

5min read

5 Comments

Flying is a wondrous past time.

Most people flying are jetting off on holiday to experience a new country and culture, see friends and family, or in a lot of cases these days, get absolutely off their trolley.

What you get up to between your outbound and return journey will likely be pretty special and form memories that will stay with you forever, or you’ll form some infections if you’re off to Ayia Napa.

The flying experience to and from your destination can be also be great, and hopefully infection free.

Flying is so exciting!

However, when you cram so many people into a small metal tube for multiple hours then it’s inevitable that frustrations can occasionally rise.

These frustrations could easily get someones holiday off to a salty start and we don’t want that to happen to anyone, including you!

So, heres some tongue in cheek tips on how to make yours and everyones flying experience a good one, and how not to be a dick.


“We’d like to board people in zone 1 only please”

*everyone gets up and rushes to board*

People have an assigned seat, and their group will be called, everyone will get on board before the plane leaves.

All these people do is slow everyone else down and annoy the stewards who will calmly tell you them to piss off.

My top tip is to wait till the end, no queuing!


Please, stand in the aisle when everyone is trying to get past. 

Here’s the process: walk to your isle, bag in overhead bin, and swooosh, down you go into your seat to let the next people past.

Get the stuff you need out your bags before you’re even on the plane.

None of this rummaging around in bags and pockets while you stand in the middle of the isle, otherwise my suitcase might accidentally run over your foot.


Oh of course, you want to sit in my seat, that I specifically booked.

Now this has never happened to me before but I have plenty of friends who it has happened to.

You get on your plane where you have a specific seat reserved, only to board and find someone sitting in it pleading the 5th.

If it’s a genuine reason then I don’t blame someone for asking, but let the person sit in their seat first then ask them, don’t just automatically sit in it!


Yes, please help yourself to my arm rest.

Some people are just all elbows aren’t they?

If someone only has one arm rest, don’t hog it or elbow there arm off it.


Use the long arm of the law on your kids.

No, I don’t mean beat them with your long ass arm. I mean instil some discipline in them.

Flying can be tiring and uncomfortable for many, so if your kid is kicking the chair in front them, tell them to stop.

If your kid is yelling the plane down because they didn’t get the window seat, calmly sedate them.

If you your child is constantly asking, “are we there yet?”, tell them that every time they ask that again, they’ll get one less present at Christmas.

And anyway, families with small children, we all secretly give you the evils when you get to board first.


I don’t want your phone to make us crash.

I know the chance of it happening is like 0.00001%.

BUTTTTTT,

When the flight attendants ask you to turn off your electronic devices, just do it.

I’m sure twitter can wait for your latest hilarious anecdote.


I just love it when my meals finally come, then you shove your chair back.

I really did want to wear my food today instead of eat it.

At meal times simply bring your chair up. If you want to recline, just a little check behind you to see if the person behind is still eating wouldn’t hurt.


Dude, keep your socks on

Do I need to say more…?

And if you’re behind me, definitely don’t pout your feet on the back of my arm rest.


The wheels have touched the runway…goooo!

You always have a couple of eager beavers who try to get a head start as soon as the wheels touch the tarmac.

Let’s gooooo….

You hear those seat-buckles unclip, theres a sense of rush in the air, and you hear people rummaging around in those over head bins.

It’s a great feeling when the attendant calls over the tannoy for them to sit back in their seat that they’ve probably reclined so far back they think they’re already on the beach.


People in front of you Leave first…

This is a universal system, and the quickest one!

The rows of people in front of you leave then you leave.

I mean, look at the guy on the right!

If this system falls apart, then civilisations will fall, and the end of the world will be nigh.

You don’t want that on your shoulders do you?


Most importantly… be in a great mood, you’re on holiday!

The things listed above are bound to happen time to time on flights.

Its inevitable when you cram so many people into a small space that people will occasionally become annoyed with each other.

However, you’re going on holiday so these small things should be dwarfed by how excited you are about your trip!

Flying should be and is a enjoyable experience!

If you do find someone annoying you in the any of the ways listed above, or others, and its making your flight uncomfortable, with a smile just politely ask them if they could not do it anymore.

Happy flying people!

Written by Michael

8min read

6 Comments

Including Krka National Park, Croatia has 8 stunning National Parks for you to choose from, each with their own unique wonders. You’ve probably seen oodles of pictures all over Instagram showing off their glorious attractions; stunning waterfalls, deep valleys, roaring rivers, and towering mountains just seem to be a part of Croatia.

krka waterfalls mike treks
Overlooking the beauty of the Krka’s waterfalls.

My friend Perry and I were spending a weekend in the beautiful city of Zadar and luckily one of Croatias best National Parks was just a hours drive from the city. Like us you can spend the whole day exploring Krka National Park, read on to find out how to make the most out of your visit.


When to visit. 

Its no secret that Krka National Park is no secret! Thousands of people visit the park every day to be immersed in it’s stunning surroundings. Avoiding these crowds could be the difference between you loving your day at the park and wishing you stayed at the pebbly beach. Luckily though, you can pretty much have the park to yourself if you plan it right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwMbJ6-_yE4
A short film of Krka National Park from the air.

There’s two main ways you can avoid the crowds. Firstly, whatever day your visiting, visit as early as possible. Trust me, you wont regret dragging your lazy ass out of bed. 

The park opens at 8am and getting there for this time will mean you only have to share the vast expanse of the park with a handful of people. The tourist busses start to arrive between 9 and 10am so you’ll have at least a couple of hours of bliss. 

Secondly, if you can visit on a weekday then absolutely do, The weekends are obviously the busiest days at the park so weekday visit will be a lot less busy.

You’ll also want to visit after May and before October, read on to the swim section to find out why…


Where to enter the Park.

There are two main entrances to Krka National park;

Skradin

Skradin is a small town just outside Krka National Park. If you are driving you can park here for the day (it’s 50 kuna, not free like the signs say). If you have a bit of time to kill before or after your trip to the park then definitely look around Skradin, its beautiful!

From Skradin you can take the stunning boat ride into the park. The peaceful ride lasts about 20minutes and takes you along the gorgeous blue-green river.

Lozovac

Lozovac is the second main entrance and is closer to the waterfalls than Skradin. Parking is free and there’s a bus service that takes you to the main waterfalls, or you can walk the 875m. It’s up to you!

Theres also 3 other official smaller entrances to the park; Roski slap, Krka Monestery, and Burnum.

Entrance fees for an adult include the boat ride and are:

April/May/Oct Jan/Feb/Mar/
Nov/Dec/
June-Sept
100kn 30kn 200kn

Swim in Krka National Park

One of the great attractions for you at Krka National Park is the fact that you’re allowed to swim in a section of the parks waters – something you can’t do at Plitvice National Park!

krka waterfalls croatia
Such a stunning place!

Just in front of the lowest, and arguably the most beautiful waterfall, you will find a large section of water you can swim in. Here you can bathe in the crystal clear waters for as long as you want while exploring the limestone nooks and crannies that have been formed over the millennia. In the waters you’ll also find plenty of fish to sneak up on and chase around (I definitely didn’t do this…).

you’ll find a boom stopping you getting too close to the waterfalls, which is actually a good thing as these raging beasts would do you a lot of damage if you went under them!

krka national park croatia
It was a little chilly!

Unfortunately, you can only swim in Krka National Park between the 30th May and 30th September.

You may be thinking to yourself “Pfttt why would I want to swim outside these dates anyway?”, and you’re probably right. The weather most likely wont be the best and the waters will be freezing. 

However, that’s exactly what my friend Perry and I did! We visited on the 27th May with our swimming trunks and towels in hand, only to find out we couldn’t swim.

We were very sad, but the warden let us pop into the shallows for a bit as it was only 4 days away from swimming opening. Very niceeeee.

As you get in you really become accustomed to the temperature and its absolutely stunning to swim in the crystal clear waters while you’re surrounded by the stunning landscape of waterfalls and mountains.


Exploring around the waterfalls

Around the waterfalls you’ll have no shortage of paths to explore that lead you to other water features and different vantage points around the falls. There’s around 6 main tiers of waterfalls and all have stunning view points. 

krka national park mike treks
A great vantage point overlooking one of the falls

Towards the top of the park and off to the left is a raised wooden path that lets you skip over the rushing waters and leads you to arguably the best vantage point of the falls. This path will also take you through almost deserted parts of the park and will take you back to the lower tiers of the waterfalls.

krka national park bridge
The raised path leading you over the waterfalls.

Throughout the park theres also quite a few old buildings known as the ethno village. Here you will find some historical buildings to explore and a couple have tastefully been turned into small cafes where you can get drinks and some food.


There’s so much more to Krka National Park…

Once you’ve had your fill of swimming and exploring around the waterfalls then there’s so much more for you to explore in the National Park, some of the highlights include… 

Visovac island

visovac island krka
Visovac Island

Past the waterfalls and in the middle of one of the parks upper lakes is a small island with the Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy and the Church of Our Lady of Visovac on it. 

Both buildings are nearly 600 years old and the island is stunningly beautiful to look at from the shore as well as once you are on it.

You can get a boat to the island from the waterfalls, or if you have a car you can drive to Stinica or Remetić which is a lot closer and a much shorter ferry ride. 

Roški slap

roski slap krka waterfalls
Roski slap waterfalls

Roški slap is another series of stunning cascading waterfalls, which very few people know about or visit. These waterfalls are 30km north of the main entrances of Skradin and Lozovac. Roški slap has dozens of tiers that are a lot gentler than the main ones in Krka. Oziđana pećina cave is also right next to Roški slap.

You can get to Roški slap by driving to it’s entrance and parking, and you will then walk about 30min to the falls. You can also hop on a 4 hour round trip boat ride from the main waterfalls between April and October

Skradin. 

skradin town alleyway croatia
One of the many stunning alleyways in the colourful Skradin.

Skradin is the town mentioned previously where you board the boat into the National Park. The town itself is stunning and you should definitely set aside some time to explore it.

There are multi coloured buildings down its cobbled streets, multiple ancient alleyways to explore, a fortress to explore with stunning views across the city, and the best service at a restaurant I have ever experienced!

The best service I have ever had at Konoba Dalmatino

If you have time after your trip to the park then I highly recommend spending the evening eating and drinking at Konoba Dalmatino. The restaurants service goes above and beyond to the point where they even found headache tablets to my friend Perry! It’s the perfect end to your day in the National Park before you head home.


Krka National Park is a stunning day out in one of Croatia’s best National Parks. The main Waterfalls are the big attraction and you can spend at least a couple of hours exploring them and their surrounding paths.

Outside of the main falls area are some lesser known but equally beautiful attractions such as the waterfalls and caves at Roski slap, as well as the monastery on Visovac Island.

Arrive as early as possible and preferably on a week day to have the vast park pretty much to yourself. And don’t forget tot explore the beautiful town of Skradin after or before your visit!

Michael x

Written by Michael

4min read

2 Comments

Street food is an inseparable part of cuisine in Hanoi. So when in Hanoi, do as Hanoians do. This traveling motto sounds very easy to follow, but for those who are newcomers in the ancient capital city, finding the best street food can be a tricky venture.

However, you’re a smart one, and you’re reading this post. So let me divulge the best places to go and what to devour when you discover them.

Continue reading “How to Find the Best Street food in Hanoi.”

Written by Michael

3min read

9 Comments

The countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun. It won’t be long until we are all opening our Christmas presents and celebrating the magical day with those we love dearly. But, where do you plan on spending your Christmas this year? If you are looking to enjoy the festive period in a new destination you should definitely consider some of Asia’s finest locations. There are lots of places in the continent that are assured to provide you with a very merry Christmas. Let’s take a look at these in further detail; where in Asia should you go for Christmas this year?

Continue reading “Some Of The Best Places To Go In Asia This Christmas”

Written by Michael

4min read

No Comments

eco-tourism Cambodia sunset
eco-tourism Cambodia sunset

The idea of eco-tourism is growing in popularity. This is especially true among backpackers who prefer to minimise their carbon footprint on holiday.

Cambodia, land of temples and tropical beaches, is increasingly draw for visitors with a eco-friendly aim. You may be keen to learn about Cambodian history, shop in vibrant markets, or try the delicious, fresh local food.

These days there are plenty of activities for eco-conscious travellers in Cambodia. If you’re interested in travelling sustainably in this picturesque South East Asian country, don’t miss these eco-tourism experiences:


Continue reading “The Best Eco-Tourism Experiences to Have in Cambodia”

Written by Michael

6min read

6 Comments

So is Helsinki, Finland worth visiting and is there anything to do?

Nah don’t bother, its boring as anything…

If you don’t know what to do that is!

Luckily you have me to help you out…

Helsinki, Finland may have a rep as being a tad boring and I can kind of see why.

From the outside there doesn’t seem toooooo much to do. After all, a lot of people who spend a week or more in Finland do so in the north. Here the nature is the main draw.

However, delve into the culture a little bit and do as the locals do, and Helsinki is definitely a city worth spending 2 or 3 nights in.

Here’s some pretty dope ass reasons you should visit the city:


Kauppatori (Market Square)

The Market Square is a pretty cool place to visit any day. Situated next to the main harbour you can’t miss the brightly coloured orange tents.

The stalls sell fresh fruit and veg, cooked meals, interesting clothing, souvenirs, and local trinkets.

As it’s next to the harbour you also have boats mooring up that sell fresh fish to market goers.

Frequently on evenings, when the market has set down, the square will play host to cultural events like the classic car meet up that occurred when I was there.


Suomenlinna Island

Located right next to Market Square are the ferry companies that provide transport to the islands in the Helsinki Archipelago.

Suomenlinna Island is the main island that people visit as it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Suomenlinna Island
Suomenlinna Island

The site is actually 6 joined up islands that were an 18th century fort island built when Finland was part of Sweden to counter Russian expansionism.

Head over at sunset to catch some epic shots of Helsinki:


The pools and Saunas

While I was in the city I took a trip to 3 separate watering holes.

On my first full day in the city I spent pretty much all day at the Allas Sea pool.

This complex is situated in the harbour of Helsinki next to the big Ferris wheel. There’s 3 pools; one deep lane pool (where there is no lane discipline ffs), one shallow kiddies pool, and one deep pool filled with filtered sea water.

Theres also plenty of room to sunbathe on the deck or on one of the free deck chairs that are limited in number. Chilling here is a great option as you can soak up the sun, take a dip, and watch the cruise ships sail by.

On my second day I visited the Olympic Pool which is about a 20minute bike ride north from the city centre.

The 50m pool is great for swimming laps, there is also a little kiddies pool, as well as a deep diving pool which you can swim in and jump off the diving boards in the designated jumping periods.

Loyly Sauna is rated as the number one sauna in Helsinki, its around €18 for entry and well worth it.

The Sauna has a modern luxury feel to it and provides great food and refreshments.

After you’ve warmed up in the sauna theres a ladder leading down into the Baltic Sea for you to cool off in.


The beautiful people

From a male perspective, Helsinki contains the highest number of beautiful women I have ever come across in a city.

Fellow female travellers have said the guys aren’t too bad either. It must just be this Scandinavian genetics!

In my time in the city I met plenty of English, kiwi, and Aussie guys who have upped sticks and moved over to Finland after meeting the Finnish girl of their dreams. The rest of us can only dream…


Countless day trips from Helsinki

If you’re still wondering “Is Helsinki worth visiting?” then rest assured the city can be used as a base to explore many other parts of the country!

Lake Tuusula Finland
Lake Tuusula Finland

Many day trips are around an hour travel from central Helsinki and many will transport you to another world. Here are a few:

  • Porvoo – a medieval town that has narrow streets, cobbled roads, colourful buildings, and plenty of cute restaurants and cafe’s
  • Lake Tuusula – A Stunning lake with a 24km cycle road surrounding it. Home to many Finnish artists.
  • Nuuksio National Park – A national park that is almost completely unspoilt by humans. An idyllic get away.
  • Tallinn – A 2.5 hour ferry ride will take you to the capital of Estonia.

Renting a bike in Helsinki Finland

To rent one of Helsinki’s city bikes you pay €5 for one day – pretty good value!

Theres something ridiculous like 700 docking stations in and around the city so you’ll never go somewhere and not have somewhere to dock your bike.

Fortunately, from my experience, Helsinki isn’t too hilly so the riding is pretty easy and the quality of the bikes isn’t too bad either.

A great way to see the city and surrounding areas.

renting bikes helsinki finland
renting bikes helsinki finland

Outdoor lifestyle

Helsinki’s residents love to do things outdoors In their cities open spaces – of which there are quite a few.

I regularly saw large groups of people having BBQs and gatherings in the city parks.

Children are brought to all kinds of events in Helsinki

During the day and especially of an evening you should take a trip to Park Esplanadi. This long thin strip of grass runs through a central part of the city and has a great atmosphere during the day and a buzzing one during the evenings.


The drone laws in Helsinki Finland.

As I’ve recently come into the possession of a drone I’ve quickly had to become savvy on drone laws wherever I’m flying.

Many countries I feel, are overly strict with their laws which is a real shame as it restricts you a lot with where you can fly your drone – sometimes nowhere it seems.

Thankfully however, Finnish drone laws are sensible, practical, and follow a common sense approach.

helsinki Finland from drone
helsinki Finland from drone

There are 3 no fly zones within the city of Helsinki which are around government and other important buildings.

The rest of the city you can fly in as long as you’re not exceeding 150m and not above large crowds. That lets you get epic shots like this:


So, is Helsinki Finland it worth it?

These are just 8 reasons why Helsinki, Finland is well worth a visit for around 2 or 3 nights.

Helsinki is slightly more expensive than other western countries but no where near the prices you will find in Sweden, Norway, or Iceland. A short break can be more than manageable for the budget.

In addition to the reasons noted above there are of course your usual city walking tours, churches to visit, and beaches to lay on.

If you’re planning on staying longer in Finland then its probably worth including the north of the country in your itinerary. Here the natural landscape can provide countless activities on a longer holiday.

Written by Michael

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Alaska is by far one of the most exciting regions to visit in the world. The reasoning for this is quite simple – it is the “final frontier” for most tourists and a tempting playground for hardcore adventurers. However, do not be taken aback by its vast wilderness and harsh climate! It is as enticing to casual vacationers as it is to adrenaline junkies. If you are having second thoughts on visiting this captivating corner of the globe, here is the ultimate guide to visiting Alaska that might convince you to give it a chance.

Continue reading “The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Alaska”

Written by Michael

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We all know that every country in the world is different. Different traditions, customs, and social norms are a wonderful new experience, but can often take a unsuspecting visitor by surprise. Britain is no different, with such a rich history certain things have evolved that may want to take note of before you visit.

Continue reading “15 Things Worth Knowing About Britain Before you Visit.”

Written by Michael

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You might be tempted to plan your Seattle trip for the height of summer. After all, why would you want your view from the top of the Space Needle spoiled by Rain City’s infamous gray drizzle? But you’ll find something in Seattle for every season, whatever the weather. Whether you’re sightseeing during the more mild months or enjoying cozy cafes and the nearby ski slopes in winter, Seattle offers the perfect getaway.

Continue reading “An Adventure for Every Season in Seattle”

Written by Michael

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The food at London Markets is one of the many sprinkles on the giant cake that is London.

South London has no shortage of these mouthwatering markets.

In recent years the south of London has exploded in with cool things to do and trendy places to be.

Whether it’s a day out with family and friends, or a cheeky evening date, these markets will leave you wanting more with their quirky little stalls and unique vibes.


Maltby Street Market – Bermondsey

South London markets food
Maltby Street Market has delicious offerings!

Maltby Street Market is getting rave reviews from the people who go there. Thankfully it can still be classed as a hidden gem – some people who live in Bermondsey don’t even know it’s there!

The market runs down a thin strip of road that is sandwiched in between the arches of a railway line on one side and modern blocks of flats on the other.

Maltby street London markets
The narrow slither that is Maltby Street Market

Open on Saturdays and Sundays the market caters for all types of food. You’ll find sweet and savoury waffles, dedicated beef stalls, Brownie stalls, and a cheese truck.

The market also caters very well for vegans and vegetarians. Enjoy!


Flat Iron Square – Southwark

Flat Iron Square London Markets
Flat Iron Square seating

Flat iron Square is the newest addition on this list. Opened in 2016 it carries on the theme from Maltby Market of railway arches.

Situated within 7 of these arches you can find a fantastic pizza joint, Motherclucker, Savage Salads, a pancake stall, and south east Asian cuisine.

The market contains a green space that is perfect to relax in during the day.

The project is the first step on trying to link together different communities along the bankside rail viaduct. Hopefully this will lead to more unique South London markets!


Greenwich Market – my fave London markets

Greenwich market London
Greenwich market is my fave (not biased at all)

Image via Flickr from Garry Knight

Having recently gone through major restoration project, Greenwich Market is now a fresh and shiny covered market that plays host to every kind of stall you can imagine.

Within the main hall of the market are the temporary stalls that range from hand crafted watches all the way down to the tastiest Chinese food.

Around the edge of the market, built into its structure, are permanent shops. Some of these range from a dedicated map store to a shop full of antique posters.

The food is towards the north side of the market and literally ranges from all corners of the world. The sushi stalls are my favourite.


Spa Terminus – Bermondsey

If you’re visiting Maltby Market that’s number 1 on this list, then you also have to take a trip to Spa Terminus. Spa Terminus is literally down the road from Maltby!

Spa Terminus is a new addition to the area and is made up of sellers who were previously at Maltby market. The sellers decided to set up another market with a slightly more traditional feel.

Here you will find among others: Ice Cream Union, the London Honey Company, Mons Cheesemongers, and fine wine establishments.


Venn Street Market – Clapham

Venn street market in the sun
Venn street market in the sun

Open every Saturday on Clapham Common Venn street market is a market that works specifically with local producers and farmers.

You will find vegetable stores, fish mongers, bakeries, cheese stalls, and of course brownie stalls!

There are plenty of areas to sit down and soak up the atmosphere. There are also plenty of places to sit down and enjoy the lovely food and drinks that on offer!


The best food at London Markets?

These 5 markets are each unique in their own way and have slightly different vibes.

All these markets are south of the river and within public transport distance, so you could definitely visit more than one in a day if you like.

The food you find will be different in each market, as will be the establishments in which you sit down and eat in.

Take note of these 5 markets and let your tastes buds have a great day out too!

Written by Michael

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You’re not going to find any Empire State Building tours or Sydney Harbour Bridge walks on this awesome adventure trips list.

These are 5 of the most unique travel experiences you can encounter across the world.

Just completing one of these bad boys is going to create a lifetime of memories that you can bring up at fancy dinner parties, and blow the socks off everyone listening.


The Rickshaw Run – India

Adventure trips rickshaw run
The bonkers Rickshaw Run

Richard.birch from Wikimedia Commons

The guys over at The Adventurists are pretty bad ass. They literally run the most ridiculous adventure trips on this planet.

They’re also good people – when you complete these adventures you’re doing it all for charity. Apply halo accordingly.

The most popular and bonkers one of these adventures is called the Rickshaw Run. Your entry fee buys you a rickshaw decorated to your specification – people have gone for Thunderbirds, Pink Panther, and of course Anchorman themes.

Your challenge – to drive this 7hp bunch of crap from one side of India to the other.

You have two weeks to do this, at the start there’s a massive party and theres another one at the end of the route, in-between its up to you. Rickshaw on.


Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride – Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia hot air balloons
Cappadocia hot air balloons

This experience is a little calmer than driving across India in a tin can, yet no less forgettable. You’ve probably seen images of the Cappadocia hot air ballon rides on your Facebook or Instagram feeds.

Picture dozens of colourful hot air balloons ascending  at sunrise over a beautifully green terrain thats punctuated by amazingly shaped stone outcrops – thats Cappadocia.

Getting up at the crack of dawn has never been more worth it. When you get to your hot air balloon you will have some refreshments, then you’ll get in to the basket.

As you silently and majestically rise in unison with dozens of other ballots the landscape will open up in front of you, bathed in the warm golden light from the sunrise.

The trip can last around 1.5 hours and when you land you’ll have champagne and other refreshments to celebrate!


Adventure Trips to The Largest Caves – Vietnam

Adventure trips - Hang en Vietnam
Looking swanky at Hang En Cave in Vietnam

You may have seen me write about this before. This is because I have been fortunate enough to tick this one off the list.

Due to its ridiculously pure limestone that is easily eroded by water, Vietnam has THE largest caves in the world.

It doesn’t just have the largest in the world, it also has the 3rd largest in the world too. The crazy thing is they were only discovered in the 1990’s – how did they miss them?!

Fortunately, you can tour them for yourself as part of a guided expedition. Hang En, the third largest cave in the world is a two day trip where you spend the night in the cave itself.

Hang Son Doon, the largest cave in the world, is a week long expedition for the most adventure prone.

The caves are still not that well known but they are becoming more and more popular. Go see them now before they become another Niagara Falls!


Adventure Trips over a whole continent – Europe

Interrail travel mike treks
Hanging out with friends made while interrailing

Interrailing is definitely one of those adventure trips everyone should do once in their life. You buy one train ticket that covers the whole of Europe and then off you go galavanting around for up to a month.

The great thing is that you can take any route you want and everyone takes a slightly different route visiting different places.

Within Europe there are so many unique experiences for you. You can swim in Lake Bled, go to a spa party in Budapest, experience great cuisine in Italy, party till 5am in Barcelona, and chill on a peaceful island in the Greek sun.

As well as seeing great destinations I found it really interesting to see big differences in countries train systems: Double decker trains that are so efficient in the Netherlands, to soviet style trains that you can walk faster than in the East.

Biggest tip – Do it solo! 🙂


Live like a tribesperson – Australia.

adventure trips arnhem land

Far away on the edge of Australias Northern Territory lies the Indigenous East Arnhem Land.

This sacred expanse of land is home tot he Yolngu people who live in the same traditional way that their ancestors did thousands of years ago.

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a true tribes person then this is your ultimate opportunity.

You’ll spend a week with the tribe learning how to hunt, gather, make food, dance, as well as how to take part in traditional activities such as painting.

During this trip you will feel like you’ve travelled thousands of years into the past and will marvel at your remoteness.

After you leave you will feel like you have a new connection with the world and you will never be able to look at modern society in quite the same way.


These 5 adventure trips are each unique and unforgettable. Just completing one of these 5 adventures will leave you will a lifetime of memories and stories to tell.

The uniqueness of these trips means that no one else you know if likely to have completed them. I’ve personally been to on two of these 5 and no one I know has even heard of the caves in Vietnam!

Written by Michael

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Everybody loves holidays, that goes without saying. The change in surroundings, the very idea of breaking away from your daily routine and leaving it all behind is often enough to make a holiday good enough without even doing anything on it. That said, why settle for less? If you’re already on holiday, you might as well go the extra mile and actually enjoy your time somewhere in a country which you paid a hefty sum for plane tickets to get to. Holidays are nowhere near as common as we would like, whether it’s because you can’t get time off work, or maybe due to budgeting reasons, not everyone can go on holidays as much as they hoped, meaning we have to make do with the little time we do have. When you do actually finally make it to your holiday destination of choice, you’ve already committed, spent a decent amount of money to get there and probably already paid for a hotel or an Airbnb. For some, it might feel like spending on anything else would be suicide. Don’t let that feeling drag you and your holiday spirits down, people spend money on holiday, that’s just the nature of the beast, and at the end of the day, would you rather dip a little bit into your savings or have a mediocre holiday? Without any further ado, let’s look at things which you could splash some cash on during your vacation to whatever part of the world you decide to explore this time, and know that it will be worth it. Continue reading “When On Holidays, Go The Extra Mile: Make It Count.”

Written by Michael

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Let’s be honest, there are no shortage of Sushi restaurants in London.

Like most things in life however, not all sushi restaurants are created equally.

You can pop into some sushi restaurants and leave feeling like a wet fish full of disappointment.

What you’re really looking for are those restaurants that transport you to Japan, where local Japanese people go, and where you will leave feeling like a puffer fish full of delicious sushi and optimism.

Thankfully, if you are in London, you are blessed with some great and varied sushi options, here they are.


Eat Tokyo Sushi Restaurants

eat tokyo sushi restaurants london
Be warned – the lines do get quite big!

Stupidly, i’m going to start this list with my favourite sushi restaurant. I know you should save the best till last, but i’m just so excited about it!

Eat Tokyo is very popular; you’ll usually have a 10-15 minute line outside the restaurants, especially the one in Soho. Once you’re in however, its awesome and bustling.

The selection is so vast that you are literally given a ring binder by your server, who by the way, will likely be dressed in traditional Japanese attire.

The food is great quality and super cheap for London. Salmon Teriyaki nomnomnom.

Soho, Holborn, Notting Hill, and more. 


Zaibatsu – Greenwich

Zaibatsu Sushi Greenwich London
Zaibatsu Sushi Greenwich London

I cant write this article without including my local favourite.

To be honest, Zaibatsu in Greenwich South East London, looks rather drab from the outside. However, when you enter the very small and cosy establishment, it is full of atmosphere.

The small plastic chairs that surround the few tables remind you of South East Asia, and the food is good quality yet cheap.

You have to book to eat here because its so popular and seating is limited!

Greenwich


Sushi Cafe

Sushi Cafe platter london
Sushi Cafe platter London

All you can eat great sushi? Its not a dream you little munchkin!

Sushi Cafe’ in Battersea has a great fixed menu full of traditional and fusion style sushi, from which you are free to order.

However, it also has a buffet full of great sushi rolls and other dishes!

You have 90 minutes to eat as much as you can before the staff will roll you out like a sushi roll.

Battersea


Roka

Roka is rather fancy, and because of that, its rather expensive. However, if you’re willing to push the boat out a bit, its so worth spending the extra money.

The restaurants have an open grill in the middle of the room where you can see the sushi being cooked.

You can sit around this table if you want to get really close to the action!

Charlotte Street, Canary Wharf, Aldwych, and Mayfair. 


Sticks ‘N’ Sushi Restaurants London

sticks and sushi london

Sticks ‘N’ Sushi is extremely well established across London. It’s probably the second most expensive option on this list, behind Roka, but its provides great quality sushi in a warm and cosy atmosphere.

With soothing music playing in the background, all you need to do it sit back and let the extremely professional staff serve you beautifully created and scrumptious sushi.

Greenwich, Covent Garden, Wimbledon, and more. 


Rock Star Sushi Restaurant

Rock Star Sushi Bar is consistently rated 5 stars by pretty much everyone who visits it.

The establishment itself is tiny so you need to book, once you’re in however, the sushi looks and tastes amazing. The restaurant prides itself on the presentation of the food and it will delight you with its concoctions that are reasonably priced.

After you leave here and you’ll feel like a rock star sushi roll 😉

Merton

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If you’re looking for the ultimate turkey travel guide, then look no further!

Turkey is has an enthralling history and its geographical position means it’s been home to a number of powerful civilisations. Greek city-states, Hittites, Assyrians, Phrygians, Cappadocians, Armenians, Romans, Byzantines, and Turks have all called Turkey home.

Continue reading “Your Ultimate Turkey Travel Guide.”

Written by Michael

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If you’re looking for a sports-crazy nation, then look no further than the USA. The country regularly tops the medal table at the Summer Olympics and plays host to the Super Bowl, the world’s most widely watched sporting event. Sports run through this country, as whole cities turn out to watch their college teams play, and game attendance numbers regularly top 100,000. With a country so rich in sports you really don’t want to miss any of it. Here are five of the best states for sports fans to visit.

Continue reading “The Best U.S States to Visit for Sports Fans”

Written by Michael

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Taking your family on holiday can craft memories that will last forever. However, the responsibility that comes with taking your family on holiday can be daunting, and the potential problems that can arise are numerous. The thoughts are probably going through your head — what if my little one becomes ill while we’re away? What if there is a natural disaster? With the recent collapse of Monarch Airlines, which stranded thousands of customers across the globe, you could also be wondering if you could become stranded as well.

These are all natural worries to have. However, they are all easily manageable if you take small and easy steps before and on your holiday to mitigate the potential pitfalls.

Continue reading “The Essentials for Peace of Mind On A Family Holiday.”

Written by Michael

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This like of the 5 best things to do in Bangkok will save your skin! Being a foreigner in a city as huge as Bangkok can be a daunting experience; you want to make sure you go to the best places and you absolutely don’t want to miss out on any opportunities in this jewel of Asia.

Having stayed in Bangkok a couple of times myself, and after gaining multiple tips from other travelers, I’ve compiled this list of the best leisure activities to enjoy during your stay. During your time in the city, make sure you stay in some of the best IHG hotels in Bangkok.

Continue reading “Things to do in Bangkok – The Top 5 Adventures.”

Written by Michael

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As you probably already know, travelling can be a life changing experience.

It gives you the opportunity to see sights around the world that you’ve never seen before. You can join other cultures that you’d never normally experience, and be able to appreciate other climates than what you’re used to at home.

There are also many benefits of travel that can also bring many other things into your life that can make you a better person. Want to know more?

Here’s the benefits of travel and how travelling can make you a better person.

Continue reading “Benefits of travel, How it Makes You A Better Person”

Written by Michael

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There are beautiful places to visit in Morocco everywhere you go in the country. Geographically this country is only about the size of California however, this dainty country has a population of about 34 million, and it is incredibly rich and complex in its history.

Moroccans have stayed one of the friendliest and most hospitable individuals within the world. You can virtually speak to anyone that has ventured through Morocco and they’ll all say a similar thing, that Moroccan kindness and cordial reception is one of the finest around. 

places to visit in morocco collage
Morocco collage

The country is full of colours, It’s beauty sparks from mountain ranges elongating throughout the country, to the glistening azure ocean, and the yellow sand dunes of the desert.

The country is additionally home to uncountable lovely cities, everyone adding to Morocco’s distinctive landscape and culture.

Here are ten of the loveliest places for you to go to.

Your Moroccon Holiday could be the best and most memorable holiday in a long time. 


Essaouira

Continue reading “The Best Places To Visit In Morocco.”

Written by Michael

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Phoenix, Arizona, is renowned for being one of the top cities in the USA for scenic hikes that will take your breath away. The city sits in the middle of the desert but is punctuated and surrounded by many hills and mountains that offer great views of the area. If you’re visiting the city and staying with friends, family, or in a great IHG hotel in Phoenix, then you have to take in at least one of these trails. These rocky outcrops are just waiting to be explored!

Continue reading “The Coolest Scenic Hikes in and Around Phoenix, AZ”

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 You might have been thinking about going to the US for a holiday – and why not? Whether it’s a road trip, a jolly around New York, or a crazy-exciting holiday to Orlando’s theme parks, they’re all guaranteed to be super fun. It’s just there’s one big headache that comes about when you’re planning these trips…actually getting there. There’s the hassle of packing your luggage, dealing with the paperwork, wondering exactly how many coffees you’ll need to deal with the jetlag (or for the adventurous among us, finding out what is the absolute maximum amount of caffeine a human body can tolerate before, presumably, it just implodes).

Continue reading “Holidays to the US, the easy way”

Written by Michael

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This New Zealand Travel Itinerary has been and will be our holy grail holiday for as long as we shall live and every bit of this Middle Earth quest has been special.

New Zealand is all about 30 million sheep, unbelievable panoramas and a warm, welcoming culture.

The Adventure Starts in the North…

Our adventure begins on the North Island in Auckland, the City of Sails, where we spend a better part of the first day learning the ropes of driving and navigating on the city’s busy roads.

The city is home to 1.7 million people but public transport isn’t the best, so hire a car! A visit to the cities iconic SkyTower, which is open till 10:30pm, shows amazing 360 degree views of the city from its observation deck.

Our exploits kick into high gear the next morning when the 3-hour ride to Paihia, Bay of Islands, becomes a 6-hour one when we ignore our GPS and stop at Orewa, Northland’s luxurious setting on the South Pacific that inspires the good life. We then finally arrive at the perfect seaside town of Paihia which has an illustrious history.

Our hotel, The Copthorne, is located right next to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds where the first accord was signed between the Māori people and the British crown.

The next morning we’re at the pier at 9 AM sharp to hop on to a freezing ocean cruise looking for whales, but alas, it wasn’t our day. Hungry from the high tides of the South Pacific, we land in the afternoon at the island town of Russel, the once-infamous, lawless whaling station known as the ‘Hellhole of the Pacific’.

After a satiating lunch overlooking the picture-perfect wharf, I’m seriously questioning the so-called ‘hellhole’ nature of this town.

A walk around the reformed Russell is eye-opening – not only does it possess an innately romantic feel, but it also houses the country’s oldest church, the Christ Church, complete with the original altar.

I stand in the cemetery beside the statue of the great Māori chief Tāmati Wāka Nene, who fought against colonial rule in Russell, and I cannot help but revere the stories of bravery and the musket holes in the walls.

Māori Culture at its finest

Pohutu Geyser New Zealand travel guide
Pohutu Geyser, Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley

Which brings us to the Māori culture, a ubiquitous, fascinating spirit that all New Zealanders, natives and otherwise, take great pride in. Rotorua, our next sojourn, is the polestar of this culture and part of the Whakarewarewa geothermal valley.

We feast our eyes on the near-threatened Kiwi bird and the 100-ft. tall Pohutugeyser, and get a taste of Māori dance, art and craft forms, and community spirit at Te Puia, the Māori village.

What better a way to wash down a busy day than unwind with natural geothermal bathing? That’s what we did at the Polynesian Spa on the sulphur-ridden banks of Lake Rotorua – a highlight of our New Zealand travel itinerary

As the sun sets, we land up, thoroughly refreshed and incredibly hungry, at Eat Streat, Rotorua’s best worst-kept secret where you’ll find all the food in the world under one roof. Need I say more?

The land of the Hobbit..

Hobbiton set New Zealand travel guide
Hobbiton set

Our excitement spins out of control the next day when we watch fantasy come to life at the Hobbiton set in Matamata in the verdant Kaimai ranges.

44 hobbit holes, including the famous Bag End, pale in comparison to what we feel when we actually get to stand inside one of them and say ‘Hey, we are hobbits of the Shire!’.

After listening to astounding details from our friendly guide-turned-barman, we grab drinks at the Green Dragon Inn and snap pictures with a life-size statue of Gandalf before reluctantly heading out.

The South Island Travel Itinerary

After a week of touring North Island, the action moves to South Island when we land at Christchurch one windy afternoon.

An after-hours-walk in Central Christchurch reveals to us the city’s resilience and spirit of rebuilding its life after having been torn apart by earthquakes. Heading out of Christchurch we move towards wilder alpine vistas as we take the road to the small town of Franz Josef on the islands West Coast.

On the way we are taken in by Castle Hill, New Zealand’s stunning answer to Stonehenge and cannot help but stare at the brilliant blue waters of the Haast River.

Our greatest find is the site of the former Aylesbury Train Station outside Christchurch which was completely blown away in a storm in 1976.

As well as a great history spot, you can experience sweeping, vantage-point views of the great Southern Alps from the site of the station .

Arriving at Franz Josef you see remnants of a gold rush past and citizens who cycle to work.

After a laidback two-day stay in Franz Josef where we do nothing but eat, cook and walk around, we are pleasantly surprised when our friendly waitress tells us we’re already 1/15th locals!

The journey to Queenstown is an enthralling ride through Mount Aspiring National Park. We scribble a message on Bruce Bay’s Pile of Rocks, elated to leave behind a little of us in Kiwi country.

We fill our bottles up from the river at Fantail Falls, another great off-the-road find, and even build our own rock cairn, sitting pretty amongst hundreds of others.

We swat at sandflies while reading about New Zealand’s history at Knight’s Point, where the azure waters of the Tasman Sea are almost unbelievable. Just before we hit Queenstown, we catch the views of a lifetime of the summer Otago countryside from Cardrona Pass.

Fantail Falls Otago New Zealand
Rock cairns, Fantail Falls, Otago

Queenstown throbs with energy and the promise of thrill is in the air. Adventure activities in the city are like a rite of passage for those visiting New Zealand.

Despite being acrophobic and in denial, I skydived from 15,000 ft. over Lake Wakatipu with a hunky instructor strapped to my back and experienced the thrill of jumping over the Kawarau river, the site of the world’s first bungy.

Another exhilarating encounter on your New Zealand travel itinerary is the Shotover Jet – one boat, 10-cm shallow river waters, narrow, twisted canyons, great speeds, 360-degree turns and a tagline that reads ‘Can you handle the canyons?’.

Things mellow down the next day as we set out to encounter what legend says is a god’s creation – Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park.

The moody, rain-obsessed Fiordland National Park envelops our senses entirely with its mirror lakes, cloudy realms, glacier-carved mountains and discerning perpetuity.

We fight off sandflies with gusto, encountering fur seals taking a siesta and bottlenose dolphins squealing joyously. On our way out, we even come upon a pair of the impish Kea, the only alpine parrots in the world.

Lake Pukaki, Canterbury New Zealand travel guide
Clouds over Lake Pukaki, Canterbury

On the way to Mount Cook village, our last leg of the journey, the shadows of the clouds on the turquoise waters of Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo is a sight my senses will never let me forget.

Later that rainy night, as I stare at the great Aoraki summit, I feel the natural and the mystical spirit of New Zealand come together. This New Zealand travel itinerary, which is certainly not our last one in this country, has indeed been a privilege.

Malavika Madgula is a freelance writer and coffee-lover well-versed in the art of Kopfkino. Sings non-stop praises about New Zealand, believes in domino theory and is always up to discuss Harry Potter. Her blog can be found here malavika24.wordpress.com.

Written by Michael

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There’s plenty of fun things to do in the hippy city of Flagstaff. The city is nestled in the stunning red rock scenery of northern Arizona and offers activities through both summer and winter.

Flagstaff is at a much higher elevation than Phoenix and Tucson, so has a much greener environment with lots of forests and grasslands.

The area is considerably colder than its fellow Arizonan cities, so you should pack some long sleeves and trousers!

The city is around a 4-hour drive north from Tucson and a 2.5-hour drive North of the state capital, Phoenix.

There’s also plenty of fun things to do in Flagstaff, you just need someone to write about them for you…

Continue reading “5 Fun Things to do in Flagstaff, Arizona”

Written by Michael

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If you like your holidays to be full of adventure, Iceland is the ideal trip for you. It isn’t your average sunbathing, sand and sea, and you’re more likely to have a hot chocolate in your hand than a cocktail, but it will certainly be an experience to remember. Iceland is one of those places you absolutely have to see at least once in a lifetime, and with so much to do there, it’s difficult to narrow down your sightseeing list. So, if you’ve got a short time frame in Iceland, here’s what you need to prioritise.

Continue reading “Iceland Bound? Here's Your Must See List.”

Written by Michael

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Everyone yearns to visit certain bucket list holidays more than others. There’s a certain allure that places a destination in your mind and it never leaves.

You always have that urge to visit those places and dream of the time you will spend exploring the sights. These destinations can be on our minds for years, it’s just down to us to visit them!

Here are my top 5 bucket list destinations, one may raise a few eyebrows!

Continue reading “Check Out My 5 Epic Bucket List Holidays.”

Written by Michael

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Looking for the best places to Visit in Istanbul?

Of course you are, its a stunning city just waiting to be explored!

Istanbul is located in the perfect place to enjoy a diverse mix of cultures and all the attractions that these cultures provide.

Situated right in the middle of Europe and Asia, the country is a melting pot of huge civilisations.

Imagine being on one continent, and then in an instant, you are transported to another one via a short boat or taxi ride. Its location makes Istanbul a very unique place to visit that very few other destinations can rival.

Continue reading “The Best Places to Visit in Istanbul.”

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When you think of festivals, Milwaukee may not instantly spring to mind. Yet it should, since Milwaukee is the City of Festivals! In addition to playing host to the largest festival in the world, the city puts on a dazzling variety of events that you probably didn’t even know existed. Here’s a list of the top five festivals you must attend in 2018. Bear in mind, this popular festival city runs out of accommodations quickly, so book your Milwaukee hotel in advance!

Continue reading “The City of Festivals: The Top 5 Festivals in Milwaukee.”

Written by Michael

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We all love knowing that we’re visiting somewhere that not many people know about. You want to head off the beaten track, find a hidden gem, and go where the locals go. What’s better than doing this while also being immersed in some of America’s Prohibition-era history? Well, if you want to achieve this, then you need to head to one of a number of hidden speakeasy-inspired bars dotted around Chicago. Check out these five speakeasy bars in some of my favorite Chicago neighborhoods that offer that hidden gem feeling along with some of the best cocktails around.

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Written by Michael

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Summer might be in full swing, but we’ve still got some time left before the holiday season is over. And this especially the case in Spain. When it comes to travelling and visiting different countries, Spain has it all. This stunning European country offers an incredible slice of culture, delicious food, breathtaking views and an interesting history. Although the coasts can get packed at this time of year, the cities often come alive. So if you’re looking to fit in a last minute trip before the sun dies down, here are five Spanish cities to consider seeing.

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Written by Michael

3min read

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Many people like the idea of booking a life-changing safari holiday with their families or as a solo traveller. However, lots of folks don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing the perfect destination. With that in mind, there is a list of suitable locations mentioned in this article. They are some of the most popular countries in which anyone can take part in a safari experience. Those who want to do that just need to perform some extra research before making their bookings. Also, it should come as no surprise that travellers will have to make their way over to the African continent.

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Written by Michael

3min read

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Travelling is undoubtedly extremely exciting and very rewarding, but it can be a bit of a nightmare at times too. Planning, packing, navigating your way through international airports – they can all cause you a major headache at times. The goods news is I’ve put together some Seasoned Traveller approved travel tips to make your next adventure a bit easier:

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Written by Michael

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Travelling, in all forms, is a journey of discovery. No matter where you go or how you travel, you’ll be discovering new ways of living, even if you’re not fully conscious at the time. When you’re trying to mumble through your broken French, or seeing whole cities pull down the blinds during siesta hours, you’re adding another layer to your education. If you thrive on this type of learning, then the world is your oyster. If you throw yourself into the deep end, at the end of your comfort zone no less, then you’ll be rewarded by awesome experience after awesome experience. Below, we take a look at five ways you can find the adventure you seek.

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Written by Michael

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Everyone wants to go on vacation to escape the worries and troubles of their general working life. However, many people only think about where they’re going to vacation and don’t think about further considerations, such as how to do so with the most style.

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Written by Michael

6min read

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With a look of old and new, sharp and soft, Eastern Europe invites visitors for an untimely experience. If you are enthusiastic about discovering grand history, or a person seeking modern excitement, this place is ideal for you. This region will gift you a one of a kind experience that will last a lifetime.

Continue reading “Top 5 cities in Eastern Europe”

Written by Michael

4min read

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If you’re a keen skier then you’ve more than likely been to your fair share of ski resorts. You’ve most likely experienced what it’s like to ski in each of the countries most famous for snow topped mountains and the resorts the sit at their feet. You’ve probably even been to your fair share of ski towns for some after-slope refreshments. However, as good as it is to see and experience different kinds of slopes and ski resorts, wouldn’t it be nice to find the one that is perfect for you? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to plant your flag firmly into the ground of a piste (metaphorically, of course) and decide that this is the one for you? If you’re in the process of finding your perfect piste paradise, then make sure to take heed of the three great pistes listed below before you come to your final decision!

Continue reading “Finding Your Perfect Piste of Paradise – The Top 3.”