How to cross the border between Thailand and Laos?

The crossing of a border always generates stress and a little apprehension. This is why we generally prefer to know what to expect. Our border crossing between Thailand and Laos via the city of Chiang Khong and the two days of slow boat on the Mekong went off without a hitch. I also suggest the various detailed steps and my advice if you intend to cross the land border between these two countries.

How to cross the border between Thailand and Laos?

We crossed the border from northern Thailand and more specifically the city of Chiang Rai. Almost unmissable step of travelers. To go from Thailand to Laos, several options are available to you. We opted for the most economical by avoiding all-inclusive packages. Here’s all you need to know for your Thai-Lao border crossing.

boat on the mekong laos

First step: the bus to Friendship Bridge

For this first step, two options are available to you:

Option 1: Take a bus from Chiang Rai to Friendship Bridge. These are the red buses to Chiang Khong. You will notice them quickly as the drivers will call you right away when they see you coming. He leaves one every half an hour. The first at 6am until 5pm in the evening. If you plan to take the boat, opt for a departure between 6 and 7 am to be on time at the pier. Allow about 2 hours for 65 baht (= € 1.60). Remember to report your destination to the driver even if it will most likely stop. Once off the bus, the tuk tuk are waiting for you to take you to the border.

Option 2: Spend the night in Chiang Khong. This is the option we have chosen and we recommend it if you are not in a hurry. The city is small and quiet, but we were taken advantage of a hotel with pool at the unbeatable price of 5 euros a night. So we made the bus ride the day before. On the D day, we took a minivan chartered by our hotel to go directly to the border post for 100 baht each.

Second step: get out of Thailand

Once filed by your driver, you arrive at the border post to leave the Thai territory. You will have to present your passport as well as the part of your visa concerning the exit of the territory. A stamp later, we’re out of Thailand! At this point, there is no choice but to take a bus. It will cost you 20 Baht per person. The journey is very short, it serves you only to cross the free zone between the two countries.

Third step: the entrance to Laos

On leaving the bus you will need to fill out two documents necessary to obtain your Laotian visa. Remember to take both, otherwise you will have to queue again (how does that feel the experience?). Once your documents are filled, also carry a photo ID, your passport but also US $ 30 (depending on your nationality). Remember to bring dollars beforehand, the rate is more interesting than bahts or kips. The visa is valid for 30 days. Note that if you arrive before 8am, after 4pm or at the weekend, you will have to pay $ 1 more..!

Contrary to what we had read the customs officers were quick to return our passports with our visa validated. All you have to do is cross the border post. It must have taken about twenty minutes. Here we are in Laos!

At the exit of Laotian border post you will find the famous tuk tuk, Laotian this time. They will accompany you to the pier for 10,000 kips per person! And yes change of currency and direction of circulation! But rest assured, all drivers accept bahts or dollars. However, you will have to wait for it to be full. It is not yet 10 o’clock, we are on time!

Fourth stage: the slow boat cruise on the Mekong

Again, for your crossing of the Mekong you have two options.

Option 1: The speed boat. If you are in a hurry and do not mind lounging on a boat for long hours, opt for this fast boat. For me, this is not the best solution. While you will arrive in 7 hours but the conditions of travel are anything but pleasant. You will have to wear a motorcycle helmet (yes yes), not so good to enjoy the scenery. Not to mention the deafening noise. Oh yes and it’s more expensive of course…

Option 2: The slow boat. You can imagine it’s the one we chose. Two days to go up the Mekong and relax for 1000 baht per person. Remember to refuel before departure. You will always find something to do on board but the prices are doubled and the choice is limited to beers, chips or other instant soups.

slow boat Mekong

Comfort is rudimentary on the slow boat. This wooden boat is equipped with… car seats. The mixture is new but works well! Always better than the wooden benches we had heard about. But do not worry after two days sitting you will have anyway buttocks.

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What to visit in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, in 3 days?

After a three-week itinerary in Vietnam, we reach the fourth country of our tour of Southeast Asia, I named: Cambodia! We begin the discovery of this country by Phom Penh, its capital. Ideal to take the pulse of this place deeply marked by its past. We took advantage of these three days in Phnom Penh to learn more about Cambodia’s history and culture. On the program, a visit to the S-21 museum, witness to the horrors perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge and the Royal Palace, a little taste of what we will discover later, the famous temples of Angkor. Not to mention a small detour to the market to taste the local specialties. If you are looking for what to do in Phnom Penh in 3 days, this is where it goes;).

The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21)

For some, traveling is like seeing landscapes and taking pictures in front of monuments. Sometimes you have to invest a little more. It’s trying to understand the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime that we decided to visit the S-21 museum. A trying but necessary visit. A former high school, Tuol Sleng (or S-21) was one of the most secret prisons in a network of more than 200 Khmer Rouge prisons across the country. Today transformed into a museum, S-21 makes it possible to not forget trying to explain the madness of the Pol Pot regime. As soon as we enter, we are struck by the silence that reigns in this place where the violence of torture still reverberates. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge enter Phom Penh. First welcomed as a hero by the people, the regime imposed by their leader Pol Pot, will sow death and be responsible for one of the greatest genocides of the last century.

To better understand, I advise you to opt for the audio guide. Your visit will take you into the torture rooms left as they are to measure the madness of the executioners. The frame of a bed on which the prisoners were attached and a case of ammunition to make needs. In the courtyard, a wooden structure formerly used in gymnastics classes now serves to torture prisoners by hanging them by the arms. Between 12,000 and 20,000 men, women and children, both Cambodian and foreign, lost their lives. Their crime? Be suspected of conspiracy. Under Pol Pot’s command, simply wearing glasses makes you an enemy of the regime. Upon its discovery in 1979 by the Vietnamese army, the last prisoners have been emptied of their blood by their torturers who have fled. Their graves, white and nameless, were installed in the garden. Only 12 people survived the horror S-21.

If you have a good heart, you can continue your history course by going to Killing Fiels, a few kilometers from the city center. Fields of execution as there were several in the country during the three years of terror Pol Pot. We chose to save ourselves this visit.

Price : 5 US$ without audio guide and 8 US$ with. We took one for two and we were able to use both thanks to the headphones we had in the bag.

Museum Genocide Torture Coin S21

The Royal Palace

One of the most visited places in Phnom Penh is the Royal Palace. Like the one in Bangkok, it houses the royal family. The whole site is home to several beautiful buildings including the throne room or the famous silver pagoda which contains the Emerald Buddha. It is a richly decorated pavilion paved with more than 5,000 silver tiles. Inside, you will also find beautiful statues of Buddhas encrusted with precious stones. As usual go early preferably to avoid crowds of tourists (Chinese) but especially the overwhelming sun from 10 in the morning.

Price :$ 10. It’s a bit expensive, it’s true but the visit is nice!

Silver Pagoda Royal Palace Phnom Penh

Wat Ounalom temple

This temple attracts the eye from the seaside with its pretty shapes and bright colors. You will not find anything special or tourist, but you will not pay anything. Just for that, it’s worth taking a look. The sunset on Wat Ounalom, one of the most important of the city, from the seaside promenade is quite nice too.

Price : Free

Wat Ounalom

The Phar Reatrey Night Market

True to our habits, we avoided restaurants to discover Khmer culinary specialties directly in the night market. And we were not disappointed! Subtle mixtures of spices, fish or curry, you’ll find what you’re after. And to savor your dish, sit on the floor, like locals. The experience is pleasant, trust me

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Visit Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand with my 10 must-sees

During our stay in the north of Thailand we went through the very active Chiang Mai. Thailand’s second largest city after Bangkok, Chiang Mai will offer you everything you can expect from a big city including some activities of its own. I recommend 10 activities to do in Chiang Mai to make your trip a success.  

Strolling at the Sunday Night Walking Market  

As its name suggests, it takes place only on Sunday nights in the city center and extends for several kilometers. The advantage of this market? There is everything! and has countless booths! From the inescapable street food to clothes, shoes and many other souvenir ideas.  

sunday night walking market

Spend a day at the Elephant Nature Park  

What a joy to go to meet these extraordinary animals! Elephant Nature Park has a large number of projects to discover the daily life of these mammals. Surely you will not regret it. My complete experience is to be found here.  

elephants park chiang mai

Treat yourself to a Thai massage at the Chiang Mai Women’s Prison

Forget any prejudices immediately! To experience a real Thai massage, the Chiang Mai Women’s Prison is, without a doubt, the best place in the city. Through a reintegration program, women have the opportunity to learn the ancestral art of Thai massage during the last 6 months of their sentence. Reintegration support recognized throughout Chiang Mai.  

Thai massage price

Visit the Silver Temple  

The Silver Temple, or Wat Sri Suphan, its real name, is far from being attacked by tourists and yet it is worth a look! Its facade, entirely in silver, is full of details. Note, all the same, women are not allowed to enter. Why? Well, according to Lanna beliefs, women, because of their menstruation, could defile the temple… On the other hand, you will surely hear about the Doi   Suthep. Be aware that this temple is outside the city and you will need to take a taxi or a Songthaew   to get there. However, these taxis must leave full for the price to be advantageous. Find out more about your hotel!  

silver temple

Take a Thai cooking class  

Want to learn how to make a green curry or the best dessert : glutinous rice with mango? It is very easy to find a cooking class that meets your expectations in Chiang Mai. Personally, we opted for The Lot Of Thai. And we feasted. I tell you more quickly!  

To eat a Khao Soi  

You thought all of Thailand was crazy about Thai curry and pad? Yes but not only! Like France, each region has its own culinary specialties. Here it is Khao Soi, a coconut milk and curry soup with crunchy noodles! If you too are a vegetarian, do not worry – you, tofu options are common in Chiang Mai!  

Chat with a monk  

If you have the opportunity do it. Several temples in the city, such as Wat Chedi   Luang or the Silver Temple, offer the opportunity to meet a monk during a Monk Chat session. The opportunity to ask him the questions that tease you about his way of life. In addition, it’s free!  

Listen to live music at Ploen Ruedee Night Market  

A nice discovery that this international food court that allows groups in the region to perform every night of the week except Sunday! You will find Thai food of course but also burgers, falafels or pizzas. Not very local but delicious!  

food court night market

Visit the White Temple of Chiang Rai  

Located a few kilometers north, I advise you to go to Chiang Rai for a day including visiting the famous White Temple. One of my favorite temples among all those visited in Thailand.  

white temple chiang rai

Buy souvenirs at Night Bazaar and Anusarn Night Market  

If you want to spoil your loved ones with some souvenirs from Thailand, you will find your happiness at Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. Stands of scarves, soaps or handmade bracelets do not miss! If you’re hungry, the Anusarn Night Market and its huge food court are here for you!  

night bazaar chiang mai

And you, what are your inevitable in Chiang Mai?  

 

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13 Safe Destinations for Traveling and Single Girls

Today we are going to talk to you about the most successful destinations so that you can go alone without having to worry about your safety. Do you want to discover them? Read and share because many traveling girls will be interested in the information!

1. Thailand: If you love seeing Asian temples, you should go to the Royal Palace in Bangkok. If you like hiking, your best choice will be the Doi Inthanon National Park, there are also local tribes from which you can learn new customs and see their outfits. If you love to go shopping, then your best choice will be the Chatuchak market, where you can buy unique and very beautiful crafts. Read about more sites in Thailand

2. Canada: it is undoubtedly a continuous adventure. Hire a boat trip to see whales, taking it from Vancouver. You can get close to Niagara Falls and take the most beautiful photos. Do not miss out on architectural tourism as well, as you contemplate works of art such as the Notre-Dame Basilica, if you have time, plan a summer trip by road through Banff National Park. Read more about Banff

3. Iceland: Shocking landscapes and within your reach the best options to take care of you. It will be a pleasure to go, for example, to the hot springs of Myvatn, its warm waters are special to end allergies or itching. If you love hiking, go to the waterfalls of Skogafoss, to enjoy them is an experience. You can dive as well as stop to take photographs in Glacier Lake, where there are ice chips and icebergs scattered throughout the area. Read more about Iceland

4. New Zealand: it ‘s all a fairy tale. In fact, it has some of the most unusual places in the world. Swimming in Blue Pool Track will be one of the most wonderful experiences you have ever lived in your life, with turquoise waters and lakes that fall in love. Take a tour of the beach of Koekohe, where there are spherical rocks very striking. Great for pictures. Guided hiking trails in Westland National Park will transport you to an amazing ice maze. Read more about New Zealand.

5. Holland: If you love history, go to the Anne Frank house, walk through the botanical garden of Keukenhof, it will be a delight for your senses for its lakes with floating flowers, also if you like art you should not leave the opportunity to go to the museum of Rembrandt.

6. Scandinavia: Walking through Helsinki will reveal a great architectural wealth for its museums and its old fortress. There are many sports that we can practice near the lakes, among them, hiking, camping, cycling or skiing. If you are an urbanite, then your best choice will be Copenhagen. Going to the opera and the theater will be a delicacy.

7. Costa Rica: The observation of nature and relaxation in paradisiacal beaches will be possible in the Manuel Antonio National Park. If you love surfing, then do not think about it and go to the town of Puerto Viejo. In Tortuguero, you will see the spawning of sea turtles. An unforgettable experience.

8. Ireland: If you love landscapes full of mystery and melancholy but in which you feel freedom, your perfect visit will be to the Cliffs of Moher, although if you are a “book-eater” then your favorite place will be the Chester Beatty Library. Walking through the gardens of Blarney Castle will be a positive and romantic experience.

9. Bali: If you like sports such as surfing or diving, then do not miss Sanur beach. Legian is one of the most romantic beaches, where you can also practice surfing in the surf areas. If you want to see its most original temples, then go to Ubud Monkey Forest.

10. Singapore: Do not leave aside the Universal Studios amusement park, you can also hire a night safari at the zoo, as well as explore the Asian temples such as the Sri Mariamman. If you like birds, you can see many different species in the Jurong Bird Park.

11. South Korea: You can go hiking in Seoraksan, as well as visit the classical temples such as Haedong Yonggungsa. If you love shopping you can buy fabrics, jewelry and crafts at the Myeong-dong market.

12. Austria: one of the most beautiful places to enjoy classic architecture, visiting areas such as the Belvedere Palace, the Hofburg Imperial Palace or the St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Read about more sites in Austria

13. Bhutan: If you want to go hiking, one of the places that will surprise you will be the Taktshang mountain, being advisable to go with a guide. Going to the monasteries will be one of the most interesting activities to talk with monks and better understand Buddhism. Do not miss the Dechen Phodrang Monastery. Read more about Tiger Elnido

 

 

 

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Travel to Asia – The Unmissable Taiwan

Today I propose you to go to the China Sea and more particularly to the island of Taiwan. The archipelago wants to be independent although this status is not recognized by the international community, which officially attributes it to China.
Not necessarily one of the flagship destinations of Asia, the island has many assets to attract tourists. So it’s bag on the back and in the company of my brother and my Taiwanese sister-in-law, who made me discover the island off the beaten track, I take you to discover the inevitable Taiwan!

1) Go fishing in an Urban Shrimps Fishing Place

Urban Shrimps Fishing Place

The Taiwanese spend whole days in these places where large basins have been built to be able to fish shrimp and lobsters. We pay here by the hour and if we are good fisherman it can quickly prove profitable. This was not our case since after an hour and a half, several locals had pity the kindness to come show us some techniques to get some crustaceans. In most of these places there is a kitchen available and for a few Taiwan dollars it is possible to eat what we have just caught!

– Here is the address of the one I went to: yuantong road lane 205, Taipei
– Count around 20-30 euros for fishing a few hours, the material (bait and canes) is provided

2) Go for a swim in hot springs

Taiwan being a volcanic island you will find plenty of hot springs for swimming. We tested one about 30 minutes from the center of Taipei, you can rent a vehicle to get there. This thermal spring includes several pools of different temperatures. It is possible to rent for a few hours private terraces with Jacuzzi and views of the China Sea!
– Here is the site of the place we visited: Warmspring.com
– About 10 euros entry per person (The price varies depending on the duration and the type of pool where you want to go)

3) See the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial

True representation of Taiwanese art in all its splendor, the Chiang Kai-Shek memorial is simply a monumental size as you can see in the film I made on Taiwan ! The building contains in particular a status of Kai-shek first president of the Republic of China. The memorial is located in a park with fountain where you can stroll with pleasure.
Address: 10048, Taiwan, Taipei City, Zhongzheng District / Free Admission

4) Make a Night Market

Night market Taiwan

Night markets are an integral part of Taiwanese culture. There are many more or less large. They will be an excellent showcase of what can be the world of street food in Taiwan and it is in these places that you will discover the famous Stinky tofu ( https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tofu_puant ), a national dishes. If you wish to taste hang your stomach well, I wish you good luck! You will not be able to miss the stalls, you will smell the nauseating smell of dozens of meters around.

5) Climb to the top of Taipei 101

Highest skyscraper in the world from 2004 to 2010 Taipei 101 (commonly known as “one-o-one”) is the most touristic place on the island.
It is possible to access the summit for about 14 euros the entrance.
If you are interested in architecture, look at its construction which is really a technical feat when you know how much the island is affected by earthquakes and other typhoons.
– Address: No. 7, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Taipei

6) Go eat at Din Tai Fung

If you go to Taipei 101 you will find the first floor Din Tai Fung restaurant. Known worldwide for its Xiaolongbao ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaolongbao ), it was named in 1993 by New York Time Magazine as one of the 10 best restaurants in the world and today it is one of the few chains to own a Michelin star. Just that !
As in most restaurants in Taiwan, you do not take a dish for yourself but several that we put in the middle of the table and that we share. Which is much more user-friendly in the end!
Of course I would not recommend a place that would cost you a second plane ticket, our bill for 3 people really having the belly well filled us back to fifty euros.

Going to Taiwan without eating Xiaolongbao is like going to Italy and not eating pizzas, so go to the best place!

– Address: Taiwan, Taipei City, Xinyi District, City Hall Rd, 45
– Price: From 10-15 euros per person.

7) Drink tea in Maokong

Maokong was once the main place where tea was grown in Taiwan. Perched on top of a hill with a bird’s eye view of central Taipei, it is now Taiwan’s must-see place for tea at dusk. A really nice place to rest at the end of the day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are many Tea House in Maokong you will be spoiled for choice!

– Location: Maokong, Taipei. About 25 minutes drive from the city center.
– Count a little ten euros per person to drink tea in this place apart.

8) Visit the city of Jiufen

Jiufen in northeast Taiwan is a small town made famous by the film “A City of Sadness”, the first Taiwanese film to be awarded at the Venice Film Festival. The setting is typical and we walk with great pleasure in these narrow streets or side stalls of gastronomic specialties and other local crafts.
If you want to go to Jiufen I strongly advise you to go there during the week to avoid the tourist crowds of the weekend.

9) Go to Grand Hotel Taipei

The Grand Hotel Taipei is simply the largest building in the world with Chinese architecture. Count a little over a hundred euros if you want to stay overnight in a basic room. For having hosted from Richard Nixon to Margaret Thatcher through Nelson Mandela the place is really a “must-see” of Taiwan.

My opinion about Taiwan:

After more than 2 weeks discovering Taiwan, I really think the island deserves the trip. This is not necessarily the first destination to think about when you want to go to Asia, but the island has many assets including cultural and gastronomic are really worth it. In addition Taiwanese are really nice people always ready to discover their country and their culture.

Tips for going to Taiwan:

  • How to get there ? Count between 400 and 600 euros return trip more the national airline Eva Air offers direct flights from Paris.
  • When to go? : From October to March: Dry season / avoid from April to August: rainy season.
  • How long to stay in Taiwan? From 2 to 3 weeks will be a good time to have time to do an overview of the island.
  • How to move? If you plan to stay in the center of Taipei I would recommend using public transport which is extremely expandable. However renting a vehicle can be a great way to get around Taipei. You will find many rental agencies at the airport and in the city center.
  • Currency: the Taiwanese dollar: 1 euro equals approximately 36 Taiwanese dollars
  • Official language: Traditional Mandarin and unlike China many Taiwanese speak English.
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What to visit in Luang Prabang in Laos in 3 days?

On your itinerary in Northern Laos, your route will probably take you to Luang Prabang City. With 55,000 inhabitants, it is one of the three most important cities in the country behind Ventiane, the capital. The opportunity for us to take the temperature of this Asian country that slowly opens to tourism. Here are my tips to discover Luang Prabang and all its tourist activities in three days thanks   to a tested and approved program.

Luang Prabang, a peaceful town north of Laos

Former capital of the kingdom, Luang Prabang is today one of the most touristic and dynamic cities of the country. She is also known to be a strong symbol of Buddhism in Asia with many temples and religious traditions ardently defended. As soon as we arrived, we quickly noticed signs of French influence, allowing us to refreeze ourselves with bread and delicious sandwiches. We had heard a lot about this city and we could not wait to find out. Luang Prabang is a city that likes to take its time, so that’s what we did! After your two-day cruise on the Mekong, you will arrive in Luang Prabang after dark. It is only the next day that we really discover this city with many colonial buildings.

 

Day 1

Visit of the temples

The ideal way to soak up the atmosphere of the city is to start with a visit to the many temples. You can set a route to not miss any or do it to the feeling. Personally, I found the temples pretty, but nothing more. Small overdose maybe? The principal are paying, 20 000 kips (2 euros) per person. Once your morning visit finished, you will have well deserved a little break. The opportunity to taste the famous sandwiches. Rest assured, Laos have personalized them so that you can still feel like eating locally.

Stroll along the Mekong

Luang Prabang is located on the edge of one of the tributaries of the Mekong. The view is superb if you are lucky enough to have a clear sky. Ideal for a small digestive ride!

Shopping at the night market

As everywhere in Asia, night markets are the law. Another great way to discover the city and the specialties of the country. Here you will find, of course, the famous elephant pants but also tea and coffee Lao and other silver jewelry.

Day 2

Ceremony of the monks

For your visit to Luang Prabang to be complete, you will have to get up early. Finally, if you wish to attend this ritual during which the monks harvest the offerings. This ceremony takes place on the main street at 5am. No obligation to participate. It’s you who see

 

Visit of the Royal Palace

This is undoubtedly the essential visit of the city. However, we quickly go around. The main temple houses the Phra Bang, one of the most sacred Buddhas in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ascension of Mount Phousi

If like us, you like to take the height, the Mount Phousi offers a sight on all the city. The climb costs 200,000 kips. Know it, in Laos, all points of view are paid. It is better to choose its moment, the sunset for example.

 

Attempt the Lao massage

During our stay, we were able to taste the joys of Lao massage. Quite similar to Thai massage, which I mentioned here. We suffer during but we feel refreshed after. We opted for Hibiscus. Count 6 euros for an hour of massage.

Day 3

 

The good taste of the French croissant

Eh yes ! It’s possible. We believe it. Take the time to walk to the bakery Le Banneton and you will salivate with happiness. A real croissant as we like them!

A swim in the blue water of Kuang Si Falls

From a tourist point of view, Laos stands out thanks to an astonishing and wild nature. The Kuang Si Falls are sublime in beauty despite the many tourists who visit each day. Water of azure that invites swimming. To get there, you can take a tuk tuk but the mini-van services offered by hotels or guesthouses are much more advantageous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A glass with Utopia

Ah Utopia! We had heard about it for the first time in Thailand. This bar, a true attraction of the region is the ideal place to land after a day of sightseeing. Relaxed atmosphere, delicious cocktails and a menu that perfectly mix Lao and European food. The prices are higher than elsewhere but the setting is great, with a breathtaking view of the Mekong. Of course, do not expect to come across premises. Go for a party but only until 11:30 pm curfew time.

 

 

Where to eat?

Eating in Luang Prabang is one of our favorite activities! We were able to reconnect with the bread but also with the cakes. The central square of the city is home to many booths where you are challenged with great support of Sabaidee ( Hello Lao). A little suspicious at first, it became our canteen so the choice is vast and reasonable prices. I still remember my rice with vegetables and pineapple, a delight  ! The first night we looked for the night market to discover Lao food. We were disappointed to discover a tiny streetand full of wood smoke because of grilling. We opted for a stand offering various dishes at will for the sum of 150 000 kips (= 1.50 euros). The food was good but cold and impossible to sit.

Or sleep?

Guest houses and hotels abound in Luang Prabang. Prices are however higher than in other cities of Laos. We opted for the ViengChalern Guesthouse where the welcome is excellent provided by students eager to improve their English. If you want to get up with the view of the Mekong it is a little more expensive but quite possible!

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Itinerary of a road trip in Thailand

Welcome to Thailand, the most touristic country in Southeast Asia. Traveling in Thailand is easy and cheap traveling. Famous for its very high purchasing power (for tourists), Thailand has seduced the world for over 30 years. Nicknamed the country of the smile for a good reason, people are simple, carefree and are satisfied with the necessary. (It takes little to be happy… no… ok, I stop). Thailand is a beautiful country full of riches, a destination not to miss for a trip to Asia. Especially since traveling to Thailand from France is still very easy and cheaper.

My Itinerary in Thailand:

I arrived in Thailand at the end of my road trip to Australia. I took a plane ticket with a Stop and Go so I was entitled to a stop in several cities in Asia when I returned to France. I chose Bangkok. After 6 months in Australia, Thailand was a little culture shock for me and that’s what I was looking for. I love the diversity of the world, and I enjoy seeing the differences between each society. Thai culture immediately seduced me by its simplicity and almost nonchalance. Southeast Asia is also sumptuous landscapes through the countless islands of the Indian Ocean. I stayed 4 weeks traveling in Thailand and here is my itinerary:

Bangkok:

Arrived late in Bangkok from Sydney, I had to join my co-pilot of Australian van left earlier for Phuket. Having booked no plane beforehand, I found myself sleeping at the airport waiting for the first flight early in the morning. It was not my first, I also spent 24 hours waiting for my plane in New Zealand. Sleeping in an airport is quite common for a backpacker but I admit that this is not my favorite place to stay overnight.

Phuket:

So I leave for Phuket aboard a Boeing 747, the luxury. I flew 6 hours from Sydney in a hurry and I flew 1 hour to Phuket and I have the biggest plane in the world. I finally stayed only one day in Phuket to follow my friends who were leaving for Phi Phi.

Kho Phi Phi:

I spent 4 days in Kho Phi Phi in a bungalow close to the beach and away from tourists. A small paradise on earth that hides an island devastated by tourism. Despite that, I have a very good memory. I was able to kayak on Monkey Beach, a wild beach filled with evil monkeys, or on secluded beaches where nature was still a bit unspoiled.

Kho Samui:

The trip between Kho Phi Phi and Kho Samui is perilous (yes I’m exaggerating, but I’m from the south, it’s normal). Indeed, it takes a whole day to cross from the Adaman Sea to the Gulf of Thailand. We had to take a ferry, a bus and another ferry across Krabi province to Surat Thani province. Knowing that our bus broke down midway (in the middle of nowhere), we took a lot of delay. A very long journey. Kho Samui is an island also very touristy but with a lot of riches. To party, it’s a place to go, it’s here that I drove a scooter for the first time in my life. Yes yes, I started in Thailand and I know it’s not the best country for that. Besides, I was not really clever on my scooter, in flip flops, shorts and tank top.

Kho Tao:

Kho Samui’s little cable fury: too many tourists for me. I decide to leave my friends and go to the least tourist island in the area with a friend met on the spot. My stay in Thailand really began at that moment. No more parties and tourists, I went to meet the Thai on this beautiful island. My best memory in the land of smiles.

Chiang Mai:  

After 4 days to discover Kho Tao, still in scooter, shorts and flip-flops, but this time not even a helmet, we decided to change scenery and have a look in the North. We found a small guesthouse super nice and cheap close to the city center. Chiang Mai is more than 300 magnificent temples and a hinterland full of natural resources. Leaving a bit of the city, it was the first time I found myself the only white in the middle of full of Thai. I think that made a lot of fun of me. I saw them laughing at me.

Bangkok:

I could finish in beauty with the capital of Thailand: Bangkok. After the beautiful scenery of the islands and the mountains of Chiang Mai, I did not like Bangkok at all on the first day. Mistake on my part since I absolutely loved this city on the second day. It is a mixture of modernity and old while retaining its small Thai charm (understand the brothel everywhere). I stayed in the city center at first but I preferred to go to Khao San Road where I went around the area.

Traveling in Thailand: When to go?

November December January February March
         

Going to Thailand between November and March is the best option. The rainy season is over, it is hot and the water is good. Disadvantage: everyone has understood that this was the best time, prices are flying and tourists are flocking in numbers.

April May June   September October
           

The climate in Thailand is quite mild in these times. It is milder and there are fewer tourists. In contrast, the rainy season is near and may spoil some days of your trip.

July August
   

Better to avoid July and August for a stay in Thailand. It rains for days, many places are closed and there is much less transport.

Traveling in Thailand:

Going on Road Trip in Thailand is very easy. On site, life does not cost much. Beyond that, I was really surprised by the organization of transport. Everyone will tell you, to go to Thailand is not to book anything in advance and see everything on the spot. First, it’s easier because you can negotiate prices. All you have to do is go to a tour ticket (the thing I never do in other countries) and ask.

When I was in Kho Tao and wanted to go to Chiang Mai, I went to the ticket tower in front of my bungalow. In ten minutes it was settled. I had a taxi to get to the ferry, the ferry, a bus to the airport and my plane, all for an unbeatable negotiated price and nothing more to do. I was really surprised.

Travel by plane :

The plane is probably the most expensive way to travel but also the fastest. There are two companies serving mainly Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Kho Samui (this airport is scary). There are also some blacklisted companies like Lion Air, an Indonesian company I stole from. I was given this information once on board. Like “Hey dude, you know it’s a blacklisted company? It does not scare you? “

Traveling by bus:

See my bus trip between Krabi and Surat Thani. The bus broke down, it was a bus dating at least from prehistoric times. Despite this, it is not expensive but like everywhere, it is very long.

To travel by train :

I did not travel by train but I heard very good echoes. It is a good alternative to the bus but even longer. Trains are more spacious but often late. There are 4 main lines: north, south, southeast and east. I think it’s a great experience and you can see the country.

Travel by boat :

The obligatory passage to go to the islands. In general, the ferries are overcrowded and there is very little space. For shorter trips, it is essential to test the long tail boats typical of Thailand.

To move in Taxi:

This is the first transport I took when I arrived. 45 minutes to reach the south of Phuket and I was ripped off. I paid twice the normal price because the taxi in question came from the airport. In Thailand, locals pay a ridiculous price compared to the tourist. There are 4 kinds of taxis in Thailand:

  • Scooter taxi: the most economical and he does not hesitate to take more than 2 people on it. For me traveling alone in Bangkok, it was perfect to avoid traffic jams and save money.
  • The Tuk Tuk: emblematic in Asia, the Tuk Tuk are the best solution to move several. They are cheap, but they are only a short distance away. Do not ask them to take you outside the city.
  • The Songthaew: The Songthaew are collective taxis that go from point A to point B and drop you on the way. These are often big pickups laid out. Still a very local experience that I loved.
  • Taxis: to be taken rarely and only for long distances. I took a taxi just to get to the airports.

To stay in Thailand:

There is everything in the country. Resorts with luxury rooms, swimming pool and lots of nice services like small bungalows lost on a deserted beach.

In Kho Tao, I even came across a crazy complex on a lost beach. I had rolled 1 hour through the forest with my old scooter. I do not believe it.

In general, I avoid going to big hotels, I prefer to rent an Airbnb. But in Thailand, it’s even simpler. When you arrive somewhere, there will always be a small kiosk where you can book your accommodation on site. I have never booked a room in advance, I always looked for arriving, which allowed me to negotiate prices and choose the best places. This method played me tricks in Kho Samui where I arrived in the evening and everything was already booked. I had to look for hours a free room.

In each case: always prefer a room with a fan or air conditioning. This is the minimum that I advise you. In the islands, prefer the bungalow. In cities, prefer the guesthouse much more fun.

Top unusual activities in Thailand:

  • Swimming with whale sharks
  • Go to the markets
  • Rent a scooter
  • Test the high-tech toilets
  • Eating insects
  • Diving in the most beautiful spots
  • Climb in the most beautiful spots
  • Rent a bungalow on the beach
  • Eat local
  • Take a court of Muy Thaï
  • Take a Thai cooking class
  • See animals: snakes, elephants, tiger…
  • Shoot
  • Make CableSki
  • Attend a full moon party

Budget road trip in Thailand:

No need to say more. Thailand is cheap and that’s why many travel to Asia. You should know however that you will pay much more in tourist places. I realized this when I arrived in Kho Tao and Chiang Mai. Prices were half the price.

1 € = About 40 Bath

  • Budget accommodation: between 6 € and 20 € / night. Everything depends on the desired comfort. I happened to sleep in a room with a small bed and only a fan. The shower was common and cold. In Bangkok, I had a big room with three beds while I was alone.
  • Transport budget: About 8 € / day but it depends on the days if you travel far or not.
  • Budget Eating: Tourist Places: 5 € / day. Non touristic places: 2.50 € / day.
  • Activity budget: An activity in Thailand costs between 5 and 15 €. Again, it depends if you prefer to swim with whale sharks in Kho Tao or visit a temple in Bangkok.

My budget in Thailand: 25 € / day.

A tip to save money: live local. Do not go to tourist restaurants and luxury hotels. Rent a bungalow in a secluded corner, eat a Thai pad in a shack at the corner and go directly negotiating with a sinner for a boat trip.

What to see in Thailand:

In addition to the destinations where I went higher, you can see:

  • Ko Pha-Ngan: famous for its full-moon party.
  • Surin and Similan Islands: world famous places for scuba diving.
  • Ko Lanta: an island a little less touristy than its neighbor Phi Phi. Wild decorations assured.
  • Ayuthaya: ancient capital of Thailand
  • Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle: a wild and friendly area for hiking.
  • Sukhothai: famous historical park.
  • Pattaya: Flagship destination to party.
  • Khao Yai: UNESCO- protected nature reserve near Bangkok
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Traveling in Indonesia: instructions for use

Do you dream of traveling to Indonesia? Java, Bali, Lombok, Borneo… Indonesia is full of magical places to discover. In addition, it seems that Indonesians are very welcoming and warm. We met Martine from the blog Leaving Indonesia, a lover and expert of the country (she lived there for 10 years, so much to tell you that the country does not have much secret for her!). She was kind enough to answer our questions and give us her tips and advice to travel serenely in Indonesia.

Can you introduce yourself quickly and your blog?

Hello, I’m Martine from the blog Leaving Indonesia. I would like to share with you my passion for this beautiful country that is Indonesia. I lived there for ten years. I was a guide at the National Museum in Jakarta, adventure travel organizer, diving instructor (I had the opportunity to dive on remarkable and uncrowded spots as a cruise director). Blogger, curious, great travel enthusiast, I traveled through Indonesia: alone, with my family, friends, tourist or professionally and I continue to do so.

Can you introduce us to Indonesia?

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world with about 17,000 islands and extends over 2,000 km around the equator and 6,000 km from east to west.

The main islands (in terms of area) are Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Indonesian part of Borneo Island), Sulawesi and West Papua. Kalimantan is bigger than France and Java is a little over a quarter of France!!! To this is added smaller islands but very tourist like Bali and Lombok and the small islands of Sunda.

Indonesia has great seismic activity. Located at the convergence of 3 tectonic plates (Asian, Australian and Pacific), there is a belt of volcanoes (called fire belt) that goes from Sumatra to Papua. Many volcanoes are still active and it is not uncommon to feel minor tremors and there have been some sadly famous natural disasters (Tsunami in Sumatra in 2004, eruption of the Agung volcano in Bali in 1963…).

250 million live in Indonesia, including 120 million on the island of Java alone. Like many Asian countries, you will be surprised to see people everywhere, especially in cities. For example, Jakarta, the capital is a city of about 12 million people. But this archipelago still offers many virgin and wild places.

It is a young republic with an elected president and various political parties. The majority religion is Islam. In the Indonesian constitution, 5 religions are allowed: Islam, Hinduism, Protestantism, Catholicism and Buddhism. There is no imposed religion, but Indonesians must declare one among the 5. The religion is also written on their identity papers.

When is the best time to travel to Indonesia?

Indonesia is a large country that covers several latitudes and is divided into two by the Wallace Band, which allows traveling there in all seasons. The best season to travel to Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi is from May to November and if you go further west to the Wallacea zone (or intermediate zone), to Maluku, Papua or to the small islands of the probe, the best season is from November to April.

Restaurant on beach

The motto on the Indonesian beaches: REST!

Is it easy to travel to Indonesia?

The geography of Indonesia with its 17,000 islands makes it necessary to make choices:

  • Either you go from islands to islands : you will have to fly or boat, so plan a minimum or have time, to book a ticket or even to find a ferry or boat schedule. You can buy tickets from Indonesian airlines from France, online at their sites (Air Lion, Air Asia, Sriwijaya, Garuda, etc…).
  • Either you stay on an island : you have the choice between usual land transport: car, taxis, motorcycle.

The road network is not very developed and the traffic in the big cities is difficult. In Jakarta, there is a bus network not too bad (the new Transjakarta buses), and trains that go to the main cities of Java.

In Bali, buses are almost non-existent and the best is to rent a motorcycle or a car.

In general, in big cities you will find buses but no line plans. The easiest way is to look at the direction that is marked and ask the driver if it serves the place you want to go. Depending on the city, buses have different colors. These are actually mini-buses that stop everywhere on their way, at the request of customers.

My advice : If you can, take a driver, it is not very expensive and it will save you a lot of hassle. Driving is difficult especially in cities because of traffic jams and the passage of motorcycles all over the place. You will find cars and motorbikes for rent everywhere.

What is the language spoken on the spot?

Indonesians are usually bilingual since they speak their local dialect and Bahasa Indonesia. In tourist areas, English is quite common. By cons, French, not really.

Indonesia 3

Welcome to paradise

What are your top 3 experiences not to miss in Indonesia?

The diving of course…

If you have never had this experience, Indonesia is the country where you have to do at least one dive. The backgrounds are colorful, full of fish and visibility is very good. The temperature of the water varies between 22 ° and 30 ° C according to the places and the seasons. You will find diving clubs everywhere. The safety rules are the same as everywhere in the world and the procedures follow the specifications given by organizations worldwide (PADI, CMAS, NAUI, etc…) so do not panic on that side!

Nice little blue fish.

A trek of a few days…

At the Baduis in Java or elsewhere to live in a still virgin nature in beautiful villages, cut off from the outside world and discover their rich ancestral cultures.

The ascent of a volcano…

Like the Kawa Ijen in East Java where you will see porters of sulfur, the Rijani in Lombok from which you can admire the whole island, or the Kelimutu in Flores with its 3 colorful lakes or Mount Agung in Bali.

Be careful, do not underestimate these treks, because if they are not difficult technically, unevenness are very important. Many people turn around before reaching the summit because they are poorly equipped and poorly prepared. Do not go in tongues!!! Allow more time than the guides will tell you. But the view at the top is really worth the effort.

Bromo volcano, Tengger Semeru National Park, East Java, Indonesia

The Bromo volcano on the island of Java just majestic!

 

The Indonesian dish not to be missed?

  Nasi goreng (fried rice) and soto ayam (chicken soup). This is what I take when I travel and I do not know the “warungs” (small restaurants). It’s very cheap, always good and you can find it everywhere with various recipes.

Do you have an unusual anecdote about Indonesian culture?

If you ask someone for help, and she tells you that she’s going to do what you want, she usually does, but it can be at the last moment (in fact, it’s often last moment). The key word in Indonesia is “SABAR” which means patience. It’s a bit difficult for us Westerners who want to plan everything, but there, if we lose patience, and we do not try to relax a little, we miss a lot of things. Indonesians live in the present and they are people who can be trusted.

Photo credit: Martine from Leaving Traveling

“The key word in Indonesia is” SABAR “which means patience. “

Make us dream: can you tell us about your best memory in Indonesia?

  I have a lot of very strong memories, but I will choose the day we left the Korowais in Papua and where the children decorated with flowers, accompanied us on the tarmac of fortune, to the small plane that came to recover us. We were 6 women and we had just spent 5 days with them in their jungle. It was very moving this departure.

Korowais children in Papua

Do you have any other advice for future travelers?

Do not plan to drive too many kilometers because the roads are not in great condition. Take the time to relax and enjoy the scenery, people, your holidays what! Indonesians are very smiling and welcoming people, let them guide you, make you discover their country, their culture. They will always do it with great pleasure.

Thanks to Martine for sharing her vision of Indonesia with us. You will find more information, tips and tricks to stay in Indonesia on his blog Leaving Indonesia.

In addition, she offers a free guide ” Approach Indonesia by staying zen! ” With the 16 differences between Indonesians and you to know absolutely before you go!

 

 

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Top 6 Tourist Activities Unmissable in Bangkok

Are you planning to come to Thailand soon? When you come, you will hardly be able to miss Bangkok, its capital. This fascinating city combines culture, modernity and nightlife completely crazy. Whether you like it or not, one thing is certain, Bangkok intrigues. Here are my tips to go to its discovery with my 6 things to do in Bangkok.

The Grand Royal Palace and the Emerald Buddha

This is undoubtedly one of the major tourist attractions of the country. Designed in 1782, this house hosted the royal family until the middle of the 20th century. Inside you will discover many palaces, real architectural jewels. The Grand Palais Royal also contains Wat Phra Kaeo and its sublime Emerald Buddha. A must visit when you come to Bangkok.

My advice : It is best to make your visit early in the morning if you want to avoid the tides of Chinese tourists armed with their camera! Similarly, the heat will be more bearable. The site is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and the entry costs 500 baht (= 13 euros). As with most Thai temples, you will not be able to go in shorts and bare shoulders, dress accordingly.

 

royal palace bangkok thalande

Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha

Thailand’s most famous and visited temples include Wat Pho at the top of the list. One of the main reasons is, of course, the presence of the majestic reclining Buddha! 46 meters long and 15 high, completely covered with gold leaves. For 100 baht (= 2.50 euros) per person, you will enter this colorful temple. A real place of worship for Thai people.

My advice : A visit in the morning will allow you to avoid the crowd. However a visit at the end of the day can allow you to enjoy the sunlight to make pretty pictures. Wat Pho is open from 08:00 to 18:30. Beware of people who approach you by telling you that the temple is closed, it is of course not true. Finally, consider wearing a decent dress to enter.

wat pho temple bangkok

The Chatuchak Market

This huge market is the place to stroll favorite of tourists. You will find countless booths of all kinds. If you want to bring back a little souvenir or invest in a pair of pants or a dress, you will undoubtedly find your happiness. This market is free but open only on weekends. To get there, take the subway to Chatuchak Park.

My advice : Take the opportunity to eat on the spot, the street court offers an impressive number of possibilities to satisfy your appetite.

chatuchak market stand

Wat Arun

Among the many temples to visit, Wat Arun has a real charm. After a short boat ride, you will discover this temple bordering the Chao Phraya River. At dusk, the light on the temple is very different and you can make pretty pictures. The entrance costs 50 baht (= 1.25 euros).

My advice : Visit Wat Arun after Wat Pho, you are already in the area.

wat arun temple

Khao San Road

Once night falls on Bangkok, go to the unsurpassed Khao San Road. This is without a doubt the most famous street in Bangkok. Be careful not to make you swallow everything! While this neighborhood is not the most typical of the city but it is part of the folklore. It is the rendezvous of tourists and backpackers. You can find everything from street food, clothes or bathing suits or massage your feet! And if you’re the intrepid kind, scorpions, grubs and other grasshoppers are waiting for you to be tasted on Khao San Road.

My advice : Rendez-vous on site instead of the night, this is where you can really take the measure of the neighborhood. Prefer the stands as restaurants unless you want to dance and enjoy the music. If we suggest you go to a Ping Pong Show know that it does not have much to do with ping-pong!

khao san road by night

 

Chinatown and Little India

If you have some time left during your stay in Bangkok, go for a visit to Chinatown and Little India. Even if you do not need anything, you will find something to buy. The Chinatown also offers an impressive number of street vendors to restore you no matter what time!

chinatown bangkok

What do you think of these unmissable? I hope, in any case, have made you want to discover Bangkok! See you soon for the rest of our adventures.

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50 Amazing Journeys to Make Once in Life

What is it that makes you feel in heaven? To contemplate how the sun rises in Giza in the great pyramids? See the sunset of Tanah Lot in Bali? For lovers of travel and adventure seekers around the world, here we put the definitive list of some incredible trips that will blow your mind, change your world view and allow you to delve into foreign cultures.

1. The beaches of Okinawa in Japan

Coral reefs and tropical beaches are the hallmarks of these beaches located about 2.5 hours by plane south of Tokyo. The islands of Kerama, where Tokashiki and its paradisiacal Tokashiku beach are located will make you forget the typical image you have of Japan.

2. Horseshoe Bend, the horseshoe of the Colorado River

This is another of the wonders of the world not so well known. People go to the Grand Canyon of the Colorado and do not know that not far away is Horseshoe Bend. Through a path is where you can access the viewpoint where you can see the general panorama of the Colorado River (the photo is taken from the viewpoint). This meander in the shape of a horseshoe will make you live a moment of cinema.

3. Mount Roraima in Venezuela

3. Mount Roraima in Venezuela

To access the majestic Mount Roraima must be accompanied by an indigenous guide, which must be hired in the town of Paraitepuy, San Francisco de Yuruaní or Santa Elena de Uairén (here there are tour operators). It takes two to get to the top. Most people like to spend the night there because the place is idyllic.

4. See the sunrise of the temples of Bagan in Myanmar

Imagine more than 2000 temples while you are lying in the any point of the valley where you have such incredible views. Some mornings there is a mist that gives more charm if possible. As the sun rises, the domes of the decks slowly emerge, initially white to see how they become deeply golden. Colossal!

5. Crossing the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

It is the closest thing to confusing heaven with earth. You really have the feeling of crossing the sky. So to speak, it is a mirror of 9,000 square meters made of salt dishes covered with water in the rainy season (from December to April). On the other hand, it becomes a white desert during the dry season. The nearby city of Uyuni is 10-12 hours by bus from La Paz or 7 hours by train from Oruro.

6. A photographic Safari in Tanzania

Of the total of 16 national parks in the Serengeti, Tanzania is the perfect place to see the annual wildebeest migration. Seeing elephants playing with their young in the Rufiji River in the Tarangire is one of the experiences that remain engraved in the retina for life. Rates start at $ 60 per visit and you can check the rest of the rates here.

7. Heliski in Girdwood, Alaska

If you like skiing and risk, heli-skiing is one of the experiences that will change your life! Where to do it? Girdwood (Alaska),
Recommended by National Geographic has a lot of incredible sites, some of them off the slopes where you can also be the first to release your powder snow. There are day trips to about 3,000 meters high. From $ 1,275 per person.

9. Oktoberfest in Munich

9.- Oktoberfest in Munich

It is the party in which Germans most enjoy by far. The Oktoberfest begins in the middle of September and will last until the beginning of October. Take a look at the website. The price of a liter of beer is around € 10 on average.

10. The party of the tomatina

The San Fermines and the Tomatina festival are undoubtedly the best-known festivals abroad. Trucks full of ripe tomatoes arrive downtown. The battle begins when a person gets into a truck and throws a tomato, then officially begins the funniest tomato fight in the world. But nevertheless. Not only is the famous battle, there are also music groups, parades, dancing and fireworks. The night before the tomatina, a paella contest is held in which anyone can participate. You can check out the entrance on their official website (10 euros). It is always the last Wednesday of August.

11. Do yoga in Pune (India)

11.- Do yoga in Pune (India)

Meditate on Lake Mulshi with incredible views while eating food that is in harmony with the environment say it has healing properties. A vacation based on Yoga, will give you balance again in your life and allow you to discover something more about yourself. In addition, you can do other types of activities such as visiting incredible temples, such as the Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati and iconic Iskcon Nvcc.

12. A kind of pastry in Paris

Do you plan to go to Paris? Why do not you take the opportunity to do a three-hour pastry course ? I found this one that goes for 95 euros.

13. Visit the Moai on Easter Island

One of the mysteries of humanity that continues to be solved. How and why these statues made of solid rock were created and how they were transported and erected in various places around the island, remains a mystery. Easter Island is about 3,800 km west of Chile.

14. Contemplate the northern lights in Sweden

14.- Contemplate the northern lights in Sweden

You will be amazed to see the northern lights. Sky green, blue indigo, yellow, purple… a mix of colors that will amaze you. In the Abisko National Park, Jukkasjärvi and the Torne Valley are the best places to see it.

15. Go to the Carnival of Venice and buy yourself a mask

15.- Go to the Carnival of Venice and buy yourself a mask

Venice is a wonderful city and very beautiful to visit at any time of the year but it is at carnival when more life and color has; He dresses in costumes and masks. It is celebrated from January 31 to February 17, there are numerous events and parties. Take a look at the carnival program to find out what are the best dates to travel there.

16. Submarinism in the Great Barrier Reef

2,600 km of coral formations of all shapes and colors. Diving in the Great Barrier Reef is like entering another universe. It does not matter if you are a diving expert or just want to see it with some glasses and a tube. The Great Barrier will leave you speechless.

17. Visit Hobbiton in New Zealand

Discover the magical world of Matamata on the North Island of New Zealand. Whether you’re in love with the Lord of the Rings or not, seeing those little houses tucked away on the ground and hidden in green hills is very beautiful. Excursions range from $ 75 per adult.

18. Climb up the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge

18. Climb up the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge

It is the best place to have incredible views of the harbor and the Sydney Opera House. Guided tours are offered daily by Bridge Climb Sydney from 148 Australian dollars.

19. Bungee jumping on the Bhote Koshi river, near Kathmandu

Known to be one of the highest falls in the world, you are also in a picturesque gorge 160 meters high. Prices range from $ 145 per person.

20. Get on the Glacier Express of Switzerland

20.- Get on the Glacier Express of Switzerland

The slowest and most scenic train route in the world at the same time. The Glacier Express connects two main mountain resorts, St. Moritz and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. Throughout your 7.5 hour trip, you travel 291 bridges through 91 tunnels and cross the Oberalp Pass (at its highest point reaches 2,033 meters). All this, while you watch impressive alpine landscapes through the window. The guide price is 149 euros, although children under 6 years get free, children and teenagers between 6-16 years half the price. Prices go up to 262 euros in the adult rate on the St. Moritz-Zermatt route. More info here

21. Hiking in the Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia

21.- Hiking in the Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia

Only 150 km northeast of Kuala Lumpur, Tamana Negara Park is a place where you can still find a family of elephants as you stroll through a 130-million-year-old rainforest. The price of the ticket is ridiculous: 0.25 cents, plus 5 RM: 1.2 for the camera.

22. Take a boat trip on the Ganges in Varanasi

22.- Take a boat trip on the Ganges in Varanasi

The Holy City of Varanasi is 2000 years old. It is a hard and spectacular place where you see the whole cycle of life, from young children learning to walk, to middle-aged men and women washing their clothes and bathing a few meters away, to the funeral fires in the ghats, where they bathe the deceased in the Ganges for the last time and cremated later in sacred fire. The prices of a boat trip depend to a great extent on what you negotiate, but it must not exceed the INR 250 (~ € 3.5).

18. Enjoy a night on a desert island

There are many islands in the world but to search for something more unknown I would choose the Togian Archipelago in Indonesia. Here there are a lot of desert islands, some of them do not even have a name and are located around the well-known Kadidiri. Another is the small island of Karina beach.

23. Swimming in the infinity pool of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

23.- Swimming in the infinity pool of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

We already talked about her here. It is built on the 50th floor and measures 150 meters. The price per night is around 300 euros.

24. See the sunrise and sunset in Uluru, Australia

24.- See the sunrise and sunset in Uluru, Australia

The sacred stone of Uluru in Australia, turns dark brown and red under the first rays of sun. But just as beautiful is the sunrise, I have the sunset, when the monolith turns bright orange. A three-day visit costs $ 25.

25. Scale on Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

25.- Scale on Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

There are more than 350 routes to do on this mountain from which you have an amazing view of Cape Town and the Atlantic. A one-day pass costs 80 Rands, approximately 6 euros.

26. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States

26.- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States

Ice and fire are hidden in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Yellowstone National Park leaves its mark with its combination of desert and mountains. Admission costs $ 25 for a vehicle and $ 12 for each visitor who enters on foot, by bicycle, ski or snowboard.

27. Swimming in the Blue Lagoon of Iceland

Swim in the warm turquoise waters of this incredible geothermal pool in Grindavík and enjoy incredible scenery while your body relaxes. A single ticket costs € 35 while premium packages can go up to € 165 / per day. More info here.

28. See whales in the Gulf of San Lorenzo, Canada

28.- See whales in the Gulf of San Lorenzo, Canada

Despite having a black history of whalers fishing them, the Gulf of St Lawrence is still one of the best places in the world to see belugas and blue whales 25m long. The high season is from May to September.

29. The lines of Azca in Peru

29.- The lines of Azca in Peru

These mysterious geoglyphs are another mystery that humanity has not been able to unveil. There is still no proven data on why and most importantly, how these peculiar images were drawn in the south of the Peruvian desert about 400 km from Lima. The tour packages vary in price and start from about 150 euros.

30. The Atacama Desert in Chile, the driest place in the world

30.- The Atacama Desert in Chile, the driest place in the world

More than a kilometer of sand stretches along the Pacific coast in Chile. Atamaca has extreme temperature changes that range from -1 ° C in the morning to 22 ° C at noon. Be prepared if you want to explore the Valley of the Moon (with a landscape similar to the surface of the moon) or see the geysers in El Tatio. The excursions range from approximately 600 euros for a four-day trip.

31. A walk through the Mekong in Laos

31.- A walk through the Mekong in Laos

Life revolves around the Mekong in Laos. Pilla un héa sáa (typical small boat) to Luang Prabang from Huay Xai (the border city of Thailand). For two days you see how life is on the banks and take the opportunity to test what sellers of boats that come to your boat sell you. The one-way ticket costs around 20 euros per person.

32. A salsa class in Havana (Cuba)

32.- A salsa class in Havana (Cuba)

In Havana you can do many things (excursions, go to many of its beaches, see the old town of Havana…) but few people take advantage to give them a salsa class. For about 7 euros an hour is easy to find.

33. A sleigh trip pulled by huskies in Lapland, Sweden

33.- A sleigh trip pulled by huskies in Lapland, Sweden

You are brave? Learn to ride a sled and even take part in a race through the lakes and frozen forests of Lapland. Prices depend on tour providers and normally vary between € 700-790 for a three-day tour.

34. The temple of Ramses II (Abu Simbel) in Egypt

Did you know that the Abu Simbel temples were built twice? Originally they were carved on a cliff in the 13th century BC, the Great Temple and the smaller Temple of Hathor. They took stone by stone and took a few kilometers in the 60s to avoid major damage due to the rising waters of the Nile. Do not miss a wonderful light and music show that is held every day at 7:00 p.m. 20-00 in winter and at 20-00 and at 21-00 in summer.

35. Climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

35.- Climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

Making a hiking route to reach 6,000 meters is hard but it can be done. If you are a nature lover this adventure is amazing. There are eleven main routes to reach the summit that last from 5 days to two weeks. So it’s up to you to decide how long you want your adventure to last.

36. Hiking along one of the Annapurna circuits in Nepal

36.- Hiking along one of the Annapurna circuits in Nepal

It is possibly one of the most spectacular hiking trails in the world. You need about 24 days to complete it. The landscapes are very varied, from the terraces of emerald green rice in the lower part to the northern lunar terrain and finally the large number of snowy peaks that you see at 6,000-8,000 meters (Annapurna I, II, III and many more without a name).

It is highly recommended to get trained before making the circuit, as well as being prepared for the weather and changes in elevation of height that can influence our performance very negatively. The cost of each excursion or route varies and goes from € 20-30 per day to adventure type excursions that go from € 800/22 days.

37. Baliem Valley in Papua, Indonesia

In 1945 an airplane crashes in the jungle and an indigenous population is discovered. Their customs and methods of living are still intact. They are dressed with cap-tails and the pigs are the main currency and mark the wealth of each family. We advise you to go to the valley in August, when all the tribes gather at a great festival to show their skills such as archery.

38. The Great Wall of China

Walk and contemplate how the ancient Chinese empire was protected. Going through it in its entirety is hard but everything you can go through would amaze you. Admission: 45 RMB (~ € 7.00).

39. The tiger’s nest in Bhutan

39.- The tiger

One of the most difficult temples in the world. The Tiger’s Nest needs some time and effort to get to see it. Not only is it incredibly beautiful, it also imbues a unique peace. It is an opportunity to discover the other secret of happiness that only the people of Bhutan know. More info here.

40. Try on a maiko costume (apprentice geisha, samurai or geisha in Kyoto, Japan)

40.- Try on a maiko costume (apprentice geisha, samurai or geisha in Kyoto, Japan)

If you are one of those people that you like to have your geek time, this is one of the funniest ideas you can experience. If you are a girl, they will make up your face until you look like a geisha from the Land of the Rising Sun. Experience what it is like to walk in those tiny traditional wooden heels and wear an obi kimono. Dressing up and a professional photo will cost you around 9500 yen (~ € 75).

41. The Potala or temple of Lhasa in Tibet

41.- The Potala or temple of Lhasa in Tibet

The imposing Potala Palace will make you feel in another world through its many stairs, unique corridors and spectacular views of the Himalayas. Unfortunately, photos are not allowed inside, so enjoy the moment by recreating and admiring every detail. Visits are restricted to 2,300 people a day, so you must arrive early. You can buy the online ticket: RMB 100 (~ 15 euros) in low season (from December to May 1); RMB 200 (~ 30 euros) in high season (from May 1 to November 1).

42. Get on the Trans-Siberian in Russia

The good thing is that you can also adjust your trip to the days that best suits you. They can go from 7 to 21 days. There are routes to China and Mongolia, in this case if you need 21 days. Prices range from 599 euros to 2,000 euros. Transfers are included as well as accommodation while you wait from train to train.

43. Snorkeling among eagle rays and blankets in Bora-Bora (French Polynesia)

43.- Snorkeling among eagle rays and blankets in Bora-Bora (French Polynesia)

Bora Bora is one of the paradises on earth, even without having to dive. However, we advise you to snorkel and if you can rent a team and put anything near the impressive blankets. You will be amazed when you find yourself surrounded by fish of all shapes and colors and you will also find eagle rays and blankets.

44. Ponte a few meters from Gorilas in Rwanda

44.- Ponte a few meters from Gorilas in Rwanda

Enter the exuberant and humid jungle and walk a few kilometers and when you least expect it you will suddenly run into a family of gorillas playing on the shore of a lake for example. With only about 700 mountain gorillas left in Rwanda and Uganda, there is not much to look forward to in this adventure. The entrance permits cost around 500 euros and involves a group pass for eight people and you are accompanied by a forest ranger.

45. The Machu Pichu in Peru

It may sound like a typical tourist place but it is not like that. Being able to see the great Inca temples, getting lost among its many polished dry stone buildings erected over centuries and centuries or seeing the sunrise or sunset is impressive. Visitors are restricted to only 400 a day, so you should plan your visit and buy the ticket in advance on the official website.

46. Attend a tea ceremony in Japan

The art of the traditional rules of the tea ceremony has not changed much since the Emperor’s time. The manner of how a tea ceremony is performed depends on the time of day, the season, the place and other considerations. All guests have to make a sequence of special rituals before entering the teahouse and maintain a special code of conduct during the ceremony that lasts two hours (or even four hours). You can attend a guided ceremony where all the subtleties are explained. There are many places in Tokyo. Prices start at 8,000 yen (~ 65 euros) per person.

47. The sunset of the Taj Mahal

A symbol of eternal love, the Taj Mahal has a special color during the hours of sunset. In addition, at that time is when there are fewer tourists. Entrance: Rs. 750 for tourists (~ 10 euros).

48. Admire the painting of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican

48.- Admire the painting of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican

How many hours can one spend watching the paintings of this genius before your neck starts to hurt and your eyes do not know how to look at such beauty? Admission costs € 16.

49. A SPA in Bodrum, Turkey

From time to time we all want a truly relaxing vacation, even a good idea before returning to the routine of work. Bodrum is reputed to have an amazing SPA’s. Some of them are created by the world-renowned Amanda Hamilton. These luxury spas are priced at around 850 euros / week. Also, you have the beach next door to be able to change a bit.

50. Contemplate the sunrise in Angkor Wat, Cambodia

50.- Contemplate the sunrise in Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The temples of Angkor are a well-known destination but it does not take away distinction. Getting up early to see the sunrise of its temples reflected in the waters of the lake is exciting. Tickets: one day about 18 euros, pass three days valid for a week about 35 euros and pass seven days valid for one month, 60 euros.

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