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Blogs Just Released - Travel

Travel Blogs

30 October 2020

Travel Blogs

Luxury Travel Blogs

30 October 2020

Luxury Travel Blogs
  • Two weeks in mandatory hotel quarantine in Australia
    30 October 2020

    If you’re reading this you’re probably wondering what mandatory hotel quarantine in Australia is like. Is it a walk in the park or entirely inhumane?…

    The post Two weeks in mandatory hotel quarantine in Australia appeared first on WORLD OF WANDERLUST.

  • Top 5 Cheapest Destinations to Travel in 2021
    29 October 2020
    I’m here to help you with the cheapest destinations to travel in 2021, to help your travel budgeting and holiday inspiration for next year. Money is usually the biggest thing that stops us travelling as much as we want to, along with commitments and work of course. I can’t help there, but I can help...
  • 48 Quotes About Paris [+Images] that Will Inspire You to Visit
    29 October 2020

    Looking for some inspiration? Take a look at my collection of the best quotes about Paris. Known as the City of Love, Paris is a destination that just oozes with romance. Frequented by millions of travelers each year, Paris is a city brimming with life. From the beautiful cobble stone streets, the many French cafes […]

    The post 48 Quotes About Paris [+Images] that Will Inspire You to Visit appeared first on Adventure In You.

  • 5 Fashion Pieces to Keep You Cool and Comfortable on Vacation
    29 October 2020

    There’s nothing better than stepping off the plane and enjoying that first moment of intense holiday heat. It’s warming, welcoming and you can instantly feel all your aches and pains melting away. You may have dressed in something casual to take you from the airport to your hotel, but what about the rest of your […]

    The post 5 Fashion Pieces to Keep You Cool and Comfortable on Vacation appeared first on Holy Smithereens!.

  • Discover Italy’s Unique Adventurous Side
    29 October 2020

    Stunning mountain ranges, a vibrant culinary scene and a rich history spanning across thousands of years are only a few aspects that make Italy a once-in-a-lifetime travel destination. With 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, three active volcanoes and an exciting wine region, Italy sets itself apart from other European countries in many ways. Pennabilli © Fabrizio Giardi PH I was 14 when I first set...

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  • Best Luxury Bath and Shower Gel
    29 October 2020

    If you’ve been unable to escape to a high-end resort this year, why not create some spa-like pampering at home? A premium shower gel brings a sense of indulgence into the bathroom, turning what may otherwise be an ordinary experience, into an exceptional one. We’ve compiled a list of some of the finest bath and body products currently available on the market.

    DIPTYQUE – Precious Oils for Body & Bath

    Massage this nourishing oil directly onto the skin once a week, or pop a capful into your bath as a protective and smoothing emollient. Notes of iris, cedar and vetiver provide warming aromas that linger sensuously on the body after use. Ideal for delicate, dry or irritated skin, Diptyque is a treat for your skin.

    Buy This Product

    DOLCE & GABBANA – Pour Homme Intenso Shower Gel

    Often used alongside the D&G’s eau de toilette of the same name, this shower gel also carries the brand’s signature fragrance. Breathe in the blend of basil, lavender, South African maple wood, balsamic, honey, tobacco, hay, bran, labdanum, sandalwood and cypress, as it intensifies in the steam. This is a fabulous masculine scent typifying the enduringly popular Pour Homme Intenso.

    Buy This Product

    CLINIQUE – Clinique Happy Body Wash

    Like D&G, Clinique has taken the signature scent of Happy and infused it in a body wash. Here citrus invigorates, while flowery notes bring a comforting sensation. It’s one for those who prefer a creamy lather, that’s still easy to wash off, with no remaining residue. The body wash leaves skin extra soft with a gently happy fragrance.

    Buy This Product

    SALVATORE FERRAGAMO – Shampoo and Shower Gel

    Salvatore Ferragamo recently launched its eponymous fragrance. And with these accompanying shampoo and shower gel, you can enjoy the aroma through your locks and all over the body. The Italian label rose to fame in the 1930s, known for bold, stylish creations, such as these bath products.

    Buy This Product

    LE LABO – Another 13 Shower Gel

    This innovative New York-Italian perfumier brings us Another 13, a scent commissioned in 2010 by Jefferson Hack, Editor-in-Chief of AnOthermagazine. It features a heady and unique concoction of jasmine, moss, ambrette seeds, ambroxan, a synthetic animal musk. It’s presented in an uber-contemporary, urban-cool, apothecary-style bottle.

    Buy This Product

    SHISEIDO – Deep Cleansing Scrub

    If your skin’s in need of a more intensive exfoliation, choose this deep cleaning solution. It removes dead surface cells and prevents ingrowing hairs, leaving you glowing and radiant looking. For perfectly smooth skin, use Shieseido’s deep cleansing scrub once or twice a week.

    Buy This Product

    KIEHL’S – Pour Homme Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser

    A favourite on the high-end of the high street since the 19th century, Kiehl’s offers luxurious and unique scientifically based formulas. This cleanser contains humectants to aid maintenance of the skin’s natural moisture levels. Buy the brand’s matching men’s moisturizer too, to get the full experience during and post-shower.

    Buy This Product

    JO MALONE LONDON – Velvet Rose and Oud Shower Oil

    This deeply feminine and sensual shower oil contains notes of rose, clove and oud wood. Sunflower and castor seed oils, along with praline help to make the skin more supple. It’s a nourishing and conditioning formula, well-suited to dry or stressed-out skin.

    Buy This Product

    ACQUA DI PARMA – Colonia Futura Hair and Shower Gel

    If you’d rather not take two bottles into the shower, opt for this all in one hair and shower cleanser. A regal bottle contains an infusion of eau de cologne, with a combination of citrus, herbs and woody scents. Choose this if you want an air of classic glamour and sophistication.

    Buy This Product

    GIVENCHY – Gentleman Shower Gel

  • Best Luxury Bedding & Linen
    29 October 2020

    While restrictions may be preventing us from enjoying the full hotel experience right now, we can still indulge in some five-star luxuries at home. Investing in some fine hotel standard bedding is a simple way to introduce high-end quality and supreme comfort into your nighttime routine. Here are some of our favourite buys.

    AMALIA – Jaya Print King Duvet Cover Set

    Playful colours and a retro-style print combine with a 200-400 Egyptian cotton thread count in this Jaya Print set from Amalia. The blue and green hues encourage a sense of rest, while the distinctive pattern provides a bold and funky – yet classy – statement for your boudoir.

    Buy This Bedding

    FRETTE – Bold Super King Topsheet Set

    This striking linen combines timeless, nautical navy and milk colours in clean, sharp lines. Made in Italy from pure cotton, this set is super soft. Frette’s recent addition is ideal for those seeking to depart from plain white and will suit a sleek, contemporary home.

    Buy This Bedding

    HAREMLIQUE – Pierre Loti King Duvet Cover

    Bring a taste of the exotic into your bedroom, with this Ottoman design from the Turkish brand Haremlique. Designed in Istanbul, this is a subtly ornamental set including a carefully embroidered richly-coloured motif. Boasting a 600-800 thread count, it offers an exquisite level of comfort.

    Buy This Bedding

    AMALIA – Chá King Duvet Cover and Pillowcase Set

    Named after the Portuguese word for tea, this duvet cover and pillowcase set creates the same warm, cosy feel as a comforting cuppa. Linen and cotton are combined with a teal and white herringbone pattern, evocative of tea leaves. Finished with grosgrain piping, it’s a sophisticated yet homely look.

    Buy This Bedding

    YVES DELORME – Escale King Duvet Cover

    This design comes from the family-owned, prestigious French label, Yves Delorme. An on-trend geometric is contrasted by classic royal colours of navy and gold, offset by a button fastening. With a 300 thread count in 100% cotton, the Escale is sure to have you feeling like continental royalty.

    Buy This Bedding

    AMALIA – Café Duvet Cover Set

    Another cosy choice from Amalia, this set takes its cues from the mocha hues of cafe culture. Crafted from 50% cotton and 50% linen and flax to create an extra breathable textile, it’s ideal for summer nights or those who find pure cotton linen a little heavy. The Café Duvet Cover Set will bring a relaxed, livable vibe to your home.

    Buy This Bedding

    YVES DELORME – Athena Platine King Duvet Cover

    Described as platine in colour, the 100% cotton Athena, is perfectly plain and elegant. Its simplicity is enlivened by a modern, horizontal and vertical bourbon-stitched border. As it can be paired with a variety of decor and room styles, this Yves Delorme design is timeless and very versatile.

    Buy This Bedding

    ALEXANDRE TURPAULT – Teo King Duvet Cover

    Exuding effortless and perennial chic, this crisp plain dye linen will suit any bedroom. It provides that quintessential hotel neutrality, in a – close to white – shade of nacre. Edged with a luxe sheen, it has a thread count of 305, along with a classic button fastening.

    Buy This Bedding

    ALEXANDRE TURPAULT – Avril Super King Duvet Cover

    Offering a romantic take on a classic style, the Avril features a wistful jacquard cherry blossom pattern, created by a matte and sheen contrast. It comes in a neutral neige, and has been..

  • What to see and what to do in Bangkok
    29 October 2020

    The splendid capital of Thailand and gateway to Asia, Bangkok is a fascinating metropolis of golden temples and hypermodern skyscrapers, a Sky Bar where you can enjoy a cocktail while admiring the skyline and traditional water markets, luxury limousines and tuk tuk to sneak through traffic jams. In Bangkok the future and the past are mixed in a single block: today we will take you to Thailand to discover the things to see and do in Bangkok.

    Wat Pho

    Wat Pho Bangkok with a total area of ​​80,000 square meters consists of two separate sectors, separated by Chetuphon Road: the sacred area where the main religious structures of the complex are located and the area reserved for monks’ lodgings. Wat has over 1,000 Buddha images, most of which come from Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, ancient capitals. Wat Pho in Bangkok, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha or Wat Phra Chetuphon as Thais know it, is famous for containing the largest Buddha image in all of Thailand and is one of the oldest temples in the Asian country. nearly 200 years. The figure of the Buddha that he holds inside is 26 meters wide and 15 meters high and is gold plated. It depicts the Buddha in Nirvana, his feet are 5 meters wide and there are engraved illustrations of his story. To enter the temple it is necessary to take off your shoes and it is advisable to take the coin mechanism at the entrance to use it in the temple and perform a lucky rite where 108 bronze coins can be left in urns placed along the walls of the temple.

    Grand Palace

    The Grand Palace of Bangkok, commonly known as the Grand Palace, is one of the tourist gems of the city. It is a building complex in the heart of Bangkok, and is probably the most visited site in Thailand. There is no traveler who has been to Bangkok and has not visited it at least once. The Grand Palace is a group of buildings located in the central Phra Nakhon district. Here, the revered Emerald Buddha sits on a throne in the extraordinary temple complex that surrounds it, shining beneath the golden vaults near the great Chao Phraya River. The encounter between Thai and Western architecture tells the essence of the Royal Palace. Looking at the river of people who visit him daily and remain fascinated by it, it seems that from these portals he still sees the king coming out of these portals with his family and servants behind him, only to realize that today this intense atmosphere lives on throughout the his soul leaving this place. for official functions only. The quiet serenity of this place is astounding: not even the screams of tourists can drown out the sweet hum of the small leaf-shaped bronze plates hanging from the roofs of the buildings.

    Wat Arun

    Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn is one of the most famous temples in Thailand, located in the Bangkok Yai district is very close to the Chao Phraya River in Thonburi. It is one of the most iconic temples in Bangkok, not only for its very different architecture from the rest of the city’s Buddhist temples, but also for its proximity to the river, which makes it the subject of many photographs that have been taken for this seasons were in the city. Across the Chao Praya River, the great river that flows through Bangkok, is the impressive Wat Arun. From a distance it looks like a mirage, up close it is exciting: climb the steep steps of the Temple of Dawn for a priceless view of the city, between Khmer-style towers and towers. Come there in the evening: the Temple of Dawn, despite its name, gives its best at sunset. Rama II renamed this complex “Wat Arun Ratchatharam”. The final name came with Rama IV, which means “Wat Arun Ratchawanaram”. There is a magnificent Khmer-style tower 81.85 meters high, decorated with pieces of Chinese porcelain, and four smaller towers that rise around a larger “prang”. It is one of the iconic symbols of Bangkok in the world. Main attraction: It is believed that anyone who does a work of merit in this temple and pays homage to the main Buddha statue will have a wonderful and wonderful life as the rising sun.

    Jim Thompson House

    Jim Thompson House is a Bangkok house museum located in the Pathumwan district. It is a complex made up of several old Thai apartment buildings created by the American businessman Jim Thompson to assemble his art collection. Jim Thompson, a former US intelligence officer who became a prominent silk entrepreneur, was a Southeast Asian art collector. His collection consisted of statues, paintings and porcelain from Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Laos. In 1958, he began building a house in a park overlooking a klong by buying and moving parts of six old 19th-century Thai houses in Bangkok, many of which came from Ayutthaya, the former capital of the kingdom of Thailand. Jim Thompson’s Silk House is the legacy of an American businessman who came to Thailand to work in the silk trade, during his stay in Bangkok he built six wooden houses which became his residence for 30 years. Jim Thompson was a Southeast Asian art and culture buff. The story begins in 1946 when Jim Thompson decides to move to Thailand to revive the Thai silk market, later used in some of the most important fashion houses in the world and on the catwalks such as London, Milan and New York.

    Panoramic Sky Bars in Bangkok

    Sirocco Sky Bar is the world’s “tallest” open-air restaurant and was unanimously voted one of the top 10 rooftop bars: Sirocco Sky Bar is one of Bangkok’s must-see spots. Located on the 63rd floor of the Lebua State Tower, this famous venue amazes its patrons with breathtaking views, an emblematic and spectacular dome and rare dishes prepared by some of Asia’s most eclectic chefs. An award that takes on even greater value given that in recent years few Thai restaurants have managed to achieve such a level of score and perfection. The ranking of the best restaurants in Thailand published by Thailand Tatler magazine has now become a tradition in the Asian country and is very much appreciated by the readers of the publication, by the international jet set and by the most well-known personalities of worldliness always looking for new culinary experiences. What is the view of Bangkok from the sixty-third floor? Dizziness! The legendary Lebua Sirocco and Moon Bar Vertigo serve exquisite cocktails while admiring the breathtaking view. Unlike Sirocco, Vertigo provides supportive clothing for those who don’t follow the dress code. Attention, they are closed in case of rain!

    The post What to see and what to do in Bangkok appeared first on The Luxury Travel Blog - Travel Luxury Villas.

  • Morning Desert Safari Dubai: 9 Exciting Tours For Adventurers
    29 October 2020

    Located on the Arabian Peninsula, sits Dubai. This wealthy and modern city is known for its luxury tourism. It also caters amazingly well to travellers looking for an action-packed vacation. Desert safaris are one of the most popular activities that entice visitors to the city.

    A morning desert safari Dubai is one of the best opportunities to marvel at the natural beauty of the desert. It provides a quintessential Arabian experience that allows you to better appreciate the unspoiled beauty of the Middle East.

    You’ll find a safari that’s suitable for all interests and groups sizes, from large parties to solo travellers.

    Top Morning Desert Safari Dubai Tours

    Dubai offers an exciting mix of morning desert safaris. The rural desert dunes of the United Arab Emirates are only a short distance from the capital city. So booking a safari is an obvious activity to add to any Dubai itinerary.

    Convenient round-trip transport from Dubai is included in all tour options. All you need to do is choose what desert delights you’d like to experience. This list contains all sorts of options, from camel trekking to hot air balloon rides.

    Although most are centred around adventure, there are also some more leisurely options included. Here are the top morning desert safaris from Dubai.

    Morning Desert Safari with Sand Boarding

    A desert safari with sandboarding tour is perfect for active travellers. Travel 30-45 minutes into the Red Dune Desert on a 4×4 Land Cruiser.

    Start your excursion by dune bashing. This is where your local guide drives your group on a thrilling ride up and down the dunes.

    Afterwards, hop on a sandboard and glide down the dunes. This is one of the most exciting sporting adventures the desert offers. The safari is three hours long, so you’ll have plenty of time to get back to the city and explore Dubai’s other highlights.

    ⇒ Book Your Morning Adventure with Sand Boarding

    Morning Desert Safari with Sandboarding & Camel Ride

    A sandboarding and camel ride safari offers a classic desert experience. Spend your morning enjoying a range of activities in the beautiful Arabian Desert. Get your adrenalin flowing with sandboarding, marvel at the landscape while dune bashing, and enjoy a scenic camel ride.

    Guests will also visit an old fashioned desert camp and indulge in Arabian coffee, sweets, dry fruits, and a full breakfast. After four hours of fun, you’ll be transported back to your hotel.

    ⇒ Book Your Safari with Sandboarding & Camel Ride

    Hot Air Balloon Ride & Wildlife Morning Desert Safari

    For the ultimate adventure, book this hot air balloon ride morning desert safari. See the enchanting desert landscape from a different perspective.

    Hotel pick-up is at 4:30 am, so you’ll have plenty of time to be in the air for sunrise. Gaze onto the Hajar Mountains and keep your eyes peeled for desert animals below. From the air, you’ll also see a falconry demonstration.

    Once on the ground again, you’ll enjoy a gourmet breakfast at a private reserve. For one final activity, hop on board a vintage Land Rover and cruise through the desert on a wildlife safari.

    ⇒ Book Your Hot Air Balloon Ride & Wildlife Safari Tour

    Red Dunes and Camel Safari with Overnight Camp

    How does an overnight safari combined with a morning safari sound? With this sleepover camel safari, you’ll experience the best of both worlds. You’ll be picked up from your hotel in the evening and start your tour with a whole host of activities. These include dune bashing, sandboarding, and quad-biking.

    After the sun sets, feast on a barbecue dinner, vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are both available. Then, enjoy classic Arab entertainment, like shisha smoking, henna painting, and belly dancing.

    Stay overnight in a typical Bedouin tent and sleep on a Nawar Bed. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll depart on a magical sunrise camel caravan. Afterwards, enjoy a freshly cooked Arabian breakfast before heading back to the city. This Dubai safari is the total package.

    ⇒ Book Your Overnight Camel Safari

    Dune Buggy Morning Desert Safari

    This dune buggy safari is a fun and exciting way to explore the desert. Hop on a twin-seater buggy and follow your guide on an off-road exploration tour. Drive over the desert’s majestic dunes and valleys on a thrilling adventure.

    For your comfort and safety, the buggies are equipped with a full roll cage and a harness. Three morning start times are offered: 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00.

    ⇒ Book Your Dune Buggy Desert Safari

    Quad Bike Morning Desert Safari

    Nothing will kickstart your morning better than a quad biking desert safari. Get your heart pumping as you journey through the arid landscape on your own private quad bike. Follow your guide up and down the dunes.

    You’ll have plenty of photo opportunities along the way. Refreshing drinks are also provided. 

    ⇒ Book Your Quad Bike Desert Safari

    Morning Desert Safari with Camel Ride and Jet Ski Ride

    This desert safari and jet ski tour is the best combo for thrill-seekers. Your action-packed morning starts with 40-minutes of off-road dune bashing. Next, glide over the desert floor while sandboarding. Continue your adventure by going on a slow-paced camel ride where you’ll have the chance to take incredible desert photos.

    Cap off this eventful safari with a jet ski excursion along Dubai’s coastline, in the Jumeirah neighbourhood. This five-hour tour will fly by as you experience all of the wonders of the desert terrain.

    ⇒ Book Your Desert Safari with Camel Ride and Jet Ski Ride

    Falconry & Wildlife Morning Desert Safari

    This falconry and wildlife desert safari is perfect for travellers interested in the desert’s wildlife species. Start your day by visiting a desert retreat and learning about the ancient Bedouin practice of falconry. Watch a live demonstration and have a go at flying a falcon yourself.

    Then climb aboard a vintage Land Rover and drive through the Dubai Desert Conservation. See if you can spot rare Arabian oryx, gazelle and other species on your journey. End your morning with snacks and a camel ride through the desert.

    ⇒ Book Your Falconry & Wildlife Morning Desert Safari

    Sunrise Early Morning Desert Safari

    This sunrise morning desert safari is perfect for early birds or travellers short on time. Following a 3:30 am pickup, you’ll be taken on a guided 4WD dune bash. Race over the dunes as the very first beams of morning light touch the desert floor.

    Watch a mesmerizing sunrise over the rural terrain before heading back to your accommodation.

                ⇒ Book Your Sunrise Early Morning Desert Safari

    Where to Stay in Dubai

    A huge part of enjoying your trip is choosing the right accommodation. To help you out, here are four incredible hotels that are perfect for your desert vacation.

    Burj Al Arab Jumeirah

    The luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel is located on its own island. All of the suites overlook the Arabian Gulf and feature floor to ceiling windows. They also include state of the art amenities, including an iPad, a 21-inch iMac, and a widescreen interactive HD TV.

    There are nine on-site restaurants as well as a sky bar suspended above the sea. Guests can pamper themselves at the full-service spa and relax at the private beach area or outdoor swimming pool.

    ⇒ Read reviews on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now

    Dubai MallJumeirah Emirates Towers

    Jumeirah Emirates Towers is an award-winning hotel close to The Dubai Mall. Guests enjoy a complimentary shuttle bus to several popular Dubai destinations, including The Dubai Mall.

    There are 400 rooms and suites as well as 11 dining and nightlife venues. The rooms are spacious and stylishly, they include a seating area with a sofa, city views, and luxurious bathrooms.

    ⇒ Read reviews on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now

    Dubai Old and NewFive Palm Jumeirah Dubai

    Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai is perfect for a carefree vacation. The property boasts a private beach and five outdoor swimming pools. One of the pools runs through the middle of the resort.

    The 470 guest rooms and suites include a coffee machine, a minibar, a large smart TV and smart devices to control the room settings. They also have balconies, some of which feature Gulf views. There are also three restaurants, two cafes, and three bars that cater to all of your dining needs.

    ⇒ Read reviews on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now

    Voco Hotel

    For a more boutique (albeit this is a hotel chain) option check out the Voco hotel. This hotel feels glamourous but it is definitely more in the boutique direction vs the over the top mega Dubai 5 star option.

    It has a fantastic location on Dubai’s main street and is about halfway between New and old Dubai. And it is just a 5 minute walk to the metro station.

    I ended up getting an upgrade to a stunning suite at the Voco Hotel as there was an error when I was checking in. The room was absolutely huge and the views were jaw dropping.

    The wow view from my bathtub at the Voco Hotel

    The highlight for me was the amazing views of Dubai from the shower and the bathtub. There are also some good views from the rooftop infinity pool.

    Rooftop infinity pool at the Voco

    I also enjoyed an excellent modern Indian lunch at Tresind, one of the restaurants at the Voco Hotel and one of Dubai’s hot restaurants. The food was outstanding and served with quite the flourish – Japanese grills, dry ice – it was a very full-on lunch!

    ⇒ Read more Reviews on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now

    Dry ice going made at Tresind
    Getting to Dubai and Getting Around

    Dubai airport is one of the biggest and busiest airports in the world. It is possible to fly virtually to and from anywhere in the world. It is also the home hub for Emirates Airlines – don’t miss my Emirates Business Class Review post.

    ⇒ Book your

  • Big Five includes mandatory insurance to enter Costa Rica
    29 October 2020

    We are getting back to traveling. I am glad to report that Costa Rica continues to welcome North American travelers in these interesting times. We understand some of the concerns people have. That has led us to provide additional travel insurance required for entry into Costa Rica at no additional cost. This will not replace the recommended comprehensive travel insurance, but rather provides our guests with a seamless arrival process that gives peace of mind.

    Your health and safety are always our primary concern, so we also urge guests to travel through airports conducting the newly approved rapid testing. The list of airports is growing fast as increasing numbers of U.S. airports have introduced COVID-19 testing options during this pandemic. Testing facilities are currently available at some airports such as Newark International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey, and at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. The facilities offer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (nasal swab) tests, as well as rapid molecular tests that can produce results within 15 minutes; and antibody tests. At JFK, it is recommended to make a reservation online for a test in advance, but walk-ins are also available. Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is expected to open by November while San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has partnered with Dignity Health–GoHealth Urgent Care to provide testing both on-site and at nearby locations.

    Travelers will not stop exploring and we aim to ensure that you can continue to venture out safely and securely.

    To quote author and artist, Mary Anne Radmacher, “I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

    From glamping, to extraordinary nature, to discovering some of the world’s best coffee, explore Big Five’s Costa Rica.

    The post Big Five includes mandatory insurance to enter Costa Rica appeared first on Big Five.

Australia Travel Blog

30 October 2020

Australia Travel Blog
  • Easy spiced banana bread
    28 October 2020

    This easy banana bread is moist and full of flavour. It’s delicious served hot straight from the oven, it holds together well when toasted and is equally good cold with a smear of butter.

    I seem to buy bananas a lot more often than I eat them. As a fresh fruit, we just seem to go for anything else in the fruit bowl or fridge first. I like them, they just seem to be the thing that gets passed over.

    Having said that, I hate to waste food so it’s lucky then that bananas are such a forgiving fruit. They are at their best for eating when they’re mostly yellow but when speckled with brown or even fully black the sugars are at their maximum and their texture perfect to incorporate into baking.

    This easy banana bread is a great way to use up a few over-ripe bananas but oaty banana pancakes, smoothies and banana breakfast muffins are also delicious options.

    How to make our easy banana bread

    Like most of our everyday recipes on the site our easy banana bread has 10 ingredients or less, this in turn leads to simpler and faster recipes to make and more time with family and friends enjoying the results.

    This is a regular recipe in my banking rotation because it is so versatile and because I make it so often there are several shortcuts you can take based on what equipment you have on hand.

    There are several ways you can cream the butter and sugar then incorporate the egg and vanilla. If you have a stand mixer or a hand mixer they will both work equally well. If you don’t then you can do it perfectly well by hand, grab a fork and with a little bit of an arm workout you can mix it up in a couple of minutes.

    While I generally sift dry ingredients it’s not strictly necessary in this recipe. Commercially made flours are generally triple sifted and if stored well they should remain soft and separated in your cupboard.

    Once the batter is recipe you’ll want to cook it in a loaf tin. I recommend greasing the tin, use a cooking spray if you prefer but also line it with a sling of baking paper. This just makes it even easier to lift out of the tin while still hot to cool on a wire rack without it breaking.

    Once you have the batter in the pan smooth the top off relatively flat and stud the top with nuts if you like them. It then goes into an oven heated to 180 Celcius for 55 minutes. It’s a relatively long bake but the loaf comes out deliciously moist. If you think your oven is running a bit hot and it might be ready early just insert a toothpick a couple of times and check it comes out clean if it does you are ready to remove it from the oven.

    Easy Banana Bread
    Yield: 12 slices

    This easy banana bread is moist and full of flavour. It's delicious served hot straight from the oven, when toasted or cold with a smear of butter.

    Print
    Ingredients
    • 125g butter
    • 1 cup of sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 3 medium bananas
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or paste
    Instructions

    1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until smooth and pale.

    2. Beat in eggs and vanilla

    3. Break banana into the mix and mash with a fork until well incorporated. Having small lumps of banana is good in the final loaf, it doesn't need to be smooth but it does want to be mixed thoroughly.

    4. Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.

    5. Mix with a spatula until fully incorporated but don't over mix at this stage.

    6. Prepare a loaf tin by greasing and lining with a baking paper sling.

    7. Pour batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake at 180 celsius for 55 minutes.

    8. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

    Notes
    • The baking paper 'sling' overlaps the sides of the tin slightly and helps to lift the loaf out easily and get it onto the rack without breaking
    • I sometimes stud the top of the loaf with walnut as you can see in some of the photos. Nut pieces can also be added into the batter if you prefer but it is entirely optional.
    • To check the loaf is fully cooked stick a toothpick into the centre in a couple of places, if it comes out clean then it is ready
    • Most loaf tins will work as long as they are greased and lined, I use both a pyrex one and a non-stick metal pan.
    • Store leftover banana bread in the fridge for up to a week
    Nutrition Information: Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g

    I'm neither a nutritionist nor a mathematician so I use a service to calculate this nutrition information. Please use it as a guide only.

    Cuisine: Australian / Category: Baking

    If you enjoyed this recipe please consider saving it to Pinterest. It helps us, and it helps others searching for inspiration in the kitchen.

    The post Easy spiced banana bread appeared first on 2 Aussie Travellers.

  • Family Road Trip!
    27 October 2020
    The very words evoke feelings of freedom, of adventure…or fear!He’s hitting me! I need the toilet again! Are we there yet? Just joking…sort of!

    Travel with kids can be incredibly rewarding and adds a whole new dimension to any trip. Seeing things through their eyes is just magical, as is watching their self-confidence and interest in the world grow and develop quite naturally. It’s just so good for them! Experience has taught us, however, that everything goes much more smoothly with a little planning and preparation before you leave and you too can adopt the family road trip mantra ‘Be prepared, not scared!’ If you are looking at hiring a motorhome for a holiday around Australia, get in touch and we’ll make sure you get the best vehicle for your family requirements. Also check out our vehicle options and chat with us!

    Meanwhile, check out below our list of top tips for stress-free family travel!

    Tip #1: Plan your route

    This is vital! Ensure that you factor in a 15 minute stop every 2 hours, and expect a couple of shorter ones in between! It’s a good idea to check online for towns with good spots to stop with kids – parks with a playground, family friendly country pubs or a national park. Generally speaking, Australia does this well with lots of playgrounds, particularly in coastal towns.

    Tip #2: Safety First

    The last thing you want to do is to have to unpack the whole car just to find a band aid for a scratched knee. Have a first aid kit with all the basics at arm’s reach, including tweezers, thermometer and fever medication, just in case! We recommend putting it in a small backpack, along with hats, insect repellent and sunscreen. (See Tip #3 for more essentials)

    Tip #3: What to Pack

    Carrying on from the last point (important enough to have its own number), think about everything you’ll need before you go and make sure it’s accessible. This includes:

    • The Essentials – Ziplock bags for wet clothes, dirty nappies or car-sickness emergencies, tissues and your own body weight in wet wipes.
    • Change of clothes (and maybe even swimmers and towel if you’re passing a nice swimming spot)
    • Games and Toys (see tip #4)
    • Food, water and snacks (see tip #5)
    • You might also like to try out some of our Road Trip Hacks: Pack plastic trays for a good surface for playing with lego, toys or doing drawing without the pencils rolling away. Plastic over-the-door shoe holders are perfect for keeping activities, toys and pens tidy and accessible. Plastic cups are great to put snacks in and can be popped into the drink holders – no spills!
    Tip #4: Activities for Long Car Journeys

    This can be the make or break point of a successful family road trip. We all know ‘Eye Spy’, but after round 23, you may find the will to live slipping away…so here are some of our favourite activities!

    • Songs and Group Games.
      • Eye Spy – (because it’s the original and the best!) Vary for younger kids using colours or sounds.
      • Travel Bingo – There’s lots of printable versions available online, or make your own! The kids tick each item off as they see it until – bingo!
      • I went to the Market – is a good one for slightly older kids – it’s a challenge so it keeps them focused and it improves the old grey matter too – winning! The game, for the uninitiated, is played thus: Kid 1: ‘I went to the market and bought an apple’ Kid 2: I went to the market and bought an apple and a tin of paint, Kid 3: I went to the market and bought an apple, a tin of paint and pair of spotty socks…you get the gist!
      • Down by the Bay – Now this little road trip gem needs some prior planning if you don’t know it. YouTube will show you the way. It’s a rowdy, sillier-the-better, rhyming song – great fun and annoyingly catchy!
    • Colouring pencils, books and travel games – Pack a large clear folder for each child with all their goodies in – jazz it up with a couple of new items for the trip.
    • Map the Journey – Keep the kids engaged and interested in where they by printing out or buy a map, give them red marker and get them to mark out the journey as you go!
    • Audiobooks – download a few books before you go, or borrow CDs from your local library. The kids enjoy being read a story – and you can relax!
    • IPad, Tablet, Portable DVD Player â€“ We all know that too much screen time doesn’t usually result in calm, happy kids…but oooh that lovely peace and quiet! Our verdict is that as long as it’s alternated with other activities, a movie or a little play on Minecraft can be a sanity-saver!
    • Stop and Burn! Ensure maximum energy is burnt off by packing a frisbee, bubbles, inflatable beach ball or skipping rope. Pop them all in a bucket in the external storage locker for easy access.
    Tip #5: And when all else fails…FEED THEM!
    • Pack lots of small, healthy snacks. Some of our favs include:
      • Pack cut fruit and veggie sticks, grapes, cheese sticks, packs of sultanas, mini wraps or sandwiches.
      • Avoid anything sugary, crumbly and sticky – you know why already…
      • Try and save any favourites for leverage later!

    With all of these tips under your belt, we’re absolutely confident that your next road trip will be a wonderful experience for your whole family! Enjoy making those memories!

    Need some inspiration for where to go for some family road trips? Check out our blogs on Kondalilla Falls and Carnarvon Gorge.

    The post Family Road Trip! appeared first on Gallivanting Oz.

  • 12 fun things to do in Redlands this weekend
    26 October 2020

    Redlands is a coastal area in greater Brisbane southeast of the city centre. More formally known as Redland City it is beautifully positioned on the shores of Morton Bay with extensive bushlands and well-developed infrastructure. You might be surprised at the many fun things to do in Redlands.

    Walking and cycle paths

    The Redlands has an excellent network of walking and recreational cycle paths many of them along the coastline, linking up bushland areas and on the islands in Morton Bay.

    You can cycle on any footpath in Queensland unless there is a sign that says not to and those are rare. The bike gives way to pedestrians, should pass on the right where possible and sound its bell to alert others you are approaching.

    North Stradbroke Island

    North Stradbroke Island or Straddie to the locals is a large sand island around 30 minutes by ferry from Redlands. It has many great beaches, two large lakes surrounded in bush, an absolutely gorgeous gorge walk at the northern end of the island where we have watched sea turtles and dolphins on every visit and whales offshore during the winter migration.

    We’ve been out here many times now and love it, you really will find it hard to believe that you are so close to the city with scenery, wildlife and relaxation like this. Don’t miss our list of things you must see and do on Straddie and you might also like this fun North Stradbroke day trip that we did by scooter.

    Wellington Point

    Wellington Point is a beach area and reserve at the northern end of the Redland coast. It’s a popular spot for families in the summer especially at high tide when the flat bay is great for cooling off. It’s also a popular launch spot for kayakers and windsurfing.

    There’s a wharf for fishing and extensive green space with mature trees offering shade, there are toilet facilities, picnic tables, BBQ’s, a children’s’ playground and a cafe/takeaway along with a good amount of parking.

    It’s a good spot for a picnic dinner in the heat of summer as it often catches a tiny bit of cooling breeze that others don’t.

    Sirromet

    Queensland isn’t known for its wine regions as some other parts of Australia are but Sirromet is very popular. Their large grass slopes and sound stage host many international acts, their cellar door offers a fun tasting experience, they have a casual alfresco area where you can sit out on the deck for a few wines and a share platter or lunch.

    Lurleen’s Restaurant is a great choice for a special meal or you can join a wine tour here to take a look behind the scenes. A recent addition is high-end glamping tents if you are looking for somewhere a little different to stay in Brisbane.

    Indigiscapes

    Indigiscapes is a Council managed bushland reserve, walking trails, botanic garden featuring indigineous plants, kids playground, cafe and information centre. The walks are quite short but you have a fair chance of spotting a koala here, we have spotted them many times over the years.

    While there is a cafe on-site you are equally welcome to bring your own food and make use of the picnic tables and BBQ facilities.

    Read more and get our tips on planning your own visit here in our dedicated article on Indigiscapes.

    King Island

    King Island off Wellington Point is a tidal island, that means it’s connected by a sand bar that is exposed on the mid to low tide allowing you to walk out to the island around a kilometre offshore.

    The island is under an acre in size and has reduced significantly over the past century as well moving further north. It sounds strange to hear an island is moving but the experts say it’s quite normal for sand islands to erode away on the side of the prevailing wind and accumulate sand on the opposing side.

    It’s not every day you can say you walked to an island so this one might make an interesting addition to the weekend activities.

    Crystal Waters park and lagoons

    We have a full article on Crystal Waters on the site but it’s a lesser-known spot that is great for a quiet walk, there are picnic facilities and a well-equiped children’s play area, two large lagoons and plenty of birds and lizards to spot around the waters edge and surrounding trees.

    The lagoons used to provide irrigation for the strawberry farms that grew around here but with the urban development it provides water management to protect surrounding areas from flood, habitat for wildlife and a great recreational space hidden away down the side streets.

    Point Halloran

    Located just above Victoria Point on the southern end of the Redland coast this area has good walking and cycle paths, waterfront parks and bushland walks. There’s a small beach area in Les Moore Park with picnic tables, a childrens park, toilets and some good shade trees if you want to bring your own seats or blankets to spread out.

    Tidal flats run between Epipah Creek and the Point Halloran conservation area and you can walk the bushland tracks and out on to the salt flats during low tide. A green belt comprised of a series of parks, walking paths and the cycleway run south from here through Cameron Court Park, Victoria Park bushland refuge, Fodder park and Cascade Gardens as far as Colburn Ave and the Sharks Sporting Club.

    Local markets

    There is a range of local markets on the Redland Coast to suit your interests. Pictured below are the Twilight markets, these are held monthly at Raby Bay just across from the Cleveland train station. They run from 4 pm until 8 pm with around 65 stalls spaced around the edge of the harbour with crafts, food trucks, fashion and home-cooked goodies.

    Another popular option is the Cleveland markets in Bloomfield Street, these are held every Sunday from 7 am until 1 pm. They started out 30 years ago as Brisbane’s original farmer’s markets and now host around 80 stallholders selling fresh produce, crafts, gifts and food.

    Coochiemudlo Island

    This little island has a small population living on the island and is only a short hop across from Victoria Point. The ferry takes 15 minutes and costs $5 for the short trip across but it does make a fun day out.

    Once on the island, there are a few walks you can do including the Island Walk which is 5 km pretty much around the outside, the Mangrove walk at 3 km and the Reserve Walk at 2.6 km. There is a range of pretty beaches to visit, you can hire kayaks and SUPs on Main Beach to explore from the water, you can hire a tinnie, go fishing or play a 9-hole round of golf.

    Venman Bushlands

    We’ve been going to Venman Bushland for years after discovering it by chance in passing. It’s part of a substantial tract of interlinked wildlife corridor thanks for the foresight of Jack Venman who came up with the plan to restore it and then gifted it to the State to preserve for the future.

    The piece of land is particularly viable for wildlife due to a dam on the site that we’ve seen get pretty low in the droughts but never completely run out of water. At the start of the tracks near the car parking is a really nice picnic and BBQ area.

    There are two walks here, the longer Venman Track is a 7.6 km walk, it’s well-graded but quite open making it hot in summer so take your water bottle and there’s a good amount of up and downhill involved. The shorter second walk is the Tingalpa Creek Circuit and is only 2.5 km still with a bit of a gradient.

    The bushlands are a great place for wildlife, watch out for lace monitors, wallabies, koalas, sugar gliders, frogs, other small lizards and geckos and a good variety of birds.

    Daisy Hill Koala Parklands

    While the Daisy Hill Koala Parklands entrance is technically in Logan, not Redlands, it’s part of the same tract of bushland and wildlife corridor as Venman Bushlands is so I’ve included it here.

    The 570 hectares of open eucalypt forest is home to red-necked wallabies, koalas and many types of birds and reptiles. The wallabies aren’t hard to spot from the walking trails or even peering out at you from the bush surrounding the picnic tables. There was a cute set of ear’s peeping out of the pouch of this mum.

    Koalas typically have the choice of many tall trees throughout the bushlands here and their preference is to spend the day sleeping high up, they are much harder to spot but keep looking, they are there. For a guaranteed koala sighting stop in at the Koala Centre which is open from 10 am until 3 pm (or 4 pm on the weekends).

    There are 3 walks here depending on how much time you have and how far you want to go, starting with the 800 m tree discovery trail you’ll find picnic tables along the way, information boards about the habitat. There are a few steps and a bit of a slope but it’s easy walking.

    The Spotted Gum trail is 4 km reasonably flat walk, the track is wide enough for a 4-wheel drive to get through for maintainence so it’s easy walking and a good one for bird watchers. The Buhot Creek Circuit is 9 km and passes waterholes in the old quarry that are surrounded by bush now, there are a few hills to navigate and the route isn’t as well marked in some parts.

    Map of Redlands Coast attractions

    Planning your visit to Redlands or looking for something to do in the area this weekend? We’ve mapped the main attractions on the map below so you can plan our your route.

    If you found this useful please consider saving it to Pinterest. It makes it easy to find again, it helps us, and it helps other travellers to find the information they need.

  • Best Restaurants and Bars in Adelaide
    25 October 2020

    Best restaurants to eat and drink in Adelaide Adelaide is full of exquisite little restaurants and bars that are low cost and great value. Join us as we share some of our favourite places to eat and drink when visiting Adelaide. South Australia is well-known for serving exquisite dishes throughout Adelaide and beyond. With world-class […]

    The post Best Restaurants and Bars in Adelaide appeared first on Aussie Mob.

  • 20 Famous Landmarks in Cuba
    24 October 2020

    The post 20 Famous Landmarks in Cuba appeared first on Travel2Next.

    Not long after Christopher Columbus arrived in Cuba in 1492, the country became a Spanish colony. Following the Spanish-American war, Cuba became a protectorate of the USA, and today is an independent republic. Despite Cuba’s tumultuous political past, the country is a spectacular island to visit in the Caribbean. With incredible mountainous landscapes, thick forests […]

    The post 20 Famous Landmarks in Cuba appeared first on Travel2Next.

  • Australian Wild Birds – Make it count
    21 October 2020
    Heading out in your motorhome hire? Get involved this week in the great Aussie backyard bird count. Spot Australian wild birds and make it count!

    If you are a keen ‘twitcher’, and let’s be specific here for a moment, bird watching is a serious business! At the drop of a hat, die-hard bird twitchers, aka bird watchers, will travel large distances for the prospect of seeing a rare bird!

    Don’t consider yourself as a die-hard twitcher but do enjoy watching wildlife? Then you might be interested in this! Every year 19 -25 October is the Aussie Backyard Bird Count Week and you could make a difference.

    Get involved, its easy!

    It really only takes up to 20 mins of your time. Furthermore, you might enjoy it so much, you’ll get carried away!

    The great Aussie backyard bird count is a great way to connect back with nature. You only need 20 minutes and it doesn’t matter where you are – a national park or even your own back yard. All you need to do is count how many birds and record what they are in that time and you can count as many times in the week as you like.

    The data collected assists Bird Life Australia to understand more about the birds that are living here.

    It could be that you have collected your motorhome hire from Brisbane this week and have stopped in a national park for lunch and quicker than you can say ‘stone the flamin crows’ you could be enjoying a bite over lunch and counting Australian wild birds all for a good cause!

    So, what type of Australian wild birds are you likely to see around Australia?

    This is what makes travelling in a motorhome so exciting, as there are just so many Australian wild birds to spot! Australia is a bird lovers paradise with just over 850 species of birds in Australia. 45% of which are endemic to Australia!

    Bird watchers and lovers of wildlife from around the world come to Australia to tick off their bird bucket list! Grabbing yourself a motorhome hire is a great way to get around and explore to find these magnificent animals.

    Depending on which specific Australian wild birds you are looking for will determine which depot you could pick up your motorhome hire from. Have a chat with our experienced customer service team. We can advise on the most suitable motorhome and the best time of year for your trip, depending on where you want to go.

    Here are a few birds that are popular with our international bird lovers:

    Emu’s

    We love spotting these interesting birds in all sorts of locations. While mainly found in outback areas like SA, WA and QLD we also find it interesting to see them in more built up locations like Exmouth!

    Emu’s are a large flightless bird and are always fun to spot when driving through the outback. Sometimes you’ll see them running along the edge of the road. Did you know they can run up to 50 km per hour! There are plenty of locations to visit to in the outback for a bit of emu spotting from the windows of your motorhome!

    Cassowary

    Another large flightless bird and a fun one to spot. This is a popular bird to spot with any motorhome hire picked up or returned to Cairns. A great addition to any family holiday to keep the kids entertained while exploring the rainforest areas near Cairns. A great campground we like is Cape Tribulation Camping where there is a chance to see these incredible birds from the caravan park! They look like something out of prehistoric times and are a bit treat if you get to see one. Like all wild animals, make sure you don’t try to pat or feed one.

    Colourful birds

    Australia has an array of eclectic and colourful mix of birds ranging from king parrots, rainbow lorikeets to the galah’s. If you are out camping, particularly freedom camping, you’ll get a rude awakening from these squawky birds! Their vocal capabilities are as colourful as they look!

    Let us know what is on your bird bucket list and we’ll help you find the perfect location to set yourself up with a good chance to spot it. As with most wildlife it is often best to be in the right place at the right time which often involves a bit of patience and early mornings, a motorhome hire is the perfect mode of transport.

    Check out our motorhomes and 4WD campers or take a look through 12 of our most common routes across Australia.

    Top Tip: Check out our Motorhome Renting Guide. It’ll help get you started! We’ll look forward to speaking with you soon!

    The post Australian Wild Birds – Make it count appeared first on Gallivanting Oz.

  • Picnic Point park and walking tracks – Toowoomba
    19 October 2020

    The lookout and park at Picnic Point, Toowoomba, is a popular spot for leisurely coffees, family picnics and can be a great day out. It’s located high on a peak in the Great Dividing Range offering panoramic views out onto the Lockyer Valley plains below. It’s also the starting point for a range of walks down the escarpment and through the bush below.

    The shorter tracks are named for the local birds in the area, both the fantail and pardalote trails provided excellent examples of their namesakes on our walks and the best close view of the black-headed striated pardalote that we’ve seen. I even managed to get a few photos with my standard walkabout lens. Considering they are at the entrance to their nesting burrows they are incredibly relaxed.

    There’s plenty of space, a childrens playground and picnic facilities.  In the restaurant you can order a coffee, snack or meal and eat inside or out on the patio with spectacular views out over the valley.  There are also clean restroom facilities and plenty of green space for games or to spread out the picnic blanket.

    As you drive up over the hill from the Lockyer Valley into Toowoomba you will see a large Australian flag flying up on the hill to your left, that is Picnic Park.  To get up there you’ll need to work your way through a few local streets which become wide and tree-lined avenues as you approach the summit. 

    You can see the flag flying most of the way as you come up the hill, so it is very easy to find your way if you just drive towards it. Alternatively, you can use Google maps or other vehicle-based navigation systems to get you pointed in the right direction, it’s not far.

    At the top is car parking, parkland, gardens, the start of several walking trails, the restaurant, toilets and many spots that give fabulous views out over the surrounding area, Lockyer Valley and beyond.

    Near the top is a man-made waterfall, there’s a love locks fence above and if you walk down either through the park or the walking track the falls provides an attractive backdrop for family photos and the kids will love climbing across the stepping stones with very little chance of getting really wet.

    The whole area is beautifully planted and looks even more special if you get up here around the Toowoomba Flower Festival when a lot of work goes into ensuring every flower bed around town is looking its best.

    Picnic Point Walking tracks

    As we’ve mentioned above, there are 5 walking tracks within the Picnic Point park to take a look at if you have some time to spend up here. You can download the official map of the walking trails here.

    Fantail Walk

    This is the shortest of the tracks at 1.8 km return, it’s partially paved and includes some stairs. It drops down from the memorial park area at the top through the open forest at the south-east edge of the park. You return along the same path so all the downhill on the way out is uphill on the way back.

    The track is named for the cheeky showy fantails that may flit across your path. Throughout south east Queensland including Toowoomba you’ll see both the grey and rufous fantails, the grey being more common in winter and the rufous in summer.

    Pardalote track

    The Pardalote track is 3.7 km returning again along the same path or you could walk back through the park and along the road. You are also close to the start of the Fantail walk if you wanted to combine the two.

    Start the track at Lions Park up by the cafe, you’ll pass Bill Goulds Lookout and the man-made waterfall then continue along the edge of the hillside and open eucalypt forest. The track is named for the Striated Pardalote a small colourful bird found in the area, it nests in burrows in river banks or hillsides and you can see these holes along the first part of the walk between the lookout and waterfall. During spring you’ll see the birds coming frequently in and out of them with nesting material.

    From the Pardalote track there are some incredible views out over the Lockyer Valley and Table Top Mountain. and can also be accessed from Picnic Point Park or Tobruk Drive Park. This walk finishes at the end of South Street, 450m from the intersection with Fantail Walk.

    Firetail track

    You’ll start to see a bit of a theme with the Picnic Park walks, being at the top of the escarpment there is a lot of downhill and back uphill again. Again you’ll start up near the lookout or cafe but this time head to the right (as you look out across the view).

    The Firetail track is 4.2 km return and the views from this one are north and east across the valley including the distinctive Table Top Mountain. Watch out for a good variety of birds and wildlife on this one too.

    Picnic Point Circuit

    At 6.4 km this one isn’t actually a separate track but instead links up the other 4 into one longer circuit track, due to the terrain that is going to mean some significant hill work and steep patches but comes with some excellent views to enjoy.

    Picnic Point Bridle trail

    The Picnic Point Bridle trail is 3 km return track from Tabletop drive to Stevenson Street. It’s open to walkers but is perhaps better suited to mountain bike and horse riders who share this one. Both roads are very narrow but have a small offroad parking space at the trail head.

    If you are looking for more things to do in Toowoomba while you’re in town or passing through there are some great cafes in the central city and while you are there take a walk around to check out the street art in the laneways.

    Toowoomba is known as the garden city and you really can’t go past the parks and gardens, some of the best known are Queens Park which is connected to the botanic gardens, Laurel Bank Park and the spectacular Ju Raku En Japanese gardens.

    If you found this useful please consider saving it to Pinterest. It helps us, and it helps other travellers to find the information they need.

    Originally published 5 July 2014

    The post Picnic Point park and walking tracks – Toowoomba appeared first on 2 Aussie Travellers.

  • 150+ ‘BIG Things’ in Queensland (Printable PDF Checklist)
    19 October 2020
  • Augie Eyewear helps you to buy kids glasses using Augmented Reality
    17 October 2020

    augie Eyewear is a new Australian company with a fresh approach to buying kids glasses! It’s come just at the right time as Lady AB desperately new frames (she’s wearing frames from 3 years ago that are waaay too small for her face) but we can’t get to an optometrist to try on frames in person.

    Who is augie Eyewear

    Parents Scott and Lana Arnold created augie Eyewear after experiencing first-hand the difficulty and frustration when it comes to purchasing frames for kids. They have designed a simple approach to choosing kids optical frames using Augmented Reality features.

    How does augie Eyewear use AR?

    Augmented Reality makes selecting your frames easy. Their virtual try on (which can be accessed via the augie website or your Instagram account) uses filters within Facebook and Instagram. This makes it easy for you and your kid to find their favourite augie frames and share them with family and friends.

    Once you’ve made your choice you simply upload the prescription with your order and if you need blue light blocking lenses, these will be delivered with the frames directly to you.

    augie‘s unisex children’s glasses range comprises 2 sizes – small (4-7 years) and large (8-13 years). The designs are based on on-trend adult styles, adapted to a fun colour palette that kids will adore. The range is designed in Australia.

    augie offers different lenses at different price points. Their premium and super-premium lenses are made from polycarbonate that are thinner and more lightweight than standard lenses, as well as being UV resistant. Polycarbonate is also used for sports glasses, so they are ideal for safety when put to the test of an active child’s lifestyle.

    augie has also taken care of all your safety and quality concerns – the frames are kid-friendly features include silicone tips for easy adjustments at home by a parent and flexi-spring hinges giving them flexibility.
    All augie frames are made using cellulose acetate which is great for sensitive skin. Every pair is hand-polished.

    Does augie Eyewear offer multifocal or bifocal lenses?

    At this stage augie Eyewear do offer Bifocal or Progressive lenses online. 

    As Lady AB needs bifocal lenses for her myopia we purchase augie frames only – so we will still need to visit the optometrist to have them fitted with the lenses she requires.

    How do I buy augie Eyewear?

    Buying augie glasses is a simple process! You just choose a size, frames style and colour, the lenses you need, upload your prescription and augie deliver your glasses directly to your door.

    There’s free worldwide shipping for purchases over $100 (frames start at $129) and a 60-day return policy.

    If you’re choosing to purchase augie frames and prescription lenses then it may take up to 10 days to dispatch your order, depending on the complexity of your child’s prescription. If you select ‘Frames Only’ then they will be dispatched within 48 hours.

    Can I claim augie Eyewear on private health insurace?

    augie Eyewear is a recognised provider with all major Australian private health insurance funds. This allows you to make annual claims against your child’s policy and be reimbursed some of the cost in accordance with that policy. You simply take your augie Eyewear itemised invoice following your order confirmation and make a claim with your health fund.

    For further information and details about your policy, you will need to contact your private health insurer.

    Help kids develop a growth mindset with Big Life Journal Best children’s bookshops in Melbourne Best toys and books under $50

    This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks Joyce

  • ReachOut is helping teens and their parents with study stress
    17 October 2020

    This unusual year has impacted all of our lives and, in many cases, our wellbeing.

    For those of you with teenage children, you’ll know that this year has been a particularly difficult time for teenagers (particularly in Victoria, as many of them are not yet back at school). Their usual schooling and social routines have been completely upended.

    Trying to keep on top of studies is difficult without the face to face time to go over any challenges in detail.

    Plus they may be experiencing disappointment about missing important experiences such as school formals, sporting competitions and drama productions, as well as just normal social interaction.

    It is a tough time for parents too, as it’s often hard to look after yourself while also supporting your family. As you’ve never dealt with something like this before, parenting your teen during this time may feel overwhelming.

    Luckily, ReachOut has developed a collection of resources for parents to help their teen with study stress during this unusual time, as well as supporting their general emotional wellbeing.

    Who are ReachOut?

    ReachOut is Australia’s leading mental health organisation for teenagners, young people and their parents.

    It was established over 20 years ago as the world’s first online mental health service. This was in response to research showing that over 50% of teens and young people look online for help with their mental health.

    ReachOut‘s digital services, tools and ideas are not just for getting through difficult situations. They can help teens to develop a healthy approach towards everyday scenarios.

    ReachOut‘s digital tools are created with input from experts, young people and parents, based on up to date evidence and information. That’s why ReachOut‘s digital self-help tools are trusted, relevant and easy to use. The majority of the services are free.

    If services need to be taken off line to ensure someone gets the help they require – ReachOut can also assist in referring people.

    What are the tools available from ReachOut?

    In addition to ReachOut’s collection of resources for parents to help their teen with study stress you can discover more resources, divided into three main areas; ReachOut.com, ReachOut Schools and ReachOut Parents.

    Young people aged 14 – 25 years can create a login for access to the forums and a more personalised experience from ReachOut.

    ReachOut Articles cover different topics like finishing school, moving past school life, body image, bullying and more. Articles provide real scenarios and current, practical suggestions and strategies. Articles are accessible, with a button at the top of each so users can choose to listen to them instead. They can also be shared on social media and via email.

    ReachOut Forums provide a safe, supportive and anonymous place to connect with other people and join a discussion.  Discussions may range from current concerns, what to expect when seeing a professional or just sharing funny memes.

    ReachOut Tools and Apps allows users to take a quiz to work out their goals and then makes recommendations for professionally reviewed tools and apps that they might find useful. These may focus on sleep, managing anxiety, planning conversations with someone you are concerned about, relationship breakup and more.

    ReachOut Next Step provides more personalised advice to people aged 18 – 25, allowing them to access further support off line.

    Is ReachOut just for teenagers?

    ReachOut’s services are targeted to young people and teens (14 – 25 years), but they have developed tools for their parents as well.

    These are designed to help parents of teens to look after themselves, both on a regular basis and when facing extra duties (hello remote learning!) and multiple priorities.

    Help your teen develop a growth mindset with Big Life Journal Growth Mindset Books for Tweens, Kids and under 5s Mindfulness and meditation apps for kids

    This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks Joyce

Europe Travel blog

30 October 2020

Europe Travel blog
  • Oct 29, Need trustworthy electrician
    30 October 2020
    Hello can anyone recommend a trustworthy and reasonably priced electrician to check out an issue in my apartment at Magna Marbella Neuva Andalucia 29660.
  • Oct 29, Caviar&Friends
    30 October 2020
    Caviar & Friends would like to offer a free blini with caviar for the first 10 Marbellafamilyfun readers! Come and visit us with the screenshot we will
  • A Scoop of Italy… in Soho | Snowflake Gelato Review
    29 October 2020
    One of my favourite things about Rome is that every fifth shop on a street seems to sell gelato. I consumed a copious amount of the cold stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner in four memorable days. The feeling of...
  • Central Apennines seminar showcases positive economic impact of rewilding
    29 October 2020
    Held in the village of Pettorano sul Gizio, many of whose residents are already experiencing the economic benefits of rewilding, the event brought together entrepreneurs from across Italy.

    Source

  • Oct 29, Caviar & Friends
    29 October 2020
    Marbella! Caviar & Friends is a new concept with the goal to make caviar modern and fun! Visit our pop up at the Mercado Municipal in Marbella, and
  • Tools to Help You Book the Perfect European Trip
    28 October 2020

    When you are planning your perfect European trip, making sure you properly book everything in advance is half the battle. If you can get peace of mind with that, you will simply be able to enjoy your experience when you get there.

    The post Tools to Help You Book the Perfect European Trip appeared first on Singapore Travel Blog | Europe | Germany | France | Italy | Spain | Iceland.

  • WHY DO I HIKE: Independent project & Award winning documentary
    28 October 2020

    So, guys, I stumbled upon this documentary just a few days ago (it premiered on October 21, 2020 on YouTube), and was instantly hooked on the title… And I’m so glad I clicked on it.

    “Why do I hike” is personal, and universal at the same time; explores profundity and connection of ourselves and nature in a series of amazingly put thoughts and stuningly beautiful landscapes… that take you on this insightful journey from the very first second. What you get is not a simple answer, but rather a deeper understanding of life summarized all throughout five chapters of this 23-minute long video treat.

    A must-watch short documentary.

    Here’s what the author, Nikola Horvat-Tesla says about how this whole project came about:

    In summer of 2019. I went to hike Colorado Trail to find the reasons why do I hike. This was independent project and the movie was filmed, edited and written by myself. It was challenging to carry all of video equipment in my backpack, but I had a vision and a goal – I wanted to capture my inner reasons why I do hike and why do I always go back to long distance hiking. (source)

    The documentary won 3 grand prix awards plus was once a finalist and official selection on various film festivals.

    One more thing: before you watch the documentary, don’t forget to check out Nikola’s FB page and his website where you’ll find more information about the trails, documentaries & adventures. Also, there are more documetaries made by Nikola, and you can find them all on his YouTube channel here

    Featured banner kindly provided by Nikola Horvat-Tesla

    The post WHY DO I HIKE: Independent project & Award winning documentary appeared first on Indie Voyager.

  • How to Make Portuguese Custard Tarts
    26 October 2020
    Portuguese Custard Tarts Recipe

    Pastéis de Belém is essentially egg custard tarts. The thick outer is a rich buttery puff pastry that holds a dollop of smooth, creamy egg custard. The top of the custard is caramelized, which gives the tart their spotted look, then dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar.

    In the 1600s, egg whites were used to starch the clothing of the nuns and friars. The result was a huge quantity of egg yolks leftover. What to do? Sweet dessert. The monks and nuns always sold desserts in the convents and monasteries.

    The monks created the custard tarts in the famous Jerónimos Monastery.

    After the civil war and liberal revolution (1834), the monasteries and convents in Portugal were shut down, the clergy and laborers expelled. The monks sold the recipe to a local sugar refinery.

    In 1837, the store “Pastéis de Belém” began to sales this amazing sweet pastry. This store is open till nowadays.

    You can currently eat this sweet pastry in New York, London, Macau, Rio de Janeiro, etc.

    What does “pastel” mean?

    It means pastry. In Portuguese, one pastry is “pastel”, two is “pastéis”.

    What does “nata” mean?

    It means cream.

    What is the diferença entre pastel de nata e pastéis de belém?

    None! Pastéis de Belém is a brand. The first store was open in Belém, a neighborhood in Lisbon. Pastel de Nata is a pastry name in Portuguese.

    In my opinion: the pastry in the story “Pastéis de Belém” has more butter in the puff pastry, and the cream has a soft flavor of lemon. Other pastry in the north of Portugal, the cream is thick.

    How to order one Portuguese custard tart and coffee in Lisbon?

    Um pastel de nata e uma bica, por favor.
    Read here Eat Like Local in Portugal.

    How many calories are in a Portuguese custard tart?

    One tart has 250 calories.

    Easy Recipe Pastel de Natas

    INGREDIENT FOR TEN PERSONS

    Three sheets of puff pastry. You can buy it in the supermarket.

    Margarine to spread the forms

    150 gr. butter without sal

    For cream:

    500 ml of milk

    One lemon peel

    One cinnamon stick

    60 gr. cake flour

    500 gr. sugar

    250 ml of water

    Seven egg yolks

    INSTRUCTIONS

    In a pan, boil the milk with a cinnamon stick and lemon peel.

    In a mixing bowl (with the help of rods), mix the eggs and flour.

    Add it into the pan with the previous mixture, always mixing, and heat very slowly.

    In another pan, boil the water and sugar for 3 minutes. After boiling and always mixing, gently put everything in the first pan and allow it to stand.

    Meanwhile, smear the muffin cup (in aluminum. Please don’t use silicon) with margarine.

    Extend the puff pastry and butter with a kitchen roll and wrap up the most power in the cylinder. My tips: If you add more butter, the pastry will be brittle and crisp. That is optional, you can add 50 gr per sheet of puff pastry.

    Curl the puff pastry again. Cut into 3 cm pieces and placed in the form using your thumb finger (circular movements). Press thumb into the center of the swirl.

    Fill each cup 3/4 of the way with custard.

    And it takes the preheated oven at 250º C for 20 minutes.

    Bake until the pastry is browned and bubbly, and the tops start to blister and caramelize. Cool tarts briefly and serve warm with cinnamon powder and powdered sugar.

    Why don’t we use vanilla in this recipe?

    Because the cinnamon cut the eggs’ smell.

    Are you looking for a gluten-free pastry in Portugal?

    Please send us an email. We will help you.

    Portugal Culinary Tours

    Are you in Lisbon or Porto for a few days? Taste the best food in Portugal! A Food Tour that Combines Walking, Culture, and Portuguese Cuisine. Intense 8-day of Food Tours in Portugal for the epicure, including hotels, transportation, Port wine tasting, cooking classes, guide, and more!

    You will visit pastry, farms, and local food stores to teach you how to taste and enjoy real Portuguese food!
    We will cook this special bread! But in a traditional kitchen.

    Discover Portugal on a Food Tour, tasting the Best Portuguese Cuisine. Read More Here.

     

  • Innovation – The Key To Our Past, Our Present, And Our Future
    26 October 2020

    “Twenty years from nowyou will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore! Dream! Discover!” Mark Twain No business makes it through a century without constant innovation, […]

    The post Innovation – The Key To Our Past, Our Present, And Our Future appeared first on Grand European Travel.

  • Be My Guest
    26 October 2020

    Celebrating 10 Years of Connecting You with the Heart of Your Destination 10 years ago visiting a foreign place and being invited into a local’s home for a lovingly-prepared meal – an exchange of conversation and a first-hand look into the local life – was a revolutionary concept. EnterBe My Guest, the original local travel […]

    The post Be My Guest appeared first on Grand European Travel.

Dubai Travel Blogs

30 October 2020

Dubai Travel Blogs
  • Decadence Breakfast in Atmosphere Burj Khalifa
    29 October 2020

    And just like that, I turned 38! :)

    I'm not a fan of throwing big birthday parties, hence turning a year older during the time of social distancing didn't bother me. But yes, I must admit, I was sad that I couldn't go home to see my parents or at least travel to a new place just like how I spent my birthdays before.

    Stuck in Dubai with a full 9-hour shift to render, I searched for a good place to have my birthday breakfast. My work starts at 11:30 AM, so my options are limited as most cafes only open at 10. Then, I saw thatAtmosphere in Burj Khalifa has a breakfast voucher on The Entertainer app, and the restaurant opens at 7 AM! Hmmm! Early breakfast at the world's highest restaurant sounded brilliant. And to think it's Buy 1 Get 1 Free... splendid! 


  • A Perfect City Break at Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre Hotel
    27 October 2020

    Now that the world is slowly coping up with the COVID-19 situation - safety protocols have been implemented here and there - Ed and I have also learned to embrace the new norm. Recently, we started to spend more time outdoors for a natural dose of Vitamin D which I believe we are currently deficient with by now. And being home buddies and couch potatoes for several months, we finally opted to break away from the mundane household routine with hotel staycations.

    Last week, we spent a night at Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre Hotel. Freshly reopened and launched with an ALLSAFE label, we were confident that we'll experience a much-needed city break with peace of mind.


  • Full List of Rides at the Carnaval in Global Village
    27 October 2020

    There are plenty of great places to visit when you’re in Dubai. Aside from the awesome architectural design of most establishments in the emirate particularly the towering presence of the Burj Khalifa, the Burj Al Arab, the Dubai Frame, and many others, there’s also the Dubai Global Village, which hosts lots of fun and exciting […]

    The post Full List of Rides at the Carnaval in Global Village appeared first on Dubai Travel Blog.

  • Dubai Kayaking: Two New Island Destinations Open in Dubai for Boating
    24 October 2020

    Dubai has so many amazing destinations for kayaking and these include the incredible Hatta Dam. Little wonder it’s now becoming a globally renowned boating destination.

    Just a few weeks ago, the first yachts dropped anchor at Dubai Harbour, set to be the region’s biggest marina.

    And now boating enthusiasts have two new island destinations for boating in the Arabian Gulf at Deira Islands in the north of the emirate, and a private island off Dubai Waterfront, in the south.

    Vacationers can take day trips or stay overnight at both Dubai kayaking destinations.

    The developer in charge is none other than Nakheel.

    “We are expanding our marine facilities to reflect the continued growth in the UAE’s leisure boating industry,” said Aqil Kazim, chief commercial officer at Nakheel.

    Both new islands offer anchoring facilities only.

    Deira Islands, meanwhile, comprises of four man-made islands adjacent to the Deira district, while the southern Dubai Waterfront marina is close to Palm Jebel Ali. Plans to develop Palm Jebel Ali sadly stalled after the 2008 crash, but Nakheel has previously said it is committed to the project.

    Source: TheNationalNews.com

    The post Dubai Kayaking: Two New Island Destinations Open in Dubai for Boating appeared first on Dubai Tour Pro.

  • Jebel Hafeet (Al Ain) – Everything You Wanted to Know
    23 October 2020

    Jebel Hafeet is a mountain at the border of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) & Oman. It is in the Tawam region. The mountain is a sort of outer part of the Al Hajar Mountains. It is bordered in the north by the UAE city of Al Ain, in the east by the Emirate of …

    The post Jebel Hafeet (Al Ain) – Everything You Wanted to Know appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • Waterparks ready to reopen in Dubai
    23 October 2020

    With summer right down the corner, we crave for water activities to cool down the heat and have some good time with our family or friends. But recently due to the pandemic, the waterparks suspended their operations temporarily. Many of us are itching to have a dip and beat the heat at the waterparks! Well, …

    The post Waterparks ready to reopen in Dubai appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • Dubai eases air travel restrictions; welcomes tourists and allows residents to travel overseas
    23 October 2020

    The government of UAE recently announced ease of air travel restrictions in Dubai allowing citizens and residents to travel abroad from June 23, 2020, and welcome tourists from July 7, 2020. The new announcement will allow people that are affected by the worldwide lockdown and restrictions since the pandemic outbreak to resume their travel plans. …

    The post Dubai eases air travel restrictions; welcomes tourists and allows residents to travel overseas appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • Dubai re-opens tour activities amid pandemic
    23 October 2020

    Since COVID-19 pandemic strikes, Dubai has announced the closure of tour parks for these past 3 months. Dubai is working hard to keep the city safe by sanitizing everywhere and enforcing rules like social distancing, limited movement, mandatory masks, mass testing, etc. After further evaluation, Dubai has started re-opening malls/ parks as well as tour …

    The post Dubai re-opens tour activities amid pandemic appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • Things should note on How to get your Dubai Tourist Visa
    23 October 2020

    Are you planning to visit Dubai and you need a tourist visa to enter? Do you have any idea on how to get a Dubai tourist visa, what are the formalities and how long the process is going to take? Here’s some important information that you should know and can help you plan accordingly. 1. …

    The post Things should note on How to get your Dubai Tourist Visa appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • Confused on what to do after UAE visa cancellation? Here are you options:
    23 October 2020

    People are now confused on what to do about their canceled residence visa, whether they can extend their stay in UAE, will they pay any fine upon exit, is it mandatory that they exit the country? Here are your guidelines and options: 1) Change your visa status to a tourist visa: If your residence visa …

    The post Confused on what to do after UAE visa cancellation? Here are you options: appeared first on Forever Tourism.

Asia Travel Blog

30 October 2020

Asia Travel Blog
  • Self-care Staycation: How I Planned A Personal Retreat to Tree Of Life Resort, Jaipur
    29 October 2020

    Travelling to my dream destinations became hard this year. With travel bans in place due to the pandemic, I also began working from home. Personally, unwinding my mind, body and soul was a dire need. In a way, this unprecedented crisis challenged me in several ways. But despite all these challenges, I largely managed to escape my mundane life and step out. Although Netflix and chill, ‘n’ number of zoom calls with near and dear ones, quarantine baking gave me temporary happiness, I had a strong yearning to travel. Hence, I booked a self-care staycation to Tree of Life resort in Jaipur. Here is the story of how I planned a personal retreat and enjoyed it thoroughly.

    Also Read: Well-Timed Delight At Neemrana Fort Palace!

    Staycation in Jaipur : How I pampered myself

    For the self-care Staycation we chose the magnificient Tree of Life resort in Jaipur. The only aim of the holiday was to pamper ourselves. The majestic Rajasthani architecture, luxury villas with hill views, exceptional hospitality and personalised service made us feel that we were in heaven. Undoubtedly, the resort offered the solace that I was yearning for. We rested well in the luxury villa and enjoyed all the 5 star services. Next day, we woke up to greet the sunrise and treated ourselves with a royal breakfast. I and my husband walked around the garden listening to soft music. The fresh mountain air, sound of birds chirping, hot adrak chai. . . What more can I ask for?

    We found this uber cool deal on the Pickyourtrail website and grabbed it right away. They helped us with booking this Staycation. The travel experts helped us choose this best boutique resort after listening to our requests. They also helped us at the time of check-in promptly. In conclusion, everything about this Staycation was comforting. From booking with Pickyourtrail till the moment we bid bye to Tree of Life resort.

    Hey You, Get Packing!

    Are you also yearning for a self-care Staycation? How about soaking yourselves in a warm bubble bath, to relax your mind and body? Do you wish to dine with your loved ones with soft music in the background? Then, Head toPickyourtrail website and start planning your staycation right away! Now you can connect with us via WhatsApp and plan your dream stay at ease.

    Also Read: Here’s How Neemrana Fort Palace Turned Into My Kid’s Play Area!

    The post Self-care Staycation: How I Planned A Personal Retreat to Tree Of Life Resort, Jaipur appeared first on Pickyourtrail Travel Blog.

  • Celebrating Togetherness – An unforgettable Staycation in Coorg
    29 October 2020

    We decided to step out of the city and celebrate our marriage milestone. It was our special day and Staycation was an obvious choice. Pickyourtrail and Tamara resort in Coorg planned a romantic getaway for us!
    – Mr. Hemal

    When I told my wife about the Staycation in Coorg, she was super curious. After several months of waking up to the same old view from home, both of us wished for a holiday. When we came to know about Staycation in Coorg and the jaw-dropping deals at Pickyourtrail, we didn’t want to miss the chance. Our wedding anniversary fell in the month of September and we had a reason to celebrate too. Thus, we embarked on a romantic journey to Tamara Resort in Coorg.

    Also Read: Living The Dreamy Reality At WH Ayatana, Coorg!

    Luxury redefined: Staycation experience at Tamara in Coorg

    The misty forests and beautiful landscapes welcomed us as we entered Tamara. Set amidst organic coffee plantations lining the Western Ghats, this eco-resort looked like a dream. Tamara resort truly surprised us with a wide variety of plantations like coffee, banana and more. In the resort, colourful butterflies greeted us even before the resort staff. We simply lost ourselves in these dreamy landscapes and lush green forests. More than that, the luxury cottage which Pickyourtrail booked for us is the best place we have stayed in our entire life. It had all the amenities and we enjoyed our stay in the resort.

    Celebrating our marriage milestone

    We celebrated this special occasion with mother nature at Tamara. Our anniversary celebrations at Tamara will be etched in our hearts forever. We were presented with a yummy chocolate cake. The Pickyourtrail team helped us in booking the luxury cottage without any hassles. They were in constant touch with us. Above all, the support team ensured that they answered our queries. In short, Pickyourtrail made our lives easier at Tamara.

    Also Read: Life Is Too Short To Live In The Fear Of Pandemic – The Story Of Our Happy Staycation To Goa

    Get Packing

    Do you want to book your Staycation? Head to thePickyourtrail website and start planning your Staycation right away! More than that, you can find the best deals near your city at jaw-dropping prices. Now you can connect with us via Whatsapp and plan your dream trip at ease.

    The post Celebrating Togetherness – An unforgettable Staycation in Coorg appeared first on Pickyourtrail Travel Blog.

  • Snapshots: Asia Photo Essay #8: FLYING WITH LAO AIRLINES
    29 October 2020

    For me, a chance to be able to visit Bangkok again meant taking the opportunity to visit nearby destinations I haven’t visited yet, especially the ones with no direct flights from Manila. Given that, I took the opportunity to visit Laos. Having a very limited time, it was hard for me to choose between Vientiane and Luang Prabang, and between an overnight bus and a plane. A tough decision-making process led me to choose to fly to Vientiane via Lao Airlines. Well, I can always go back to visit Luang Prabang next time.

    TOUCHDOWN, WATTAY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT! There, I felt it once again! That particular heartbeat of excitement upon landing in a country for the first time! I have officially set foot in all ten ASEAN countries and it’s the awesomest feeling in the world!
    SEE YOU LATER, VIENTIANE! I flew from Bangkok to Vientiane via Suvarnabhumi Airport. The Lao Airlines check-in counter is at the faaaaarmost right of the airport. I looooove the color and quality of the ticket of Lao Airlines! I’m more than excited to see a new country and my 10th ASEAN country yay! My return flight ticket is yellow green in color which is also very awesome!
    LAO AIRLINES GROUND CREW AT SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT. I will be aboard that small aircraft and the ground staff are getting the flight ready. So excited! The last time I flew with the same kind of aircraft (Legazpi to Manila and Manila to Coron), there were typhoons and those were scary flights. Hoping this flight will go smoothly since the sun is shining bright!
    INSIDE THE AIRCRAFT. I love the wooden-ish finishing of the area leading to the cockpit. I am on a flight with some group of Thai tourists and they give a happy vibe inside our small plane. I did not feel alone that time. I was just not able to take a photo of the Cabin Crew uniform of the airlines, but they are very beautiful and elegant.
    IN-FLIGHT SNACKS. Aside from the baggage allowance, the ticket cost of course comes with a complimentary meal. It’s just a one hour flight, so this is just perfect. I skipped coffee on a flight this time. The pastries are very good! (They better be, since they are a former French colony jk but seriously, French breads are one of the things I look forward in this trip.
    IN-FLIGHT NEWSPAPER. If you know my background, I am a Politics and International Relations major and I am teaching Politics and Southeast Asian Studies, so printed newspapers are my thing. I kinda collect them (they are part of my souvenirs from trips abroad), so I’m keeping this after I read.
    WAIT, WHAT? Upon reading the arrival area of the airport, there was some kind of a (happy) commotion. I think some actress or big personality is around, but I’m not gonna identify him/her most likely anyway, so I did not try to see what’s happening. Part of the welcome committee are these three. I kinda get what the message in the jacket is, but it’s composed very badly. She has a nice overall outfit, though! Love her culottes and heels!
    AT WATTAY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ARRIVAL AREA. This small airport seemed busier than I thought. There are a lot of arrivals, and the airport staff are very busy providing assistance to the passengers. I was expecting a quaint little town for Vientiane, but I’m happy to see a little bit of a hustle by the locals. Welcome to Laos, indeed!

    Watch out for the other photo essays for more dose of travel and street photography in Asia! Click the banner below:

    SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #8: FLYING WITH LAO AIRLINES
  • Snapshots: Asia Photo Essay #9: GOOD MORNING, SOI NANA!
    28 October 2020

    Thailand!!! Finally we meet again! It’s been a while since I visited Bangkok. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular place to visit in Southeast Asia (and loved by my friends from Western countries!). Not gonna lie, but Bangkok has a certain kind of charm sans the crazy traffic jam. How locals would greet you “Sawadee ka” is so calming and you will definitely feel their respect for you. Anyhoo, I was able to visit Thailand again, this time for an academic paper presentation at Srinakarinwirot University. I had a short but sweet 24 hours to explore the city before the big day, and taking another red eye flight did not stop me from doing so. I took a GrabBike to beat the notorious Bangkok traffic, and passing by Soi Nana on a GrabBike is such a beautiful experience because a lot of mixes of Thai and Chinese cultural heritage can be seen. Yes, I took all of these photos with my Samsung Galaxy S8 phone while on a GrabBike en route to a temple. Enjoy!

    GRAND CHINA HOTEL FACADE. Everywhere you look, you will see an evidence of the grand heritage of the Chinese culture in Bangkok. Grand China’s hotel facade is so elegant but I hope these electrical lines will be fixed sometime in the future to pave the way for a better view of the hotel’s facade.
    A COLORFUL TUKTUK. Tuktuks are a common local public transportation in Thailand, and if you’re a tourist in Thailand, experiencing to ride a tuktuk is a must. It really defines the local culture of Thailand. Plus, who doesn’t love an open air strolling experience around the streets of Bangkok?
    SHADES OF YELLOW. This photo could have been taken in a better composition, but since I am on a GrabBike, I can only do so much for this photo’s composition. I love how the shade of yellow of the building met with the taxi’s different shade of yellow.
    SAWADEE KA, SOI NANA! Look at this!!! This was my favorite photo of Soi Nana because it looks so vintage-y! These LED signs resembles the ones in Hong Kong, and I would love to see this light up at night time next time!
    AN ‘OCCUPIED’ PEDESTRIAN LANE. At some point in our (driving) lives, we have accidentally occupied a pedestrian lane on a red light. I don’t know about you, but photos like this just depict the real life and energy there is in a place.
    BANGKOK STREET FOOD. I love love the Bangkok street food scene! And I don’t mean those touristy stalls along Khao San Road or something, but a random street food stall on any neighborhood or street would do! For one, the price is not touristy, and second, I believe it’s a more authentic experience to eat in a street food stall not built for tourists but for locals. Anthony Bourdain once mentioned that if you want to have an authentic foodie experience in a place, ask the locals about their favorite place to eat, not “Where should I eat?”.
    THE THING ABOUT MOTORCYCLES IN BANGKOK. LIke in traffic-congested areas like Manila and Jakarta, you can win over the traffic jam in Bangkok by taking a motorcycle. When I say the traffic in Bangkok is crazy, believe me.
    MEGA PLAZA MALL. Mega Plaza is one of the department stores in Chinatown area, and is located in a very vibrant neighborhood. I just love the post-processing I did for this photo because of the vintage-y colors.

    Watch out for the other photo essays for more dose of travel and street photography in Asia! Click the banner below:

    SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #9: GOOD MORNING, SOI NANA!
  • SNAPSHOTS: Asia Photo Essay #7: MANILA FOOD DIARIES
    28 October 2020

    Food will always be a significant part of every trip I make, and whenever I’m not traveling elsewhere, I would still try to keep a “Manila Food Diaries” photo journal to keep track of the restaurants I ate, the people I was with, and what to recommend to friends and family later. Where’s Sherlyn? blog actually started as a food blog, in case you might be wondering, and a focus on travel did not drive away my focus on food. After all, I will always be happy to help you out find the best places to eat, inside and outside Manila.

    TUNA PESTO (PHP220) AND CLASSIC MILK TEA (PHP70) AT BLACK SCOOP CAFE, MANILA. During this time, a new The Black Scoop Cafe just opened very near my old place, and since then it has been my go-to place whenever I’m craving for some milk tea and/or pesto, and whenever I want a change in work environment while doing some work. I will always love this combo and this will always be my comfort food. Check out their Zomato page here.
    WANTON NOODLES SOUP (PHP150) AT WATER DROP TEA HOUSE, MANILA. A vegetarian colleague took me to this restaurant located inside the Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple in Pablo Ocampo Street, Malate. I love their wanton noodles soup so much! Unfortunately, as far as I know, they have closed down already. But nonetheless, check out their Zomato page here.
    SWEET AND SOUR CAMARON (PHP140) AT RODY DAY’S RESTAURANT, MALABON CITY. I had the chance to dine in at Rody Day’s Restaurant, one of the oldest family-run restaurants in Malabon, when my sister took me to see her former colleague who married the grandson of the restaurant owners. This sweet and sour camaron is so yummy and healthy (I love shrimps!), and it also has other varieties, such as pork. Check out their Zomato page here.
    MIKI BIHON GUISADO (PHP130) AT RODY DAY’S RESTAURANT, MALABON CITY. Another bestseller at Rody Day’s Restaurant is this Miki Bihon Guisado. Miki Bihon Guisado is a popular family treat and therefore people would usually order this in big amounts.Check out their Zomato page here.
    POUTINE POUTINE (PHP115) AT SOMETHINGSOMETHING, CALOOCAN CITY. Nearby my Mom’s ancestral home are small restaurants that seriously deserve some kind of an exposure. The first time I passed by SomethingSomething, I already fell in love with the super simple interior. They have a simple menu but everything comes with a twist. Whenever I crave for some poutine, I would go here. Check out their Zomato page here.
    NASI GORENG BIG BREAKFAST (PHP380) and VEGETABLES PIZZA (PHP395) AT ANTIPODEAN, MAKATI CITY. A foreigner friend visiting Manila took me to this restaurant in Legazpi Village. It was my first time dining in the said place which was kind of intimidating at first. They have the whole menu written in chalkboard in one side of the restaurant. I was surprised to see a very international menu, and upon seeing nasi goreng, I did not check the rest of the menu. It was yummy and it has a twist: bacon. My friend ordered some vegetable pizza. Will go back here to try more items in the menu for sure. Check out their Zomato page here.
    LUMPIANG SHANGHAI (PHP110) AT RODAY DAY’S RESTAURANT, MALABON CITY. Another classic Filipino bestseller at Rody Day’s Restaurant is the lumpiang shanghai. While some restaurants would only put a few amount of pork in their lumpiang shanghai, Rody Day’s lumpiang shanghai is not like that. It is very full of meat and it was dipped into a breading before frying which makes it even crispier. Check out their Zomato page here.
    J.POPS AT J.CO DONUTS & COFFEE SM CITY NORTH EDSA, QUEZON CITY. J.Co Donut’s arrival here in the Philippines made my heart so happy because I love Indonesian food and brands. Also, it will be nice to try other brands of donuts which are less sweet. As an avid donut lover, I would always prefer donuts and drinks from J.Co. J.Pops are the cutest ever and it will always be one of my comfort foods. Check out their Zomato page here.

    Watch out for the other photo essays for more dose of travel and street photography in Asia! Click the banner below:

    SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #7: MANILA FOOD DIARIES
  • SNAPSHOTS: Asia Photo Essay #6: BREAKFAST AT SINGAPORE
    28 October 2020

    We meet again, Singapore! I was so happy to have a chance to visit Singapore again, this time not as a tourist but an academic presenter at a conference in Nanyang Technological University. My prior trips to Singapore consists of quick layovers and visits to specific areas, such as Little India and Chinatown. Singapore could be that small if you are a traveler intending to visit the usual tourist spots in Singapore. Also, some people see Singapore as nothing but a typical urban jungle. But behold, Singapore is more than that! And since I got an ample time to go around Singapore this time, I did a proper research. There’s just a lot Singapore could offer to a solo traveler like me –from museums to hawker centres to historical sites and artsy colorful places to modern structures. Yes, Singapore is more than Marina Bay Sands and the Merlion. This time I fell in love with Singapore and I want to actually experience living here. Keep on scrolling to see a snippet of my time in Singapore.

    IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD! I literally have zero sleep this particular day because I took a red-eye flight from Manila to Singapore, but a morning walk, a good local breakfast, and a cup of coffee will already do to energize me for the day. After all, I don’t have enough time to rest because I need to attend the conference at 9AM. I took a walk at the neighborhood as I enjoy the sights and sounds of Singapore.
    THE ECONOMIST MAGAZINES AT 7-ELEVEN SINGAPORE. I walked inside a 7-Eleven store to buy some bottled water, and to my surprise, I saw that this 7-Eleven store is selling The Economist magazines! I’m not really sure, but in the 7-Eleven stores in Philippines, you will only find men’s magazine, teen magazine, and broadsheets, of course. Can we sell magazines like this so that the population can have more (senseful) options to read?
    NORTH BRIDGE ROAD MARKET AND FOOD CENTRE. I love local markets and I love watching the morning hustle of the people in places I visit. Upon doing a simple Google search on the nearest hawker centre near me, the results led me to this very busy hawker centre along North Bridge Road. Just like any other hawker centres in Singapore, there’s just a lot to choose from and most of them offer some local food. It took me two full rounds of scanning all the stalls to finally decide what to eat for breakfast.
    NASI LEMAK STALL. This stall was the winner for that day! I saw the label ‘nasi lemak’ which is a personal favorite of mine so I finally decided to order food from the stall. I had a very minimal trouble communicating because there was a lot of side dish to choose from.HAWKER CENTRE STAFF CLEANING TABLES. It is always a “clean as you go” policy in hawker centres in Singapore, but you can either not expect everyone to do it, or there might be more leftovers on the table after customers leave, that’s why there were people going around to clean the tables for the next customers.
    MY BREAKFAST: NASI LEMAK. I have of course tried Nasi Lemak in Malaysia and Brunei, but this Nasi Lemak (and all the succeeding nasi lemak I ate after this) are just different. But basically, nasi lemak is a rice meal with chicken, typically with sambal sauce. Different stores have just customized their nasi lemak. But for this one I ate, it has some bitter gourd with scrambled eggs and some pancit on the side. Yum!
    MORNING COFFEE AT THE HANGAR. I just can’t decide whether or not to get coffee at the hawker centre but I ended up leaving the hawker centre and walk back to the area near my hostel to see if there are open coffee shops already. A quick Google search led me to The Hangar, a Melbourne-style hipster coffee shop at Arab Street. I ordered some coffee and sat there as I kill time before I take the train for the conference opening at NTU.
    A BEAUTIFUL ARTWORK FEATURING SINGAPORE’S COLORFUL SPOTS. Paintings like this that says something about the place and super colorful enough for my aesthetic always capture my heart. If only I can buy this and take it home, I would. Restaurants all over the world, please feature more local artworks from local artists, please!

    Watch out for the other photo essays for more dose of travel and street photography in Asia! Click the banner below:

    SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #6: BREAKFAST AT SINGAPORE
  • SNAPSHOTS: Asia Photo Essay #5: STREETS OF METRO MANILA
    28 October 2020
    SAN MIGUEL AVENUE, ORTIGAS CENTER. As a former working graduate student who works at day and goes to school at night, the rain has always become my source of worry because it will be so hard to go to the uni with a heavy rain and traffic. But don’t get me wrong, rainy days are the best when you’re just staying at home. And man, look at this photo!
    SHANGRI-LA COMPLEX, MANDALUYONG CITY. An office view like this is something I miss as a government office girl. I have been dreaming to visit big cities like New York to see views of the urban jungle. Obviously, this ain’t New York, but this would do for now. Also, a condominium in Manila with a nice view like this sounds like a good idea.

    These photos were taken by a Samsung S6 phone back in July 2015. Whenever I’m not traveling, I always make it a point to try take photos of anything interesting I’ll see around Manila, my home city. Looking back and assessing my photography skills, I feel like I’ve learned so much over the years and I now believe in the magic of patience and the saying “Practice makes perfect.” Still a long way to go, I am still practicing with the hope of taking travel and street photos for a living eventually, or perhaps ending up in NatGeo.

    AYALA MUSEUM, MAKATI CITY. Annually, the Ayala Museum would open its doors to the public for one day, free of charge. On ordinary days, you will not see Ayala Museum this crowded, but as a museum lover, I am happy to see that people takes advantages of opportunities like this. Museums are meant to be enjoyed in a peaceful and quiet sense, but for this one day, it’s all fine with me.
    VICTORY LINER TERMINAL, CALOOCAN CITY. To some foreign friends, “Manila” would mean something like Makati or BGC, but even though the land area of Metro Manila is so small, there’s a lot to it than the business districts. Caloocan City is one of your gateways to the beautiful provinces in Northern Luzon. It could be a little crazy for first timers, but having a Mom who grew up in the city and having lived here at some point in my life has taught me to be a more vigilant and protective person, if you know what I mean.
    SIYAM NA DIWATA NG SINING” SCULPTURE, UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES DILIMAN. Being a graduate student also meant spending my weekends going to school and accomplishing school stuff. Weekend classes also meant morning classes and therefore gave me a chance to explore more of the beautiful campus.
    THE ACADEMIC OVAL, UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES DILIMAN. Even if I only spent two years for my MA in UP Diliman, I was able to fully enjoy the campus life, even if I’m not a full-time student. People jogging and biking and vehicles passing by the Academic Oval is just so satisfying to watch.
    A KID DOING HIS HOMEWORK AT THE FOOTBRIDGE OF ORTIGAS STATION MRT. The kid’s mom is selling sampaguita garlands at the MRT Ortigas Station footbridge while he’s doing some school work. This photo was taken on a Sunday.
    A HEAVY RAIN AT GREENBELT, MAKATI. Like I said, I love rainy days but the traffic jam in Manila could be crazy. Minus the Saturday crowd, I could use just sipping some coffee in a cafe in Greenbelt and just enjoy watching the rain. Best feeling ever. And apologies for bad photo quality.

    Watch out for the other photo essays for more dose of travel and street photography in Asia! Click the banner below:

    SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #5: STREETS OF METRO MANILA
  • An Inside Look at My NEW Tbilisi Apartment! (I Moved!!)
    28 October 2020

    Surprise! Chris and I just moved into a new apartment in Tbilisi, Georgia and we signed a YEAR-LONG LEASE. It was a big decision, but we decided that if we're going to live here indefinitely, we might as well have a bit more space, and take advantage of all the lower prices due to COVID and the borders being shut. After a few days of searching, we ended up finding the PERFECT new place, and I'm so excited to show it to all of you!

    The post An Inside Look at My NEW Tbilisi Apartment! (I Moved!!) appeared first on Adventures Around Asia.

  • SNAPSHOTS: Asia Photo Essay #4: AN ARTS AND CULTURE TOUR OF LEGAZPI CITY
    28 October 2020

    Bicol Region in the Philippines (consists of the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, and Catanduanes) is one of the most beautiful regions in the Philippines. Personally, this is also the place I keep on coming back to. I love the calmness of the provinces (even the most urban ones), I love the cuisine, I love the prevalence of spicy food, and I love the historical and natural sites they have. In one of the holidays, I decided to have a quick getaway to Legazpi City to learn about its culture and people. I have checked out some of the museums in the area, but there were only a few ones. But nonetheless, I still managed to go around and see the things that are unique to Bicol Region. I had a mini-Arts and Culture tour in one of my days in Legazpi City.

    HELLO, MAYON VOLCANO! The popular beautiful volcano with a ‘perfect cone shape’ as seen from a Manila-Legazpi flight during the final descent. I bet this is more beautiful if it’s a sunny day! This is the kind of welcome I wished for myself if I have the chance to go to Bicol, and here I am. Yay!
    THE BATTLE OF LEGAZPI MURAL AT THE CITY MUSEUM: One of my first agenda upon landing in Legazpi and checking in at my hostel is to visit museums. My noob traveling skills during that time has led me to visit the City Hall and ask the Tourism Office if they have a museum in the area. Aside from weird stares from the employees screaming “This girl came all the way here to visit museums”, I was told that they have one but they never open it up to the public. But behold, they opened it just for me. Yay! I saw a lot of memorabilia, historical artifacts, paintings and stuff. I wish the Philippine government will pour more funds to maintain community museums like this one.
    BIGG’S DINER. Bigg’s is a fastfood chain in Bicol region with branches in Batangas province. It’s a typical American diner chain, but it’s known for its awesome unique interior design and yummy meals, of course. I kept coming back to Bigg’s whenever I’m in Batangas or Bicol. This is something Bicol is known for.
    A RANDOM ARTWORK IN AN OPEN AIR EXHIBIT AT EMBARCADERO. Embarcadero is known as a place where locals could hang out and shop and is very close to the popular Legazpi Boulevard with a very awesome nightlife by the ocean. When I went there to buy my parents some souvenir, I saw artworks in the atrium probably created by students, and all of them symbolizes something about Bicol Region. I took a picture of this Mayon Volcano artwork. Beautiful!
    STREET FOOD STRIP AT PENARANDA PARK. Every afternoon, students, workers, and groups of friends would gather at Penaranda Park as the street food stalls would open. This is a typical Filipino thing (not only in Legazpi), which also serves as a nice bonding experience. This is something I always recommend to foreign friends visiting the Philippines. Also, eating street food in the Philippines might be a scary idea for outsiders, but it may be one of the most beautiful experience there is.
    CHILI ICE CREAM (LEVEL 1) AT 1ST COLONIAL GRILL. Bicol Region is known to be the Chili Capital of the Philippines, and Bicolanos take pride in having a generally spicy cuisine. 1st Colonial Grill is another chain of restaurants in Bicol Region (and they just opened up branches in Manila) which is popular for the Chili Ice Cream. You can choose the level of spiciness (1, 2, or 3), and they will ‘mark’ your ice creams with the level of spiciness with chilis. My very first chili ice cream is a level one as shown, but later I always have fun ordering level 3.
    ST. GREGORY THE GREAT CATHEDRAL. Just near the City Hall is the Catedral de San Gregorio Magno which is a beautiful old Catholic church. Old churches are a thing in the Philippines because the Spanish colonial government has ordered to build at least one church per municipality or city. I always try my best to see old churches and appreciate their beauty. I wish I have a better camera but it looks so perfect at nighttime.
    NIGHTTIME SCENE AT LEGAZPI. A further walk from Penaranda Park will take you to more food stalls with seats where you can have your typical Filipino street food/dinner. This is part of the night market, so the day starts here after the sunset. You will typically see locals here bonding over food. Life seems simple in Bicol region and at the same time happy. Whenever I visit Bicol region, my life just slows down, and I always love that feeling.

    Watch out for the other photo essays for more dose of travel and street photography in Asia! Click the banner below:

    SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #4: AN ARTS AND CULTURE TOUR OF LEGAZPI CITY
  • The top 8 beautiful towns in the Philippines
    27 October 2020

    Situated in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is an archipelagic country which was named after King Philip ll of Spain. It is known for its idyllic beaches, beautiful climate, and diverse landscapes. It consists of more than 7000 islands which makes it the second-largest archipelago in the world. Manila, the capital of the Philippines sits on the Luzon island, is a densely populated bayside city. With no doubt, Filipinos are the biggest asset for the country. They are known for their kind-hearted hospitable nature who are very helpful and will make you feel home. Want to take a trip to be lost with nature and its beauty? You made the right choice, as the Philippines is just the place for it.Have a look at the top 8 beautiful towns in the Philippines. 

    Top 8 beautiful towns in the Philippines 1. Daraga

    Officially, the Municipality of Daraga is an attractive market town situated in Southeast Luzon. Daraga sits in the shadow of Mount Mayon, with Daraga church sitting on a hill, overlooking the volcano. It is indeed one of the top 8 beautiful towns in the Philippines. The church, constructed in 1773, is a Roman Catholic church built with volcano rocks. To the Northwest of the town is the Cagsawa church, one of the most iconic sites to visit. 100s of people sought refuge in the church in the early 19th century, due to the devastating eruption of Mount Mayon. However, almost all were killed when the lava engulfed the building. It is one of the top 8 beautiful towns in the Philippines

    Location – Daraga, Albay, Philippines.

    2. Tagaytay

    Located about an hour from Manila, Tagaytay is a popular holiday town surrounded by Taal lake. It’s known for its spectacular views of Taal volcano, which is the smallest volcano in the world. You can take a boat ride across the lake and hike up to the volcano for some amazing views. Tagaytay is the perfect place to escape from the city and enjoy some fresh air. Some popular activities are horseback riding, zip line, cycling, and picnics.  

    Location- Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines.

    Image Credits: Unsplash3. Baclayon

    Established by the Spanish, in the late 16th century, Baclayon was the first municipality to be founded on the island of Bohol. The town’s main attraction is the Baclayon Church, which is a national historical landmark and also a National Treasure. Though the church was damaged in an earthquake in 2013, the museum adjacent to the church remains open to tourists. Apart from the church, the town is also home to many lovely colonial Spanish homes, dating to 1853. Baclayon is an ideal place for whale and dolphin watching excursions to a nearby island Pamilacan. 

    Location – Baclayon, Bohol, Philippines.

    4. Vigan

    Vigan is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage site and is one of the oldest towns in the Philippines. It is known for its Asian architecture and cobbled streets lined with beautiful colonial Spanish houses. Most of these buildings are private homes with horse-drawn carriages called Kalesa, beautifying the houses. Some of these houses have been converted into museums, an opportunity for tourists to see the stunning interiors. Vigan is considered to be Asia’s one of the finest examples for planned Spanish colonial homes.

    Location – Vigan city, Logos Sur, Philippines

    Image Credits: Unsplash5. Alaminos

    Alaminos is known for being the home to hundreds of islands, which consists of 123 islands located off the coast. Each of these islands is different, with many of them having a mushroom-like appearance, caused due to tides over the years. Popular activities that tourists prefer are boat rides and island hopping with most of the islands having beaches, bird-life, and hiking. Alaminos is known for its famous dish called longganisa, which is made of a special type of local garlic. It is one of the top 8 beautiful towns in the Philippines. 

    Location – Alminos, Pangasinan, Philippines

    Image Credits: Unsplash6. Baguio

    Baguio, situated in the Luzon island is a mountain town of resorts. It is called “the city of Pines” or “Summer capital of the Philippines,” as it is popular in summer due to its unusually cool weather. Baguio town is a perfect place for hiking and horseback riding with pretty parks, heritage buildings, and pine trees. It’s also a famous shopping destination with dozens of shops, as well as many other handcrafted goodies at the market. If you want to enjoy some outdoor activities in summer in the Philippines without worrying about the heat, Baguio is the place. It is one of the top 8 beautiful towns in the Philippines. 

    Location – Baguio, Benguet, Philippines

    Image Credits: Unsplash 7. Banaue

    Banaue is famous for its rice terraces which are surrounded by the town on all sides. It is one of the four towns in Ifugao province that is recognized by UNESCO rice terraces of Philippine cordilleras. It was created by the Ifugao people more than 2000 years ago. The beautiful terraces followed by the natural curve of mountains indeed gives a retreat to your eyes. One can just get lost in the natural beauty and greenery in Banaue. These terraces are set more than 4900 feet above sea level.

    Location – Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Mountain-province road, Philippines.

    8. Silay

    Silay is known for its lifestyle museums and ancestral houses. It is a city that draws you to discover its rich history. Silay, once known as “the Paris of Negros” was the heart of the islands for sugar industries in the 19th century. It consists of 28 heritage structures, announced by the National Historical Commission as “National Treasures.” The town was filled with grand sugar mansions. Many of these historic mansions are still open today, few of them converted into museums. The town is wonderful to visit during the colourful annual event which consists of exciting street dance competitions. It takes place in June every year, called the Charter-Day Anniversary. Silay is one of the top beautiful towns in the Philippines.

    Location – Silay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines

    The Philippines is such a beautiful place which deserves to be visited at least once in your lifetime. Make a trip to experience nature and its beauty along with some outdoor activities. Pay a quick visit to the top 8 beautiful towns in the Philippines. Do visit Pickyourtrail for some amazing Philippines packages and offers. Leave a Whatsapp Inquiry for any further queries. 

    The post The top 8 beautiful towns in the Philippines appeared first on Pickyourtrail Travel Blog.

UK Travel blogs

30 October 2020

UK Travel blogs
  • Greek Island Hopping – The Cyclades – Paros
    29 October 2020

    Paros is one of the Cyclades in the Aegean and has long sandy beaches and traditional villages in the interior.

    The post Greek Island Hopping – The Cyclades – Paros appeared first on The Travel Magazine.

  • Top 5 Cheapest Destinations to Travel in 2021
    29 October 2020
    I’m here to help you with the cheapest destinations to travel in 2021, to help your travel budgeting and holiday inspiration for next year. Money is usually the biggest thing that stops us travelling as much as we want to, along with commitments and work of course. I can’t help there, but I can help...
  • Road Trip Around the USA: How Much Does the Dream Cost?
    28 October 2020
    Is there anything better than a good old American road trip? Driving from one state to another with your friends by your side and music blasting from the car’s speakers; it’s a dream come true. What’s more, it’s probably the best and most entertaining way to explore the country’s heart and soul. Driving in the...
  • Car Travel Checklist for a Road Trip
    28 October 2020
    Everyone likes to have a road trip with their loved ones once in a while, for that they make sure they do all necessary checks like packing up properly, putting stuff that can be in use in between the journey or after like essential food items, medicines, proper ID documents and phone chargers. Along with...
  • Top 15 of the most beautiful places to visit in Idaho
    28 October 2020
    Although it’s sometimes overlooked in favour of neighboring Montana and Oregon, Hemingway’s favourite state is home to a serious amount of beauty. In fact, it’s probably up there as being one of the USA’s most underrated destinations. The scenery here is mostly made up of wilderness but with a network of truly stunning razor-edged peaks,...
  • Lady Celebrates 13 Years of Living in London
    28 October 2020
    Today’s an exciting day for me. I’m celebrating 13 years of living in London. I suppose it’s fitting to reach a traditionally unlucky number in a year the world’s turned upside down, but I’m still happy to have hit this milestone. Living in London People often ask me what living in London is like. A […]Read more...
  • #MoonpigMoments: How Moonpig is Bringing us Together This Winter Season
    28 October 2020
    This year, the winter holidays will be a bit different than what we are used to. During these difficult times, …
  • Top 15 of the most romantic hotels in Lake Tahoe
    27 October 2020
    With cozy cabins, gorgeous upscale hotels, and thick forest pines all tastefully tucked around a magnificent big blue lake, Lake Tahoe in California makes a dreamy location for a couple’s break. In fact the views, the seriously special scenery, and the tranquil ambiance have also added to it being repeatedly been voted one of the...
  • Bathroom Refurb Cost in London: How Much Do You Need To Budget?
    27 October 2020

    Hi guys, in this post, I will tell you more about bathroom refurb cost in London (and how much you need to budget for your bathroom makeover) based on our experience renovating our own bathroom in a Victorian terraced house. Before we started our renovation, we couldn’t find any relevant information on how much would it cost to change our bathroom and make a trendy design we had in mind. I hope you find this post useful!

    Here’s what you can expect to find in this post

    What did we have in mind when transforming our bathroom?

    When we were thinking of renovating our bathroom, our two primary sources of inspiration were Pinterest and Instagram. I started our home refurbishing account (follow us at @ourlondoncottage if you’re interested) and quickly subscribed to some unique accounts for inspiration. On Pinterest, it was easier to find inspiration. I used to just type “amazing bathroom ideas” or “modern bathroom” or “bathroom refurb” and would get thousands of fantastic transformation examples, which. I would later save to my Interior inspiration board!

    Having scrolled through a lot of different designs, we realised that we would like to have a modern bathroom with a shower and most probably, it would be black and white (with some elements of green, e.g. green towels and plants). We saw some other fantastic design ideas; however, they either looked very expensive, or we couldn’t find any tiles/taps or even vanity units from these images.

    In the end, we settled on a bathroom like this one, which was our main inspiration for our bathroom design:

    Finding a tradesperson for a bespoke bathroom project

    The first step of our bathroom refurbishment in London was finding a tradesman. We never had any experience with home renovations, so we had absolutely no idea how much a bathroom refurb could cost in England (and in London in particular). We found an article that suggested that a budget bathroom renovation could cost between £1,500 and £2,000, a mid-range bathroom transformation would cost around £3,000 and a luxury bathroom redesign and refurb would cost something like £5,000+. Hence, when we uploaded our task onMyBuilder.com and got some quotes around £5,000 for work only, we got a little upset and frustrated.

    However, we kept looking for tradesmen and invited a few people over to our home for quoting. In the end, we picked a tradesman, who quoted us £2,700 for a complete refurb (just like in the photo before). However, in the end, the price went up due to a few issues we discovered during the refurb. 

    Buying materials – where to buy Victorian-style tiles, black taps and more

    Alright, so you found your builders, what next? Next, you need to buy all the materials, from grout and adhesive to all the decorative finishings and tiles. Obviously, everything depends on your budget, but you can find excellent and not very expensive items at Wayfair, Victoria Plum, Victorian Plumbing, Drench, Topps Tiles and even on Amazon (we bought a few items for our bathroom in Amazon).

    How long does a bathroom renovation take?

    If you’re wondering how long does a bathroom renovation take, well, it really depends on your design and your tradesmen. In our case, we were able to complete all the works in 8 working days. We didn’t have a second bathroom in our Victorian house, so we were very keen on completing bathroom renovation works as soon as possible!

    Bathroom refurb cost in London – how much did we pay to transform our bathroom

    Now, the most interesting part: how much bathroom refurb actually costs in London and how much did we way for our extreme bathroom transformation. Well, I’ll split our bathroom renovation cost into two parts: labour cost and materials/furniture cost. The labour cost was £3300 in the end, as we encountered a few problems with the pipes and had to move them for the walk-in shower and for the sink. 

    As for the materials including all the furniture (but excluding decor, as we don’t have any at the moment), we paid another £3350. So in total, we paid £6650 for our bathroom refurb in London. We could have saved a lot of money by ordering the correct tiles from the very beginning, buying a cheaper vanity unit and a toilet, however, we’re pretty happy with how the bathroom turned out! Our bathroom looks very modern and sleek now, and I’m in love! However, I still think that it feels a bit empty and needs more plants and posters (and perhaps even a feature wall, who knows). 

    If you’re interested in all the things we bought for the bathroom, here are the links:

    Lights – https://fave.co/33Ubm0x

    Bathroom unit https://fave.co/2GY89EL

    Shower shelf – https://amzn.to/31373yi

    Towels – https://fave.co/2GYqeSW

    Towel rail https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/turin-black-w500-x-h1200mm-heated-towel-rail

    Tap https://fave.co/371Dzog

    Shower head – https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/arezzo-matt-black-concealed-individual-diverter-thermostatic-control-valve-with-handset-200mm-shower-head

    Toilet – https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/metro-smart-toilet-with-bidet-wash-function-heated-seat-dryer

    Shower tray – https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/aurora-1700-x-800-slate-effect-walk-in-shower-tray-with-drying-area

    Wall tiles – https://fave.co/2H1QKdU

    Floor tiles – https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/haywood-black-and-white-mosaic-tile-sheet-295-x-295mm?Sort=LP&FT=5145,5133&pgno=1

    Shower screen – https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/crosswater-design-matt-black-walk-in-side-panel

    LED Mirror – https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/arezzo-matt-black-600mm-round-led-illuminated-anti-fog-bathroom-mirror

    Bathroom plants – https://fave.co/3nPLfjB

    Summary of bathroom renovation cost: can you renovate a bathroom on a budget

    To summarise, I can say that we were very happy with our bathroom renovation in London. However, the total price is much higher than what we found as a ballpark figure and what we initially budgeted for our renovation. We ended up spending £6,650 on our bathroom refurb in London, and I definitely don’t consider our bathroom luxurious, just modern and stylish. If you’re wondering, what can you do with a much smaller budget, I can say that it totally depends on your current bathroom. 

    For example, we wanted to convert a bath to a shower (get rid of the bath) as well as needed some ventilation in the bathroom (we didn’t have any) and those things were very expensive! However, if you’re happy to leave a bath and you already have ventilation, that’s over £1,000 saved for you! 

    I hope you enjoyed this post and should you have any questions, DM me at @ourlondoncottage!

    Some other posts you might like:

    We bought our first home in London

    Is it worth living in London? Pro’s and con’s

    Living in East Finchley – is it a good area?

    The post Bathroom Refurb Cost in London: How Much Do You Need To Budget? appeared first on Tripsget UK Travel & Lifestyle Blog.

  • 10 Best Stops on a North Norfolk Coast Road Trip
    27 October 2020
    This summer we decided to go on a road trip along the North Norfolk Coast. We camped near Cromer, and used every day to explore more of our surroundings.We did this so we didn’t need to set up camp every day, but this Norfolk road trip itinerary could totally be done with a night in...
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