What’s heaven for me?! Well, I am going to tell you about how I had the best month of my life on the amazing island of Bali
With an extensive network covering the majority of the island, wonderfully cheap fares and English language timetables, train travel in Sri Lanka is a breeze. While it’s possible to cover the vast majority of the country by train, there is one route that stands out for its absolutely stunning scenery. So much so, in fact, that the journey from Colombo to Badulla via the backpacker hub of Ella is now a highlight of many people’s time in Sri Lanka!
Looking at the expanse of North Eastern Thailand that lay just across the Mekong, it dawned on us that this was the one region of Thailand we were yet to really explore. It was our final Thai frontier: Isaan. This is a part of Thailand that is often overlooked by both the tourist and backpacking crowds as it has none of the fine sandy beaches for which Thailand is famed. What it does have, however, is an incredible cultural diversity
Sri Lankan food can easily be overlooked. With the hype of Indian cuisine, it’s very common for people to put Sri Lankan dishes under the same name. Having very similar staples, Sri Lanka has adapted its own foodie culture through the influence of surrounding Asian countries. Being it’s own little island, they’ve been able to turn dishes into exotic, flavourful meals that will leave you salivating for more. Here are some of the best Sri Lankan dishes to try when you’re traveling the country, or feel like whipping some up at home.
As the national capital of the Republic of China (or Taiwan, to you and me) Taipei is a vast city and home to over 2.6 million people. Drenched in history and with a rich cultural heritage, it is the textbook modern Asian metropolis where east meets west. Ancient temples nestle in amongst modern skyscrapers; Bustling night markets lurk just blocks away from modern day mega-malls, and world class street-food stalls sit comfortably alongside Michelin starred restaurants. Add to the mix the fact that Taiwan has none of the often-prohibitive visa restrictions of the Chinese mainland, and it’s easy to see why tourism in Taipei is booming.
Lying to the south of Thailand is Malaysia, a country we had visited a couple of times thanks to its useful air connections and the thriving capital of Kuala Lumpur. Culturally, it is a very different beast to Thailand with its strong Islamic influences largely putting a stop to any significantly wild parties. The people are wonderfully friendly and the food simply delicious, and there was no reason that the Malaysian islands would be any less stunning than their northern neighbours. And so it was that we came to spend a number of weeks exploring the idyllic and largely overlooked islands off the Malaysian mainland.
Every time I’ve returned from Thailand, I’ve planned another trip on the flight home. It’s the kind of place you fall in love with, for its natural beauty, buzzing street markets, and exotic culture. From enthralling Buddhist temples to picture-perfect beaches, it’s a literal nirvana for tourists.
There are a ton of music festivals around the world, from the well-known, cult favourites Coachella and Lollapalooza to the small but pumping Sasquatch and the Vive Latino in Mexico City. This list of festivals is scattered across the globe and year-round, so whether you prefer surfing the crowds in historic Belgium, stomping through the mud in Glastonbury, or salsaing your way across a crowded dance floor in Spain, this list has something for everyone, everywhere. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for cheap travel deals to get you there!
Think you know Bangkok? If you’ve already hit the headline attractions, like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, given your credit card a workout in the malls, and stuffed yourself on street food in the vibrant City of Angels, you may be surprised to learn that Bangkok has many more lesser-visited places that are sure to delight.
Thailand is one of most popular holiday destinations in Asia, as well as being a huge player in the global tourism scene. If a two-week vacation in the Land of Smiles isn’t enough for you, why not do as I did, and spend an extended period of time living and working in the country?